Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

(out of 5)

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)
directed by:  Terence Fisher
starring:  Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Simon Ward
Tagline:  More monsterous than the monsters he created!

          I love Hammer films.  Especially the Frankenstein franchise mostly directed by Terence Fisher one of the greatest filmmakers of all time who also directed a couple Dracula films of the Hammer studios as well as the Mummy and Curse of the Werewolf.  The monster movies of Hammer Studios saved British filmmaking in the late fifties to the early seventies much like the monster movies that saved a dying film era in the thirties for Universal.    
     Frankenstein always will hold a special place in my heart and the Hammer film version to me is the preferred cinematic franchise.  Yes Universal was first and Karloff was great as was James Whale the director but the monsters created by Hammer's Victor Frankenstein are just superior in story telling to me.  I won't go into a whole review of all the films because frankly I'd like to review them all but the first I want to go into is perhaps the most heinous depiction of Dr. Frankenstein ever portrayed in a movie.  And to get past it none of the movies follow Mary Shelley's book or story closely but since I never care to compare books or comics and movies I'll move on.
     In this film Dr. Frankenstein discovers a young doctor is stealing medication to help his girlfriend's sick mother.  Now it's cocaine so I'm not sure what that is helping with in regards to the sick mother maybe narcolepsy hahaha.  Anywho the girlfriend owns a boarding house and Frankenstein quickly blackmails the young couple into helping him with his latest experiment including murder and hiding bodies in the garden. 
So what begins as a friendly "I won't tell as long as you help me with my experiments" turns into a lot more than the young couple bargains for. 
     In this addition to the Hammer Frankenstein franchise Victor must find a body for his friend who resides in an insane asylum dying slowly day by day.  The man is also a scientist who once worked with Victor holding  the secret to one of Frankenstein's insane experiments.  It's very important to the obsessed doctor to make his friend well again.
     As always with Frankenstein's experiments in these movies it eventually goes horribly wrong once the "monster" comes to the realization of who he is and what Victor is.  Which as I said in this movie he's more of a monster himself than in any of the other movies where he seems more like a misunderstood maniac.  In Must Be Destroyed however he even has a scene where he rapes the young girl.  Terence Fisher was a Christian director whose faith was very important to him I'd love to know his views on this movie in particular out of all the films although Frankenstein Created Woman's soul chamber would have also been a good conversation. 
     So if I were to sit down and see this for the first time I'd have to watch the entire franchise movie by movie but if you're not so psycho anal with film watching organization then go for it right away it's not really as if you must watch them one right after another they connect but they aren't the same stories just about the same evil scientist/doctor.  With all the Hammer films you have awesome classic sets and wardrobe as well as period dialogue which is all of the reason I love them so much. 

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