FiLM REViEW: Frankenstein Created Woman, 1967

Love the title font!

Teresa chose this from her Hammer box tonight. What fun it was! Completely ludicrous, as you’d expect from Hammer. But a rather wonderful and nostalgic form of batsh*t crazy!

The face of Hammer horror!

Peter Cushing is solid and reliable as the gaunt bony-cheeked Baron, and Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner, better known to history as Susan Denberg is bodacious as Christina Kleve.

This would be the former Playboy centrefold’s most challenging acting role; starting out as a physically disfigured barmaid, before the Baron ultimately reanimates her, post-mortem, as a psychotic sex kitten with a split personality!

Christina Kleve mit ein cleaver!

The plots of films like these are hardly worth the effort of synopsising, as they are so formulaic and silly. It’s all good clean sex’n’horror-sploitation fun!

But I suppose aorta at least have a stab (groans). The film starts with young Hans seeing his papa guillotined. Later in life Hans is working for Doc Hertz and Baron Frankincense.

Like many Hammer movies, it’s set in some German locale.

At a local tavern, Kleve, the patron, his daughter Christina, and Hans, become embroiled in troubles with three toff oiks, the upshot being Kleve’s demise, for which Hans is blamed.

Hans is guillotined, like his ol’ dad, this time with Christina as witness. She tops herself, alowing Baron Frankenfurter and doc Hertz to put Hans’ soul in Christina’s body.

Hans goes the way of his farter…

And to add some spice to the sauce, the diabolical duo perfect the formerly flawed Christina. Physically, at any rate. Alas, the dual residency of Hans’ and Christina’s tortured souls doesn’t pan out so well.

Denberg mit Spock!

There are many familiar faces (I recognised Denberg from Star Trek!), such as Peter Thorley as Doc Hertz (who looks like the perfect Geppetto to me!), and the trio of toff villains, Anton, Johann and Karl (Peter Bythe, Derek Fowlds and Barry Warren).

A nice photo taken during a break from filming.

In a bizarre ‘crisp of fate’, given the plot of this movie, in real life, apparently, actor Barry Warren would later change and live out last five years of his life as a woman!

Doing some mad blasphemous science!

I’m not sure why these silly old movies are such nostalgic fun. But they really are. They’re kind of awful in many ways. But I love them. The technicolour, the hammy acting, the formulaic clichés – from characters to scenarios – and yet they’re just so much fun!

Hammer did a sexy promo photo shoot…

… but this ‘scene’ was never actually part of the film. ‘Twas always just a saucy means of getting the film noticed. Methinks it works!

Christina about to serve up revenge to Karl.
The Baron gets hands on with his creation.

With rather hilarious irony, Wikipedia describes this movie thus:

‘Where Hammer’s previous Frankenstein films were concerned with the physical aspects of the Baron’s work, the interest here is in the metaphysical dimensions of life, such as the question of the soul and its relationship to the body.’

Denberg’s Playboy shoot brought her to Hammer’s attention.

Technically speaking this is of course true. But of course the very alluring physicality of Denberg as Christina also has a compelling part to play in this movie’s charms.

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