The Curse of Frankenstein – tape 326

It’s a Hammer Horror Double Bill. Today, Curse of Frankenstein. The tape opens with the end of an episode of WKRP in Cincinnatti.

Then the film starts. I’m fairly sure the opening logo is not contemporaneous with the original release…

Warner Bros Television

Baron Frankenstein is played by Peter Cushing. Here he is doing the prototype for the magnifying glass gag in Top Secret.

Peter Cushing and magnifying glass

Frankenstein’s famous moral uncertainty is there in full force. “I’m harming nobody. Just robbing a few graves. And what doctor or scientist doesn’t?”

When the film starts, Frankenstein is just a boy, maybe 14 years old. He hires a tutor, Paul, who then becomes his lab partner.

Cut to mumblety years later and the adult Frankenstein and Paul successfully revive a dead dog. So this research to get to this point took between 20 and 30 years. And yet the work to then create a patchwork human being takes place over months. It’s like they weren’t really trying at first.

But when it comes to the brain, Frankenstein needs a highly educated brain. He’s discussing it with Paul, with whom he has fallen out because Paul doesn’t approve of these experiments. I don’t like the way he’s sizing him up.

Can I borrow Your Brain

This is an appalling print, not helped at all by some terrible transmission artefacts.

It’s fully an hour into the movie before Christopher Lee emerges as ‘The Creature’.

Christopher Lee as The Creature

Cushing’s Frankenstein isn’t some misguided genius, working in a moral grey area, he’s a complete villain who’s quite prepared to push an old man off a balcony to procure the brain he needs for his experiment. I don’t have any sympathy for him.

The story runs a similar course to other tellings, although I think the low-budget nature of the film is betrayed by the strange lack of many characters, and what the film really lacked as an angry mob.

Credit spot: Young Victor Frankenstein was played by a young Melvyn Hayes.

Melvyn Hayes as Young Victor

When the film finishes, recording switches to something even more horrible than Frankenstein’s Monster.

Cosby

Yes, another episode of The Cosby Show I unaccountably recorded.

Following this, a strangely old-fashioned documentary, Kedleston Hall – Jewel of the Curzons. Dripping in obeisance to the landed gentry, and with a narration by Joss Ackland that instantly transported me back to the old Hemel Hempstead Odeon, with its stink of cigarette smoke, half the seats removed to make way for the bingo machine, the orange sparkly curtain heavy with dust but lightened by the moth holes, sitting there waiting for The Spy Who Loved Me but having to sit through a half hour documentary about barrel-making.

is it just me, or is Kedleston Hall clearly a thinly disguised steampunk animal, hiding in plain sight as a stately home, but ready at a moment’s notice to uproot itself and go stomping around the countryside in the event of, say, a peasant’s revolt.

Kedleston Hall

The whole of this edifying documentary is on this tape.

After this, there’s an episode of The Golden Girls, another sitcom created by Susan Harris. In this episode, Betty White wants to make a video about a day in the life of her roommates. Hilarity ensues. Almost the whole episode is here before the tape ends.

Adverts:

  • Hits n Pics
  • Harvey’s Bristol Cream
  • Joie de Vivre
  • Piat d’Or
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • mr Dog
  • Lynx
  • Planters Peanuts
  • Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Love Songs
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Croft Original
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Dishwash Electric
  • Flix sweetner
  • Woolworths
  • Ferrero Rocher
  • Denim
  • John Smith’s
  • Badedas
  • Esso
  • Black Magic
  • Stone’s Ginger Wine
  • Anais Anais
  • Tissot
  • Woolworths
  • Budweiser
  • Braun
  • Terry’s All Gold
  • Obsession
  • Playtex
  • trail: New Year programmes
  • Duracell
  • Black & Decker Quattro
  • Stone’s Ginger Wine
  • Martini
  • Philishave
  • Terry’s Moonlight
  • Anais Anais
  • Durabeam Worktorch
  • The Bee Gees ESP
  • trail: A Royal Gala
  • Sensodyne
  • Philips Ladyshave
  • TV Times
  • trail: The Last Resort

  • Tissot
  • Mandate
  • Sandeman Port
  • Woolworth’s
  • Budweiser
  • Milk Tray
  • Obsession
Advertisements

3 comments

  1. It may have been a mistake on someone’s part (like when Sky had “Spartan” on its movie channels and the “Distributed by Warner Bros” logo at the end had the Warner Bros Television fanfare for some reason), but thanks for the WBTV screencap — given WB’s love of plastering I didn’t think I’d ever see it again.

  2. I saw Young Frankenstein at Hemel Hempstead Odeon in the mid 1970s. It was part of double bill with another mild horror film, but I can’t remember which one; possibly one of the Dracula or Frankenstein variants. Do you happen to know what that film was? Thanks!

    1. I’ve no idea what the support film might have been – I think I would have been too young to be going to see such a movie, although I did see Young Frankenstein, also at Hemel Hempstead Odeon, but it would probably have been in the late 70s. I’ve no idea if they had a support film, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s