Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (UK 1969)

Rating: **
Review Date: 4/25/16
Director: Terence Fisher
Cast: Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Simon Ward, Freddie Jones, Thorley Walters

Baron Von Frankenstein (sinister Peter Cushing) is on the loose again, attempting to transplant brains between human hosts. A colleague of his named Dr. Brandt knows the secret to the procedure, but is locked away in a mental asylum. Frankenstein blackmails a young couple (Simon Ward and Veronica Carlson) into helping him transplant Brandt's insane brain into a healthy body, but his new creation (Freddie Jones) turns against him out of grief and self-loathing.

I've never seen Peter Cushing as vile and ruthless as he is in this film. Dr. Frankenstein is no longer a tragic and misunderstood scientist. Instead, he's a vicious and psychotic egomaniac, as well as a remorseless rapist and murderer who has no qualms with ruining people's lives in the name of science and progress. Simon Ward and Veronica Carlson are helpless against his influence, and their performances are a bit lifeless. Freddie Jones overacts as only he can, while a dopey inspector played by Thorley Walters attempts to provide comedic relief. Unfortunately, he just ends up being annoying. It's a fine looking production with a strong music score, but the pacing tends to drag a bit. Regardless, Hammer fans should be pleased.