DVD Review “Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell (1974)”

frankensteinmonster-hellStarring: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant
Director: Terence Fisher
Rated: R (Restricted)
Distributed by: Warner Archive
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2013
Running Time: 93 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Peter Cushing is an actor that has and always will be one of the legendary faces of horror. “Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell” is a 1974 Hammer Film Productions. So when you hear the words Hammer and Cushing you know that you instantly have a winner here. Besides Cushing, the film co-stars Shane Briant and David Prowse (aka Darth Vadar in “Star Wars”). This film was well-known since it was also the final chapter in the Hammer Frankenstein saga of films, as well as director, Terence Fisher’s, last film. This was also the the sixth that Peter Cushing portrayed the role of Baron Frankenstein, which he originated back in 1957’s “The Curse of Frankenstein”. David Prowse, the man behind the suit, played Frankenstein’s monster again with his first been in “The Horror of Frankenstein”. Fun little fact, that he actually is the only actor to have played a Frankenstein’s monster in a Hammer production more than once. Not my favorite Hammer film but fans might want to check it out and add to their collection.

Official Premise: Terence Fisher makes his directorial denouement in the final Peter Cushing Hammer Frankenstein flick. This installment finds the mad doctor pretending to be a mad doctor in a madhouse thanks to some skeletons in the asylum director’s closet. Thanks to some ill-advised bodysnatching, a young protégé for the Baron (Shane Briant) arrives as an inmate and becomes the perfect apprentice from hell. The two set about restoring a monsterwork (David Prowse) of the doctor’s, but the creature proves beyond the pair’s control.

Warner Archive is behind this release and they consistently have been standing behind films like this and giving them first-time ever or long out-of-print reissues DVD releases. The DVD presentation is solid for a film of the 70’s on a low production. There hasn’t been any restoration or remastering on this title but like most Warner Archives it has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available. It is presented in 16×9 Widescreen and like I said, definitely looks solid. There is a Dolby Digital audio track included which works with the score and the Hammer atmosphere. The only special feature included is a commentary track by actors Madeline Smith, David Prowse, and Genre Historian Jonathan Sothcott.

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