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(Review originally written at 19 September 2006)

OK so maybe not. Even though this movie is called "The Revenge of Frankenstein" and the baron himself, who escaped the guillotine, also tells that he is planning on taking revenge, he never does so in this movie. Sloppy perhaps and also a missed opportunity. Nevertheless "The Revenge of Frankenstein" remains one of the best put together and most atmospheric Hammer movie. Esecially for late '50's standards, this movie is a surprising good and effective one that more than serves its purpose and has plenty enough to offer the viewer.

The story is well written and told, which is the main reason why this movie works out great. It also helps to make this movie one of the better ones out of the long line of Hammer Frankenstein movies. It's an interesting movie to watch with a great perfect horror atmosphere, all combined with the typical Hammer studio's style. The movie also features some morbid humor which suits the style of the movie even better and makes it an even more pleasant and entertaining one to watch.

Unlike other Frankenstein movies this movie relies on original and self developed and written elements. The Hammer studios throughout this way, practically recreated the entire character of baron Frankenstein, with its long line of Hammer Frankenstein movies. When I now think of baron Frankenstein, I automatically think of Peter Cushing portraying him, thanks to the Hammer movies.

The movie doesn't waste any time on things like character development, which is also the reason why the movie is only 89 minutes short. It makes the story flow well, without any drags or unnecessary moments but one of the consequences also is that some of the characters don't quite work out because of this, such as the Eunice Gayson character, who doesn't seem to serve a purpose in the movie. The movie also doesn't have enough emotional depth because of this. Even though the movie does some attempts to give the movie some depth, mainly in its sequences with the monster, the movie is too short and distant to really care about any of it. But at least they did a worthy attempt, which makes this movie an improvement over the first Hammer Frankenstein movie "The Curse of Frankenstein".

Peter Cushing is really great as the baron who has taken the name Dr. Stein, after escaping from the guillotine, to conceal his true identity. Cushing really seem at ease with his role and he draws all of the attention of the movie toward him. Unlike most other Frankenstein movies the Hammer Frankenstein movies aren't really about the creature but more about baron Frankenstein and his eternal morbid search for cheating the death and creating life. It's a good thing that this movie is about the baron and not really about the monster, for the actor who plays the monster in this movie (Michael Gwynn) is exactly convincing or a good enough actor. Further more the movie does feature some good British actors for the smaller parts of the movie, who all seem to fit their parts very well.

Through its atmosphere the movie does manages to create an overall overly present creepy atmosphere which does provide the movie with some good horror moments as well. Of course nothing too scary, since obviously all Hammer movies are obviously more entertaining than scary or serious. The movie also does feature some nice looking sets, costumes and effects which help to set up the mood.

A must-see for the Hammer fans, mainly thanks to its well written and told story.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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