|The Evil of Frankenstein|
|Directed by||Freddie Francis|
|Produced by||Anthony Hinds|
|Written by||John Elder|
|Music by||Don Banks|
|Distributed by||Hammer Film Productions|
|Release date(s)||May 8, 1964 (USA)|
|Running time||84 min.|
The film's version of the Monster is noted for resembling Universal Pictures' famous Frankenstein series of the 1930s and '40s, including the flat-headed look of Jack Pierce's monster make-up originally designed for Boris Karloff as well as the distinctive laboratory sets. Earlier Hammer Frankenstein movies had studiously avoided such similarities for copyright reasons but a new movie distribution deal with Universal helped provide some latitude.
Forced to leave town because of their experiments, Frankenstein and his young assistant Hans return to Frankenstein's hometown of Karlstad and set up their laboratory in the abandoned Frankenstein chateau. The locals are soon aware of their presence and, fearing a repeat of the terror caused by his earlier work, chase them away. With the help of a mute and deaf girl, Frankenstein then finds his original creation frozen inside a glacier and restores it to life. However, the creature will not respond to commands so Frankenstein comes up with the idea of obtaining the services of Zoltan, a disreputable carnival hypnotist, to hypnotize the monster into obeying him. Zoltan is successful but has less than scientific interests at heart and, with the monster responding only to his commands, uses it to rob and take revenge upon the town authorities.
While loved by some, others regard the film as a less-than-satisfactory entry in the horror studio's run of Frankenstein films (which began with The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957). Like the studio's later The Horror of Frankenstein, The Evil of Frankenstein is considered by most fans[who?] to be a "one off" from the series proper, rather than part of the actual continuity, partly because of its stylistic differences from the other films, and partly because Frankenstein's thawed out 'original' monster and the circumstances of its creation bear no resemblance to the creature from The Curse of Frankenstein. Also, the flashback origin events given in this film completely contradict the events and their conclusion in Curse. However, Frankenstein's burnt and useless hands in the next entry in the series, Frankenstein Created Woman, are likely to be a reference back to the climactic conflagration in this movie.
U.S. Television VersionEdit
When the film was shown on U.S. network television in 1968, it had been altered. Some intense scenes were excised or shortened and new footage, shot by a different director, was added to pad the film's length. These scenes involved a reporter wringing his hands over having to catch a train and so missing an opportunity to do a story on Frankenstein, and the mute girl's father hoping that an operation will restore his girl's speech. These new scenes featured a cast not associated with the rest of the film and were filmed in the U.S. This was a common practice at the time and also occurred with The Phantom of the Opera (1962) and The Kiss of the Vampire (1963), whose re-edited version was retitled Kiss of Evil.
Home Video ReleaseEdit
The Evil of Frankenstein was released on VHS on March 1, 1992. The movie was released on DVD in the Hammer Horror Series along with Brides of Dracula, Curse of the Wearwolf, Phantom of the Opera, Paranoiac, Kiss of the Vampire, Nightmare, and Night Creatures.