FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Director - Terence Fisher, Screenplay - John Elder (Anthony Hinds),
Producer - Roy Skeggs, Photography - Brian Probyn, Music - James Bernard,
Makeup - Eddie Knight, Art Direction - Scott MacGregor. Production
Company - Hammer. 1973.
Cast: Peter Cushing (Baron Frankentein/Dr. Carl Victor), Shane Briant
(Simon Helder), Madeline Smith (Sarah), Bernard Lee (Tarmut), David
Prowse (The Creature), John Stratton (Asylum director), Philip Voss
(Ernst), Clifford Mollison (Judge), Patrick Troughton (Bodysnatcher)
Doctor Simon Helder, a follower of Baron Victor Frankenstein, is
arrested and sentenced to confinement in an insane asylum for performing
“unholy experiments”. Inside, he meets the earthy “Angel” of the asylum
named Sarah, who is mute, and confronts the Baron, the greatest moment
in the young doctor’s life. Believed dead, Frankenstein explains that
he is to be addressed as Dr. Karl Victor among the inmates. Next morning,
the doctor gives Simon a tour of the grounds. Eventually, Simon discovers
the Baron is practicing his unorthodox experiments in the asylum. The
Baron confesses, and together they bring life to the most grotesque and
appalling creature. The beast appears more ape-like than human with
hair-covered body, torn bits of flesh, stiches completely covering his
forehead, and huge hands. According to the doctor, the Monster was once
an inmate of the asylum, who was killed trying to escape. The Monster is
kept in a cage with reinforced bars.
Together, the two men replace the mangled tissue in the creature’s
eyesockets. They are successful, and when the beast returns to
consciousness, he springs to his feet and thrusts the Baron aside with
his brute strength. Under anesthetics, the creature is again placed
Frankenstein locks the Monster back into the cage and begins to
contemplate the brain transplant he will soon perform on it. The
scientist uses the brain of a convenient suicide victim to perform
the delicate surgery. The two surgeons remove the creature’s old brain
and replace it with the newer and more intelligent one. About ten days
later, the creature recovers and calls out to the overjoyed scientists.
They consider the experiment a success.
The sobbing Monster becomes overwhelmingly hungry and its body
overtakes the brain. The beast attacks Simon with a jagged piece of
glass, but Frankenstein’s timely appearance saves him. The Baron wraps
his ether-saturated coat around the creature’s head and the drowsy
thing is placed back into his cage.
Dementedly, Frankenstein suggests that he mate the Monster and Sarah
together, but Simon refuses, calling the entire thing mad. To prevent the
perverted plans of Frankenstein, Simon poisons the Monster and enters the
cage to make sure the thing is dead. However, he overlooks the huge
Monster’s strength. Within the grip of the creature, Simon struggles
desperately to free himself when suddenly a horrified Sarah cries out
to the Monster to release Simon. Bewildered, the creature releases Simon
and both Simon and Sarah flee the hidden laboratory, leaving the Monster
behind in a rampage.
Now free, the creature runs rampant through the graveyard during an
electrical storm, uncovering graves in search of his original body. The
director of the asylum discovers the terrifying secret and sends his
wardens and even the inmates to seek and destroy the Monster in the
darkness of the night.
Meanwhile, the beast is with Sarah. As the creature extends its arm
to Sarah, the inmates savagely attack the Monster, ripping its body apart.
The film concludes with Simon and Sarah sitting and staring at the Baron,
who mad stricken, plans new experiments. (Thanks to Robert Marrero’s
Horrors of Hammer book for the plot summary