Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell was the last of the Hammer Frankenstein series, as well as Terence Fisher’s final film. It is generally regarded as a weak swansong. At first glance, it seems a remake of The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), but with a noticeably reduced budget.
Peter Cushing, in his final portrayal of Baron Frankenstein, inexplicably sports a curly blond wig which makes him look a bit like a deranged Shirley Temple, and he looks alarmingly emaciated. Off-screen, the actor’s wife had died, after a long illness, only the previous year, in 1971 (Monster from Hell was filmed in 1972 and remained on the shelf for two years). Cushing was openly despondent and in intense mourning. He later admitted to having had suicidal tendencies during this period. Cushing never remarried, nor did he ever fully recover from the loss. The toll of that recent personal tragedy is clearly visible on him in this film and, despite all of the atrocities committed by his character, that off-screen blow adds a layer of wearied pathos revealed in the actor’s eyes. Continue reading TERENCE FISHER’S FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MOSTER FROM HELL (1974)