Frankenstein Created Woman

Starring: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg and Thorley Walters
Warner Home Video
RRP: 7.99
Certificate: 12
Available 11 October 2004

Baron Frankenstein, with the aid of Dr Hertz, has proved through experimentation on himself that the soul remains within the body at least an hour after death. He plans to imprison the soul of a dead person, repair the body, and return it, giving the person life once more. He will cheat death itself. When a young man called Hans is wrongly accused of murder and executed at the guillotine, Frankenstein obtains the body and secures the soul. However, a scarred and twisted but otherwise beautiful young woman called Christina was in love with Hans and commits suicide by drowning herself. Frankenstein and the doctor repair her body and instil the soul of Hans. His soul soon takes control and the woman sets out to take retribution on those men really responsible for the murder...

Although not a patch on The Curse of Frankenstein, this 1967 version of the story is different enough to maintain your interest. Rather than the securing together of body parts to make a living creature, here we have an intact but surgically improved (her large facial scar is healed and her spine deformity corrected) woman returned from the dead with a soul not her own. Although she initially has no idea of her former identity, Hans, in the form of a soul, seems to have maintained his integrity and faculties.

Hans in life had slept with Christina but has no intention of darkening her honour in front of others, even if it is the police and it means he has an alibi for his whereabouts on the night of the murder. This is all very proper, if unlikely (even in this setting of more than a hundred years ago), but it has to beggar the question: If Hans was so genuine his entire life, not even arguing or raising his voice during the trial, why would his soul (which if anything would presumably be pure) want to suddenly start killing, no matter how justified?

Ty Power

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