Frankenstein Created Woman
Movies don’t always have to make sense to be good, much as it pains me to admit, and Frankenstein Created Woman is a perfect example. Now, Peter Cushing’s Frankenstein always had a little license to do impossible things without too many characters interrupting with an ‘Oi! How d’you do that then?’ I mean, in the first two films he could bring the dead to life using only spinning wheels, boiling green water and whirring noises. So what if in this one all he needs is what looks to me suspiciously like lighting equipment to literally capture someone’s soul? So what if this is a movie where the question is not ‘how is that possible?’, but more of a simple ‘eh?’ They acknowledge all this by having an old man who continually fails to grasp how, and even what, the Baron is doing; to which Cushing always sighs and complains ‘it’s very simple…’ Yeah, we are all the old man in this one. Especially when Cushing draws the following line -
Glowing red rocks = impenetrable force field = trapping soul in box = putting soul in another body
None of this is explained. They don’t even try. The answer to all the questions is - he’s Frankenstein and he can do what he bloody well likes. And given Cushing is prepared to freeze himself for an hour just to prove the soul doesn’t leave the body after death, it seems churlish to argue the point. He is definitely putting his money where his mouth is.
But, and here’s the point, who cares when the film is good? Thank God they forgot all about the Evil of Frankenstein. This is the true sequel to Revenge. Of course, the Baron is probably less evil, and definitely less ‘in another country stitching dead people together’ like he was at the end of Revenge. But it still feels like a sequel, right down to to the opening shot of the guillotine throwing back to the very first movie.
But my strong advice is that every time you think ‘Hang on, how the hell..?’, just forget it and enjoy the show. It doesn’t matter that there’s no earthly reason for the soul of the dead bloke to know who he should be taking his revenge on. All that matters is that his vengeful soul is inhabiting the body of his resurrected-by-Frankenstein true love who’s going to go around murdering the silly, posh bastards responsible for the whole mess. Which, let’s face it, is a pretty cool idea for a movie. Especially since she gets to seduce them first, which is nice for her having spent her pre-brought-back-from-the-dead life being made fun of by the same posh idiots for being crippled and ugly. So it’s sort of a two revenges for the price of one when you think about it.
And, alright, nobody ever talks about what’s going on with the Baron’s hands. Presumably there’s some reason he can’t use them. He’s always wearing gloves and frowning at them for no explained reason, but that means he’s utterly reliant on the genial, bumbling Doctor who he’s living with. And it is quite a cool idea that the literally unbelievable cosmetic surgery done on the dead girl which produces the blonde beauty is not performed by the Baron, as if the fact that he’s only produced monsters up to this point has more to do with the fact that he’s just not much of a surgeon as opposed to some fundamental reflection of the evil of the experiments. Anyway, what the hell, have fun with it! If this is the sequel to Revenge and the Baron got out of England somehow, who’s to say that story doesn’t involve damaging his hands, being rescued by the Doctor and gaining some insight into the power of glowing rocks to transport souls from one dead body to another. Right?
Look, I’m sure the Baron would take us aside and patiently explain the whats, whys, hows and reallys? if he could, but that would hold up the revenging and the Frankensteining, and that’s what we’re here for isn’t it? To enjoy the sets and surroundings of Hammer’s Bray Studios for one of the last times, to see cruel rich idiots get their comeuppance, to watch Cushing dashing about making adjustments to his ridiculous machinery, and to marvel at how, despite the copious amounts of alcohol drunk, no-one ever seems to pay for a drink. Because that sounds like a glorious world to me. Speaking of which…