Color, 1967, 91 mins. 50 secs.
Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Robert Morris, Peter Blythe, Barry Warren, Derek Fowlds, Alan MacNaughtan
Scream Factory (Blu-ray) (US RA HD) / WS (1.66:1) (16:9), Millennium Entertainment (Blu-ray & DVD) (US RA/R1 HD/NTSC), Anchor Bay (DVD) (US R1 NTSC), Lumiere, Studio Canal (DVD) (UK R2 PAL), e-m-s (DVD) (Germany R2 PAL), Shock (Blu-ray & DVD) (Australia R0 HD/PAL) / WS (1.78:1) (16:9)

An Frankenstein Creatd Womanunusually eccentric and poignant installment Frankenstein Creatd Womanin the Hammer Frankenstein cycle, Frankenstein Created Woman deliberately avoids the shambling, stitch-heavy monsters of previous films. Instead the incomparable Terence Fisher focuses his camera on the psychological consequences of a tormented soul coping not only with another body, but another gender as well. Incidentally, the title was supposed to be ...And Frankenstein Created Woman, but religious organizations were none too supportive.

After being revived from suspended animation, the fearless Baron Frankenstein (Cushing) continues his experiments with the aid of Dr. Hertz (Walters). Their assistant, the volatile Hans (Morris), gets into trouble at the local tavern, where his disfigured girlfriend, Christina (Playboy pinup Denberg), endures the taunts of the local privileged sons: Anton (Blythe), Johann (Fowlds), and Karl (Kiss of the Vampire's Warren, sporting an odd haircut). Following an accidental death, Hans is charged with murder and, following in the footsteps of his father, is executed by guillotine, all under the watchful, horrified eyes of Christina. The Baron decides to use Hans' body as the guinea pig in a new experiment involved the transference of souls, with Hans now inhabiting the vessel of a facially restored Christina. Unfortunately Hans' psyche dominates Christina and sends her on a vengeful rampage of murder, in which she receives her orders from her dead love's imaginary severed Frankenstein Creatd Womanhead. Frankenstein Creatd WomanThe Baron soon understands the disastrous results of his experiment and attempts to rectify the matter before it's too late.

One of the last Hammer gothic horrors that could really be termed subdued, Frankenstein Created Woman treats its lurid subject matter with a somber tone in keeping with Fisher's other tales of thwarted romance like Phantom of the Opera. Cushing is excellent as always, revealing a more multifaceted and even compassionate Frankenstein compared to the callous monster found the following year in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed! Though not a dynamic Hammer figure on a par with Barbara Shelley or Ingrid Pitt, Denberg holds her own on the screen despite her fully clothed appearance throughout the film. (Her legendary bikini shots with Cushing for the film were done for publicity purposes only.) The usual Hammer/Fisher crew is present and performing at full speed, with Arthur Grant handling photography chores with his usual colorful precision and composer James Bernard turning out another top notch score, much more tonal and romantic than his usual work. The concept of a man struggling within a woman's body provides some unusually perverse touches, such as Christina/Hans seducing one potential victim during a picnic; in some respects this could be seen as a forerunner to the more lurid '70s variation, Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.

Frankenstein Creatd WomanAnchor Bay's 2000 DVD of Frankenstein Created Woman was a big deal when it first appeared given that this film had received no prior Frankenstein Creatd WomanU.S. home video release. The disc looked quite solid for the time, albeit cropped to 1.78:1 from the original European aspect ratio of 1.66:1; it also includes the hyperbolic UK theatrical trailer, a combo trailer with The Mummy's Shroud, two TV spots, and the World of Hammer episode devoted to "Frankenstein" (25m56s). And don't miss those priceless menu screens. That release was later reissued by Anchor Bay as a combo DVD release with Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. Frankenstein Created Woman eventually got transplanted onto Blu-ray by Millennium in 2014 and (in Australia) Shock in 2013 in a passable but visually underwhelming release with an HD transfer that looked faded and digitally processed, albeit more detailed than the DVD at least. It also featured an unfortunate digital glitch that was never rectified. The lossy Dolby Digital English mono track also didn't impress on any level. At least the disc come with an excellent audio commentary with actors Derek Fowlds and Robert Morris in conversation with Jonathan Rigby, who have plenty of fun chatting about the production including strategic acting to avoid nudity, the fates of various other performers, and showbiz relations to some of the minor players as well. Video extras include a mostly irrelevant "Hammer Glamour" (44m7s) featurette (with Valerie Leon, Caroline Munro, Martine Beswicke, and Madeline Smith), the "Frankenstein" (25m56s) and "Peter Cushing" (24m54s) episodes of The World of Hammer (25m56s) by Oliver Reed, the theatrical trailer, and an extensive image gallery (7m8s).

Frankenstein Creatd WomanIn 2019, Scream Factory gave the film a much-needed overhaul with a Blu-ray edition (sporting striking new artwork by Mark Maddox) porting over all the supplements from the prior release (the commentary, trailer, and video extras) with a batch of welcome new goodies added as well. Thankfully the new transfer is a massive improvement Frankenstein Creatd Womanin every respect, restoring the much more pleasing and spacious 1.66:1 framing versus the earlier cropped 1.78:1 and featuring drastic upgrades in terms of detail and color timing throughout. It's a real treat to watch. The DTS-HD MA English mono audio is also in healthier shape and does justice to the fine score by James Bernard; English SDH subtitles are also provided. A new audio commentary with film historians Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr is absolutely recommended as well; their enthusiasm for this film is infectious as they dive into the "Fisherian" aspects of the film including its dark fairy tale aspects and frequently refer to the original script to cover aspects that were altered or trimmed on the way to the finished product. A new interview with Morris (11m19s) covers some of the same material but in a more linear fashion as he recalls the intricacies of shooting his bedroom scene with Denberg, the casting process, and the coordination of his big fight sequence. "Creating Frankenstein Created Woman" (12m13s) edits together interviews with camera assistant/clapper loader Eddie Collins and 2nd assistant director Joe Marks for a technical overview of the production and an interesting snapshot of the studio's daily working culture around that time. The solo and combo trailers are also included along with 90 seconds' worth of combo TV spots, radio spots, and separate galleries for stills and posters/lobby cards.

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Updated review on May 22, 2019.