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Old 02-27-2010, 12:02 AM
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roshiq roshiq is offline
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Frankenstein Conquers the World!

As a side effect, the unsuspected success of Hammer's first Frankenstein movie triggered the return of the great Boris Karloff to the Frankenstein franchise. In 1958's Frankenstein - 1970 Karloff plays Victor Von Frankenstein, a descendant of the original Frankenstein. The movie, directed by Howard Koch, is set in the 1970s and combines classic Frankenstein Gothic horror with typical 1950s atomic age scares.

Another Frankenstein adaptation from the 1950s worth mentioning is director Herbert Strock's low-budget I Was A Teenage Frankenstein. Produced by AIP in 1957 as a follow-up to I Was A Teenage Werewolf. The movie was moderately successful, but by today's standards it only qualifies as a schlock cult classic.


Other films & later decades of Frankenstein


The 1960s and 1970s were not particularly successful decades for Victor Frankenstein and his Monster. After the end of Hammer's own Frankenstein series with the final entry Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, cinemas were flooded with mostly Italian and Spanish low-budget productions that tried to exploit Mary Shelley's story and the popular Frankenstein "brand". Most of these titles hardly contributed anything new to the Frankenstein myth and ended up as being crude mixtures of sex, violence and bad screenwriting. However, despite their lack of any serious cinematic merit, many of these movies have since become "cult classics". They are still favorites at midnight screenings and cult film festivals, mostly due to their low-budget origins and ridiculous plots and dialogue.

Frankenstein across the globe:




Building on their successful Gojira monster series, Japanese studio Toho released two movies with references to Frankenstein in the 1960s, directed by Ishiro Honda: In 1965s Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon (Frankenstein Conquers the World) the immortal heart of Frankenstein's monster is brought to Japan, where it is revived by nuclear radiation during the bombing of Hiroshima. The heart mutates into a boy who then grows and finally develops into a giant monster, which battles Baragon, a dinosaur released during an earthquake. The sequel Furankenshutain no kaiju: Sanda tai Gaira (1966) has only loose connections to the Frankenstein story, which were completely edited out in the US-distributed version entitled War of the Gargantuas. Basically, the plot revolves around two hairy giant monsters spawned from cells of the Frankenstein monster, which end up battling each other. Both movies are notable for the fact that the name Frankenstein refers to the monsters rather than the creator.

Il mostro di Frankenstein aka The Monster of Frankenstein (1921) [Italy]
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) [Japan]
Lady Frankenstein (1971)
[Italy]
The Rites of Frankenstein (1972) [Spain]
Drácula contra Frankenstein (1972) [Spain]
O Frankenstein de Moisés Neto - Versão Muda (1989) [Brazil]
La sangre de Frankenstein (2002) [Argentina]


Just as Mary Shelley's novel influenced many other writers or inspired them to write continuations and adaptations, the huge number of Frankenstein movies spawned an even greater number of films about mad scientists and their human creations. Most of them are forgettable and can easily be dismissed as trash. Still, there are a few films worth mentioning that adapt aspects of Victor Frankenstein's story in a very intelligent way, yet without naming their source or making direct references to Frankenstein.
In fact most cinematic variations of the Frankenstein/mad scientist theme, including many Hammer and Universal Frankenstein films, can be reduced to the simple formula: "Scientist creates monster - monster runs berserk - justice is done to the scientist by the hands of his own creation". Many film producers and screenwriters have adapted this formula with varying degrees of success and those have at least added interesting original ideas to the simple basic plot.
However, at all times, more "traditional" adaptations of the Frankenstein plot featuring re-animated corpses and body parts, mostly B movies and direct-to-video fare, still today managed to attract the horror audience.

Source: Wikipedia, FrankensteinFilms.com.

Last edited by roshiq; 02-27-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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