For the next two Saturday nights on MeTV, we will be bringing back Hammer Studios’ original takes on the classic monsters with which Universal began its horror dynasty! Tonight, it’s the Hammer version of the story in which a brilliant scientist is obsessed with creating life. The great Peter Cushing sets out to create life from dead tissue- only to also give life to the “Curse of Frankenstein”!
In this 1957 Hammer classic –which was the studio’s first color horror film- we visit the cell where Victor Frankenstein is imprisoned-as he awaits execution for murder! A visiting priest, usually on hand to hear a final confession, gets much more-as Victor relates the full story of how he came to this terrible end- starting with his youth, as a brilliant lad with a great scientific mind, who gains total control of his family’s estate, giving just a small portion of his wealthy to his aunt and her daughter Elizabeth. The young genius hires a scientist, Dr. Paul Krempe, to tutor him and advance his scientific knowledge- but soon, the pupil has surpassed his teacher, and is teaching HIM a great deal.
The pair begins to collaborate on experiments in restoring life, and, after some encouraging results, Victor feels they are ready to take the next step- bringing life to a body composed of parts of dead men! Paul is outraged and reluctant, but assists his young master nonetheless-until things reach a point where he cannot, in good conscience, continue obtaining the remains of the dead. Things are complicated further when Victor’s cousin Elizabeth- now grown into a beautiful adult woman- comes to live with them. Also in the household-the house maid Justine, who is revealed to have a secret “special relationship” with her boss.
On his own, Victor continues to salvage human body parts, and, wanting only the finest brain for his creation, commits yet another in a long line of unspeakable acts. Paul’s interference on the side of right brings about more tragedy. He pleads with Elizabeth, who has had no knowledge revealing what is transpiring, begging her to leave Victor’s house, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. She can’t believe him, and is still of the mindset that she will marry Victor (Yes, I know, they are cousins, but, back then…)
Victor completes his plan to bring his creature to life- but that success only brings more horror and tragedy! Can Paul manage to interfere in Victor’s (and his creation’s) ongoing acts of evil-and rescue Elizabeth from the terror that dwells within the estate?
This is a slightly different version of the tale than the classic Universal version in several ways, and also utilizes some ideas from the original book by Mary Shelley. We’ll discuss that, and talk about the fine cast- including Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein (a role he would return to time and again), the alluring Hazel Court as Elizabeth- and Christopher Lee in his first horror pairing with Cushing, debuting as Frankenstein’s creation (we’ll explain why he was chosen for the part)! We’ll have a song for you, as well as other Sven shtick- as presented while Sven was doing the show remotely during the pandemic.
“Curse of Frankenstein” shows up tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time. We continue to trend highly on Twitter thanks to viewers live-Tweeting during the show using the hashtag #svengoolie , and MeTV invites you to join in. Our Chicago viewers get an encore of “The Devil’s Rain” this morning at 11 am on our local station, CW26.
If you are in the Chicago area, we will be at the Flashback Weekend horror convention this afternoon, and at the C2E2 comics and entertainment convention at the Chicago lakefront’s McCormick Place tomorrow. Check the “appearances” tab here on our website for specific details.
Also- next Tuesday, August 9, there will be a special ceremony taking place in Berwyn (Yes, Berwyn!) in which I will be honored by the Mayor and our favorite town! This is a daytime event- taking place at Serenity Park at 1:30 pm. You are invited to attend- and even dress as me, or in your Sven gear! If you plan to attend, please send an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org The event will be filmed for a documentary, and your RSVP will be considered consent to be filmed.
Meanwhile,join us tonight for the film that many say started Hammer Studios’ ascension to the new top horror film production house!