Rank the Hammer big 3 Part 1-Frankenstein!

Discussion in 'Classic' started by Johnny Alucard, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. Ok Hammer fans this is the first of 3 threads to rank the order of preference for the films in Hammers "big 3 series"
    i.e. Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy.
    I will start Part 1 with Frankenstein:

    1.) Frankenstein Created Woman(1967): This is my favorite for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is I feel Director Terence Fisher, Composer James Bernard and Star Peter Cushing were all in top form with this release. This is the most original and creative of the Frankenstein series even though it has no real monster. It starts with Frankestein experimenting with capturing the sooul at the moment of death and a sad Gothic Romance and ends with a great revenge/possesion in the final 3rd part of the film. Highly reccomended and an example of what makes Hammer so great. The Anchor Bay DVD of this is a great transfer.

    2.) Frankenstein Must be Destroyed(1969): This one is a very close second to #1 for me. It has many of the same great qualities. The Director, Composer and Star were once again in top form. This has some truly nail biting suspense in the first half and a sad Gothic Romance element and revenge plot in the final 3rd. Also Highly recommended and an underated Hammer film just as Frankenstein Created Woman is. It was available in Widescreen on Laserdisc hopefully a DVD will be out soon.

    3.) Curse of Frankenstein(1957): O.K. this is the Original Hammer Frankenstein and many would feel it should be the best but the original has been done so many times before and since that it takes some of the bite out of it. This is a very good version of the story but I think Hammer did more interesting and original things with this series later. It was available in Widescreen on Laserdisc hopefully a DVD will be out soon.

    4.) Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell(1973): Another underated Hammer film and the goriest of the series especially in the uncut version previously seen on the Japanese Laserdisc. This was a great end to the series. It has some truly gory tranplant scenes, a Gothic Romance, The Monster on the loose and a unique setting for a Frankenstein movie. Hopefully Paramount will release this uncut or give it to Anchor Bay.

    5.) The Evil of Frankenstein(1964): This one has alot of potential and does a few new things but it plays more like a remake of the old Universal series.
    Worth watching if your a Hammer fan hopefully Universal will release this on DVD soon.

    6.) The Revenge of Frankenstein(1958): This one always gets praised by many film books and alot of Hammer fans but this one has always been an overated one for me. The productions values are great and it does look great but it is slow and has no real monster and very few new or original plot elements. Everytime I watch this I keep hoping I will see what others see in this film but it has not happened yet. Hopefully when a Widescreen DVD of this comes out my opinion may change.

    7.) Horror of Frankenstein(1970): This is last but none of these are bad films if you are a Hammer fan. This one has no Peter Cushing but does feature a good performance by Ralph Bates as the Doctor. Which is the best thing about this movie. The Monster is very silly looking. The great new Widescreen DVD by Anchor Bay does help this movie but in the 1970's which were Hammers final days the budgets were smaller and it showed and they were running out of new ideas and it showed so they made up for these problems by adding nudity and graphic violence unfortunately they did not add much of either to this movie which would have helped it alot.

    Well thats my rankings what are the rankings of the Frankenstein series by the other Hammer fans here?
    I will return with Part 2-Dracula soon.
  2. Yowie

    Yowie Hologram

    Jun 25, 2001
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    This is a great idea, Johnny. I'll get right on with my faves.
    1. "Revenge". We disagree there I guess, but this is my fave. The colors are absolutely beautiful, I think it looks even more gorgeous than "Curse", and the sets are fantastic. I don't think any of the Frankensteins that followed had sets this great looking. I don't think it's slow moving actually, and remember, there was a similar man-monster in "Destroyed", and Michael Gwynn is just as good here as Freddie Jones. Anyway, the "monster" is a human, isn't he ?. Even the ugly classic "monsters" like Chris Lee's or Karloff; they weren't beasts but men. Dead men. Francis Matthews is good as the assistant.
    2. "Curse". Great colors, great sets, great atmosphere, a great Cushing, and a great Lee. Classic Hammer all the way.
    3. "Evil". Very Universal-like, but that's ok, it has a fairytale quality all its own. Yes, the monster looks pretty silly but I think the action is excellent. Cushing is truly evil in this one.
    4. "Created". It's hard to pick a favorite of Cushing's barons because he's always good, but I'd probably pick this one. Those gloves !. At this point you could tell Hammer movies were no longer what they used to be, but they still managed to give it a fine look. Thorley Walters made an excellent assistant, and he should've continued on to the next.
    4. "Destroyed". I know it's a fave with many fans, but I never liked it that much. I can't really pin-point it, but I always found it a had a somewhat modern day feel to it even though it doesn't take place in the present. Maybe it's Simon Ward, or the fact that it was made in '69, I don't know. The good thing is I like it a little bit more every time I watch it. I do like the sets, and when Cushing tears the "Freddy Kruger" mask off is a classic shot.
    5. "Horror". Very silly movie, this one. Stupid looking monster, even more stupid action scenes, and phony cardboard sets. Bates is brilliant though, and the sole reason I like it. Good cast.
    6. "Monster". Another fave with many, but it never meant a lot to me. Cushing's wig is plain awful, the first (and last) real monster of the series is laughable, and Briant is a rather uninteresting actor. Madeline Smith is cute though, and the atmosphere is dark and grim which is what saves it. Did Patrick Troughton keep his wig from "Scars Of Dracula", or what ?. This is an entry that fails to get better with me.
  3. RabidFulci

    RabidFulci Guest

    I have always placed Hammer's (Fisher's) Frankenstein films way a head of their somewhat overrated Dracula series(with the exception of Fisher's tour de force "Horror of Dracula(1958), and Peter Sasdy's marvlous , "Taste the Blood of Dracula(1970), as well as Fisher's fine followup "Dracula, Prince of Darkness(1965)
    Excluding Freddie Francis's dreadful "evil of frank" and Sangster's dull horror-spoof "Horror of Frank", The series remains (for me at least) the best horror series ever conducted, and if I had to rate them in any specific order, thus is how:

    Frankentein Must Be Destroyed (1969) Fisher's brooding cynical, powerful masterpiece, his best-and favorite.His most personal work, the film is perfection both in technics(the dramitc timing and compotions are flawless, perfecting his camera's a dollies to the very best. And a powerful sort of Shakephereian tragedy, his most powerful film on emoitonal standpoint--His best film--if not hammer's best.

    The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)One of the best verions of Mary Shelly's novel-the film is a landmark, and is enhanced by Fisher's wonderful dramatic timing and character interplay.

    Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1973), Fisher's final Haunting masterpiece, and epoch-making work, both haunting and poetic--and very underrated

    The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) The very first film I saw by the great Terence Fisher, the film is a wonderful view on fisher's take of the social hyporcisy of victorian society

    Frankenstein Created Woman(1967) Though his weakest, the film remains one of the director's most personal, most heart-felt works, it's also the most touching-emotional of the series and the most oneiric.

    The Evil of Frankenstein(1964) & The Horror of Frankenstein(1970)..would most certainly be at the bottom.....Actually I find HORROR to be the better made of the two...EVIL is taken seriously is just the pits....it's more of a guilty pleasure.
  4. Hammer's Frankenstein

    1. Revenge of Frankenstein ***
    2. Frankenstein created woman ***
    3. Curse of Frankenstein **-***
    4. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell **-***
    5. Frankenstein must be destroyed **-***
    6. Horror of Frankenstein **
    7. Evil of frankenstein *-**
    I enjoyed them all...
  5. RabidFulci

    RabidFulci Guest

    Revenge of Frank..try to look at it THIS way....

    .....Kind of a Merchant Ivory horror film, I suppose, but don't let the genteel facade fool you: this is one hell of a movie. Cushing escapes the guillotine in a ingenious, moderately blasphemous matter, and goes on to open a hospital for the poor. Sangster and Fisher explore the somewhat shizophrenic nature of the Baron, who uses the bodies of the poor in his experimets, yet shows genuine concern for them. Sequences of him bantering with his patients have an ear for dialogue that's sadly lost on most horror films. Ah, yes, dialogue.. there's lots of it. Those who need a chase scene every two minutes need not apply here. The emphasis is rather on character and intelligent conversation, some of it of a bitingly witty fashion. The creature this time around is played by Michael Gwynn as a normal looking man who degenerates into a cannibal after being beaten by a drunken janitor. Gwynn, a sadly underused actor, gives a heartbreaking performance in the role which allows for more pathos this time around. A quiet masterpiece, with a moody Leonard Salzedo score in place of the usual James Bernard bravado.
  6. RabidFulci

    RabidFulci Guest

    ALSO ..MY rating of the series...

    :cool:The Curse of Frankenstein *****
    :D The Reveng eof Frankenstein ****1/2
    :eek:The Evil of Frankenstein **
    :)Frankenstein Created Woman ****
    :cool:Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed *****
    :eek:The Horror of Frankenstein **1/2
    :DFrankenstein and the Monster From Hell ****1/2

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