The Horror of Frankenstein

01/23/2017 16:51

Film: The Horror of Frankenstein

Year: 1970

Director: Jimmy Sangster

Writer: Jeremy Burnham and Jimmy Sangster

Starring: Ralph Bates, Kate O’Mara and Veronica Carlson



This film showing an artistic drawing of a naked woman and someone is shown drawing lines in certain places. We then learn that the young man doing this is played by Ralph Bates. He goes back and forth with his teacher. We learn that he is very rude, full of himself and ends up outsmarting the teacher, getting everyone to go home early.

On the way home, we see who his friends are. There are two women, played by Veronica Carlson and Glenys O’Brien. There are two men as well, played by Jon Finch and Stephen Turner. Bates wants to work on anatomy and he has O’Brien comes to help him study.

We learn that his father is the baron of the area and they live in a castle. His father is played by George Belbin. They have a housekeeper who we are told is sixteen and Belbin is sleeping with, played by Kate O’Mara. Belbin doesn’t want Bates to do as much with science as he does. He wants to go to the University, but his father won’t allow it. Bates sabotages one of his father’s guns. This ends up killing him and Bates is now the baron, along with its fortune and castle.

He goes off to the University, but we see that he acts like he does in the school back home. He is bored and believes he has learned all that he can. He does befriend a fellow student, played by Graham James. During their break, James decides to come home with Bates. They leave a little bit earlier though when Bates impregnates the dean’s daughter and he has plans for them to get married. It is also stated that this is six years into the future.

On the way home they find Carlson and her father are held up on the road by highwaymen. Their leader is Terry Duggan. Bates is content with moving on, but James decides to help. Together they kill two bandits and the rest flee. James is enamored with the beauty of Carlson. James accepts the invitation to have dinner with her and Bernard Archard, her father, for him and Bates.

Back at the castle, Bates takes over as the head of the house. O’Mara finds him attractive and is happy to warm his bed at night. Bates and James are going to start an experiment. There is a bunch of equipment that they need to unpack first.

We end up learning that Finch is now a police officer and his engaged to O’Brien. Turner also is hired by Bates to be his cook.

They have dinner with Carlson and Archard. Bates reveals that he is not returning to school and James is surprised to learn this, because he plans to. Archard has a tortoise that Bates steals for his experiment. He kills it with an injection, but brings it back to life.

Bates then enlists the aid of Dennis Price. He is a graverobber along with his wife, played by Joan Rice. They begin to dig up fresh bodies for Bates. He then picks out from it what he can use. James at this time is against helping him.

James confronts Bates and tells him that if he continues with this experiment, he will turn him in. Bates won’t have this and kills him. He then uses him for the creature he is putting together. Bates also kills Archard to have him become a part of it as well.

O’Mara becomes jealous of Carlson and after her father dies and the bill collectors come, she comes to live in the castle. O’Mara knows that Bates has been using a graverobber and she decides to blackmail him to stay in the castle. The problem is that we see Bates will kill anyone who gets in his way.

Will Bates’ creature come to life? If it does can it be controlled? Or will it be much too powerful for him?

I have to say that this film is very similar to a lot of Frankenstein films, especially some of the Hammer Productions. What I really liked about this one is Bates. He is indifferent to most everything, but James puts it best. He can be very nice at times and then completely cold the next. That is definitely a good way to describe him. What I also like is that he’s so confident in what he does that I think he might believe that it is right. The women in this film are very attractive and are nice complements. I thought the acting was pretty good. Taking the Frankenstein story that has been done quite a bit and adding dark comedy to it was a nice touch. I also like David Prowse who they used for the monster. I thought his physical size and look were realistic.

This film does have some issues though. It is kind of boring. I also do question how all of these people die around Bates and no one really questions it until near the end. At that time they do not think he is doing it, but that he is harboring who is and that is only because there was a sighting of the monster. I get with the time period it would have been easier to get away with it, but you’d think more people would ask questions. Then again, he was rich so he could get away with it.

I would recommend this film if you are into 70’s horror films, especially ones from Great Britain or Hammer. The acting is pretty good, Bates is solid and the women that were casted are nice to look at. The story is something that has been done before, but it does have an addition of dark comedy added on to it. Not the best version of Frankenstein, but an interesting one. I would recommend seeing this one if you can find a copy.


My Rating: 6 out of 10