|Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell|
|Directed by||Terence Fisher|
|Produced by||Roy Skeggs|
|Written by||Anthony Hinds|
|Music by||James Bernard|
|Editing by||James Needs|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||2 May 1974|
|Running time||99 min./USA: 93 min.|
Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell is a 1974 British horror film from Hammer Film Productions. It was directed by Terence Fisher and starred Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, and David Prowse. Filmed at Elstree Studios in 1972 but not released until 1974, it was the final chapter in Hammer's Frankenstein series of films and director Fisher's last film.
This was the sixth and last time that Peter Cushing portrayed the role of the obsessively driven Baron Frankenstein, a part he originated in 1957's Curse of Frankenstein. Cushing had long been known throughout his career for his meticulous attention to detail, even in the planned handling and usage of props. For this film, he helped to design the wig that he wore, but years afterward regretted the outcome, and jokingly quipped that it made him look more like stage and screen actress, Helen Hayes. But Cushing's dedication to his role was never truly dampened, and at age 59, looking somewhat gaunt and fragile, he still insisted upon performing a daring stunt which required him to leap from a tabletop onto the hulking creature's back, spinning wildly in circles in order to subdue the monster gone amok with a sedative.
David Prowse makes his second appearance as a Frankenstein laboratory creation in this film, his first having been The Horror of Frankenstein. He's the only actor to have played a Hammer Frankenstein's monster more than once. During the DVD commentary session for this movie, Prowse said that his daily transformation into "The Monster From Hell" went fairly quickly, being able to suit up and pull on the mask in only about 30 minutes -- whereas his time in the make-up chair for his previous Hammer monster role typically required several tedious hours.
In this final film in the series, Baron Victor Frankenstein (Cushing) is housed at an insane asylum. He has been made a surgeon at the asylum, and has a number of privileges, as he holds secret information on the asylum's corrupt director (John Stratton). The Baron, under the alias of Dr. Carl Victor, uses his position to continue his experiments in the creation of man.
When Simon Helder (Briant), a young doctor and fan of the Baron's work, arrives as an inmate, the Baron takes him under his wing as an apprentice. Together they work on a new creature. Unbeknownst to Simon, however, Frankenstein is acquiring body parts by murdering his patients.
The Baron's new experiment is the hulking, ape-like Herr Schneider (Prowse), a homicidal inmate whom he has kept alive after a violent suicide attempt and on whom he has grafted the hands of a recently deceased sculptor (Bernard Lee). Since Frankenstein's hands were badly burned in the name of science (perhaps in either The Evil of Frankenstein or Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed), the shabby stitch-work was done by Sarah (Madeline Smith), a beautiful mute girl who assists the surgeon, and who is nicknamed "Angel". Simon tells the Baron that he is a surgeon, and the problem is solved.
Soon new eyes and a new brain are given to the creature in horror gore fashion. When the creature - lumbering, hirsute and dumb - is complete, it is bitter and intent on revenge. It ultimately runs amuck in the insane asylum, until it is eventually overpowered and destroyed by a mob of inmates. Simon is devastated by the loss of life and reports to Frankenstein; however, the Baron feels that it was the best that could happen to such a creature, and is already considering a new experiment with other involuntary donors.
- Peter Cushing (Baron Victor Frankenstein)
- Shane Briant (Dr. Simon Helder)
- Madeline Smith (Sarah, "the Angel")
- David Prowse (Monster)
- John Stratton (Asylum director)
- Michael Ward (Transient)
- Elsie Wagstaff (Wild one)
- Norman Mitchell (Police Sergeant)
- Clifford Mollison (Judge)
- Patrick Troughton (Bodysnatcher)
- Philip Voss (Ernst)
- Chris Cunningham (Hans)
- Charles Lloyd-Pack (Professor Durendel)
- Lucy Griffiths (Old hag)
- Bernard Lee (Tarmut)
- Sydney Bromley (Muller)
- Andrea Lawrence (Brassy girl)
- Jerold Wells (Landlord)
- Sheila Dunion (Gerda)
- Mischa de la Motte (Twitch)
- Norman Atkyns (Smiler)
- Victor Woolf (Letch)
- Winifred Sabine (Mouse)
- Janet Hargreaves (Challer)
- Peter Madden (Coach driver)
- Directed by Terence Fisher
- Screenplay by Anthony Hinds (aka John Elder)
- Produced by Roy Skeggs
- Director of photography: Brian Probyn, B.S.C.
- Music by James Bernard
- Musical supervisor: Philip Martell
- Edited by James Needs
- Art direction by Scott MacGregor
- Production manager: Christopher Neame
- Make-up by Eddie Knight
- Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell at the Internet Movie Database
- Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell at AllRovi