Aubrey Schenck for Allied Artists
directed by Howard W. Koch
starring Boris Karloff, Tom Duggan, Jana Lund, Don 'Red' Barry, Charlotte Austin, Irwin Berke, Rudolph Anders, Norbert Schiller, John Dennis, Mike Lane, Jack Kenney, Joe Ploski, Otto Reichow, Franz Roehn
story by Charles A. Moses, Aubrey Schenck, screenplay by Richard H. Landau, George Worthing Yates, based on characters created by Mary W. Shelley, music by Paul Dunlap
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Times have been tough for Baron Victor (Boris Karloff), last of the
Frankensteins: Having been forced to perform human experiments under the
Nazi regime pretty much broke him, his family fortune has over the years
diminished to such an extent that he's facing bankruptcy, and to afford
the nuclear generator he needs (nobody seems to wonder what for), he had
to invite a TV team into his family mansion to film a horror TV show
hosted by him. Suffice to say, he doesn't enjoy this very much.
answer the question as to why he needs a nuclear generator - of course he
has a hidden lab in which he performs experiments to create an artificial
human. And while he uses the body of his own loyal servant (Norbert
Schiller) as a framework for his creature, he soon turns on the film crew
Now the film crew is full of love triangles though: The
director (Don 'Red' Barry) loves his leading lady (Jana Lund), but is
still married to his personal assistant (Charlotte Austin), who hasn't
given up on him despite the fact he has made it very clear he doesn't love
her no more. But his best buddy (Tom Duggan) is in love with the personal
assistant, even though she pushes him away. The baron though is drawn to
the leading lady ... as was his servant. Not sure if your head's spinning
right now or not, but in the end, after the film crew has been decimated
in numbers, the baron orders his creature to abduct the leading lady, but
she has some power over the creature's mind, and ultimately the creature
and the baron are killed in an exploding lab ...
attraction of this film is of course to see Boris Karloff play
Frankenstein himself rather than the monster, plus to modernize the story
is at least a nice angle - and the film starts pretty well, too,
contrasting a decidedly old-worldly and delightfully hammy performance by
Karloff with the very "American" film crew, which creates good
laughs and a nice tension - which soon falls by the wayside though for a
typical formulaic plot that fails to bring the premise to full effect and
is further marred by a rather lame monster (which is kept under wraps
until the finale.
You still might like it as a fun example of 1950's
drive-in cinema (I know I do), but the film certainly falls short of its