The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Costume Horror, Creature Film, Gothic Film  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Robert Firsching

This was the film that brought the horror genre out of its long slump and put Hammer Films on the map. The studio dominated horror films for most of the next two decades, producing dozens of stylish costume Gothics, most of which were explicit variants on the Universal classics of yesteryear. Jack Asher's gorgeous Eastmancolor cinematography and lush sets disguise the low budget, and although Baron Frankenstein's internal struggle is not as complexly delineated as it would become in subsequent entries, Peter Cushing's performance remains a fascinating one. As the monster, Christopher Lee is relegated to stumbling around in tatty-looking Phil Leakey makeup and choking people while Cushing carries the film, but his pantomime skills give the creature a bit of personality regardless. Lee would get his chance in the spotlight the following year in director Terence Fisher's masterful Horror of Dracula, and would go on to become the king of '60s horror.