February 23rd, 2011: Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

What It’s About: Doctor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) latest work revolves around the preservation and transplantation of the human brain.  Frankenstein hopes that when he masters this process he’ll be able to save the great minds of the world for posterity and to increase the rate at which knowledge progresses.  Frankenstein seeks out Dr. Brandt (George Pravda), a researcher working on brain preservation, but he discovers that Brandt’s work landed him in an asylum.  With the help of Karl (Simon Ward) a young doctor at the asylum and his fiancé Anna (Veronica Carlson), Frankenstein kidnaps Brandt and plans to transplant his brain into the body of Dr. Richter (Freddie Jones), but, as with all of Frankenstein’s plans, things do not go smoothly…

Why Watch it Today?: Director and Hammer Studios regular Terrence Fisher was born today in 1904 in England.  Fisher directed many of Hammer’s best films, Gothic horror classics, including five of their seven Frankenstein films.  Fisher’s Frankenstein films are notable for focusing not on the monster, as the Universal films and their many imitators had, but on Frankenstein himself.  In each successive film Frankenstein, portrayed by Peter Cushing (excepting The Horror of Frankenstein, the studio’s awful attempt to update the series with a younger star), attempts a new, horrible experiment, and in each film the results prove disastrous.  Frankenstein  Must Be Destroyed is one of, if not the, best film in the series, with a shocker of an opening sequence, great work from Cushing as the mad doctor and Freddie Jones as his “monster”, and a spectacular ending.  It is a shame that the series tottered on for one more entry instead of ending here; it is also a shame that the producers added in a completely out-of-character and pointless rape scene to add some “sex” to the picture for the American market.  These reservations aside Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed ranks among Fisher and Hammer’s best.

Where to Get It:  Watch it at iTunes, Netflix, or watch or buy at Amazon.com

The Trailer:

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