The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)



               If you go alone... you'll find yourself running all the way home!


The movie picks up from the Curse of Frankenstein, with Frankenstein (Peter Cushing again) facing execution for the crimes committed by his creature in the last film. But Frankenstein is, after all, a genius, and turns the tables on his would-be executioners, arranging for the replacement of the men operating the guillotine with two of his agents, who, at the last minute, force a convenient priest into the machine instead. The next night, Frankenstein and his followers hire a pair of petty criminals to dig up the grave that supposedly contains the doctor’s body (the coffin, of course, actually houses the dead priest) to provide fresh materials for another attempt at creating life.

Three years go by, and Frankenstein (under the name of “Dr. Stein”) relocates from his native Switzerland to Carlsbruck, Germany, where he has set up a thriving medical practice, siphoning away patients from all the local doctors, while simultaneously operating a public hospital for the poor. The neighborhood doctors are all incensed by this turn of events, which is made even more hard for them by Frankenstein’s refusal to join their monopolistic association.

However not all of the local doctors feel threatened by “Dr. Stein.” One, a certain Hans Kleve, actually sees the man’s presence in Carlsbruck as an opportunity. Kleve thinks he knows who “Stein” really is, and he is quite confident that he can blackmail the doctor into teaching him all about his research. Kleve’s instincts are right, not only as regards the new doctor’s true identity, but also in the matter of his susceptibility to blackmail. Frankenstein agrees, somewhat reluctantly at first, to take him on as a pupil, but it rapidly becomes clear that Kleve is at least as talented as his old accomplice Krempe, and the baron swiftly finds all sorts of uses for him. It is the doctor’s intention to transplant the brain of his assistant, Karl-- the right side of whose body was paralyzed by a blood clot-- into the new body he constructed over the past three years.  This time, Frankenstein has achieved something very much like the perfect facsimile of a man that had been his goal all along. Karl has agreed to donate his brain in the hope regaining the life he led before his illness crippled him, and when the transplant is performed, it certainly looks like a success.

However things never turn out the way you want them too. His problems stem ultimately from the fact that it takes some time for a brain to adjust to living in a new body. Frankenstein’s earlier experiments with reptiles and apes suggest that at least a week or two of more or less total inactivity is required for the transplant to take. Thus Karl spends his first several days in his new body strapped to a bed in the hospital attic. Deep down, Karl knows this is for his own good, but that doesn’t make him any less itchy to get up and take himself for a test drive. And conveniently enough, a soft-hearted woman named Margaret Conrad, who recently began working at the hospital, has it brought to her attention that there is a man strapped to a bed in a secret, locked room in the hospital. She goes to check it out, and discovers Karl, whose restraints she helpfully loosens, allowing him to free himself after she leaves.

This is not good....anything but the strictest adherence to Frankenstein’s regime will seriously endanger Karl’s proper recovery. To begin with, Frankenstein’s research has shown that the brain is fundamentally conservative, and will try to follow its accustomed habits unless great effort is expended to break it of them. For Karl’s purposes, this means that, without the baron’s intervention, his brain will most likely fall back into the habit of paralysis, even though there is nothing physically wrong with his new body. More ominous is the possibility suggested by the experience of Otto, Frankenstein’s chimp with an orangutan brain. Shortly after his operation, Otto suffered a stress-related brain injury that turned him into a cannibal... Can the Dr and his assistant find their latest creation????











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Directed by Terence Fisher
Produced by Anthony Hinds
Written by Jimmy Sangster
Starring Peter Cushing
Francis Matthews
Eunice Gayson
Michael Gwynn
Oscar Quitak
Music by Leonard Salzedo
Distributed by Hammer Studios
Release date(s) June 1, 1958
Running time 89 min.
Language English