Director: Terence Fisher
Screenplay: Anthony Hinds
Cast: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Robert Morris, Duncan Lamont
Producers: Anthony Nelson Keys
In order to pursue his diabolical experiments away from prying eyes, the tireless Baron Frankenstein has taken refuge in Karlstadt, a hole of a town in the middle of the Balkans. Obsessed with vanquishing death, his efforts are now focused on what religion commonly refers to as “the soul.” Radical scientist and dedicated atheist, he builds an electric device capable of extracting the soul at the time of death and transferring it into another body, thus bringing a hybrid being to life. When Hans, the Baron’s assistant, is wrongfully accused of murder and consequently beheaded, his disfigured fiancée Christina commits suicide. Seizing this opportunity, Frankenstein fixes Christina’s physical deformity and injects her with Hans’ soul.
Released in 1967, this fourth Hammer installment featuring Baron Frankenstein delivers the eagerly anticipated reunion between the master of the genre, Terence Fisher, and his favourite actor, Peter Cushing. Following THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN, also directed by Fisher, all of the myth’s conventional elements are played out — a seductive and conceited dandy, the Baron, a bit more calm and compassionate than previously (although just as brilliant), remains fundamentally focused on transgression, utterly ignoring the concept of blasphemy. He no longer creates beings of physical monstrosity, but of beauty. Now filled with kindness, he goes beyond life’s limits in order to reach some kind of ideal, inseparable love, personified by this androgynous creature that paves the way for DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE. Sadism, violence and sexual tension are still on the menu, although a strange melancholy permeates this new adventure. An unusual softness, in tune with the melodramatic themes presented, finally brings to the surface not horror for horror’s sake, but the fantastic in its all-powerful natural fascination. Driven by exemplary performances, concise direction built on repetition and the signature gothic aesthetic of Hammer, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN is a film of passionate strangeness, as classic as it is predictive of the myth’s decadence. It is the perfect introduction to one of fantastic cinema’s most intelligent sagas.