(Review originally written at 10 June 2005)
This movie is a worthy last Hammer entry in the Frankenstein series and a worthy last Hammer movie for director Terence Fisher. The movie is made with quite some skill and solid acting performances but the story doesn't ever really become interesting.
What fun it was to see Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein and David Prowse as The Creature in this one together. They later went on playing Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader in "Star Wars". Just imaging seeing Tarkin stitching Darth Vader together from several different body parts! Want to see this? Then go and watch this movie.
The cast was really acting well in this. Besides Peter Cushing there are some solid performances from Shane Briant, a fairly unknown British actor and Bernard Lee (M from the James Bond movies.). David Prowse was also convincing as the large powerful creature, it's too bad that his make-up makes him look like an over-sized monkey.
The effects look fairly acceptable and there is actually quit some blood and gore in this one, so fans of those two things will also be fairly satisfied.
Like most Hammer movies, it never gets scary but it has a brilliant atmosphere and some well placed British humor and crazy characters. I mean the movie is set in an insane asylum, so plenty of good laughs about some of the characters here! That transvestite absolutely cracked me up!
It really is a shame that the movie never ever really becomes interesting, mysterious or tense. Basically nothing happens in the first hour and the second halve of the movie also isn't quite good enough to leave a big impression. Still the movie is not bad, not bad at all. Cushing's presence alone is already enough to make the movie worth watching and so does the typical Hammer movie atmosphere which I absolutely love.
I find this movie highly recommendable, just don't expect to be blown away by it.