Thursday, April 18

Anchor Bay's Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), I was mistaken...

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Back on April 5th in this entry detailing a problem with Millennium Films' recent Hammer Horror triple feature DVD, I went off on a little tangent and said this about Anchor Bay's out-of-print Frankenstein Created Woman, "Anchor Bay's DVD release from back in 2000 is perhaps the most infamous botch in their history....due to a widespread faulty pressing at the disc replicator, virtually every copy that shipped out was completely unplayable...only their quickly recalled and corrected THX disc of Dario Argento's Opera (1987) the following year rivals the scope of the problem with their never fixed dud Hammer."

I was mistaken in my remark about the initial screwed up release being never fixed. I forgot about the 2003 series of double features Anchor Bay issued before they let go of the licenses to many titles, including their The Hammer Collection. I picked up this double feature last weekend at a swap meet and the Frankenstein disc is indeed a 100% working repressing with different replicator mint marks than the standalone's dead disc.

As for the film itself, I have mixed feelings after finally seeing it. Being the fourth Frankenstein-themed horror produced by Hammer, it appears they felt a gimmick was needed to attract audiences. They found that in casting August '66 Playmate Susan Denberg as the monster. The model, wearing facial scar makeup, commits suicide over the wrongful execution of her lover who happened to be Frankenstein's errand boy. The film drags as nearly the whole first hour is spent dealing with the events leading up to his persecution and her tragic decision. So there's not much horror and only sporadic Cushing during this time. Then, when she's reanimated and made beautiful again by the hands of Frankenstein, she looks so different as she's exacting vengeance that it's hard to accept there's any connection to her prior living self (or her boyfriend).

However, as always, the screen lights up whenever Peter Cushing appears. Just a shame the dearly missed actor couldn't have had more screen time. He's the kind of presence one could be enthralled with simply watching him read the evening paper while eating a slice of toast. And after he'd slap you sideways for being so rude, you'd profusely thank him for such a culturally enriching experience.

a few screenshots, soft, but acceptable and 1.66:1 anamorphic

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