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CUSHING/HAMMER'S 'FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL'

Madelyn Smith Year: 1974 Rating: ****

Before STAR WARS, Peter Cushing and David Prowse, Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader, appeared in Hammer's final FRANKENSTEIN titled AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL, with Prowse the monster and we know — directed by veteran Terence Fisher — who Cushing plays: Although he's Dr. Victor, working in a prison-like insane asylum with his new assistant, pretty boy Shane Briant, technically the second assistant to Hammer ingenue Madeline Smith. And the monster, resembling Al Capone trapped in a bad Neanderthal costume, is far too brooding and reluctant to be the movie's worthwhile creature unlike Briant's fitfully game cohort... 

So the best scenes are before the creation since the asylum, while lacking the colorful Victorian glory of past Hammer horrors, is a dark, gloomy, Gothic setting that feels very lived-in and palpable... Cushing, meanwhile, is as cool, collected and darkly humorous as ever, and beginning his extremely emaciated, gaunt-faced look (legendary in STAR WARS), this is the best Frankenstein since REVENGE, getting right down to business as opposed to the campy hippie-era distractions. For like Alfred Hitchcock was finally allowed to show realistic nudity in a murder during the 1970's, we see the surgery's brain, all gooey and gross and right up front, making this Hammer Frankenstein's very own free-for-all FRENZY

David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL

David Prowse and Peter Cushing in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Madeline Smith in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Madeline Smith & Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Madeline Smith & Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Madeline Smith & Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing & Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Madeline Smith & Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Shane Brient & Peter Cushing in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Shane Brient & Peter Cushing in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Madeline Smith in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing and David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing and David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Madeline Smith & David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing and David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
David Prowse in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL
Peter Cushing, Madeline Smith and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

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