March 28, 2009

rhsmith on Karloff and Frankenstein 1970

FRANKENSTEIN 1970 (1958) wasn’t the first recursive horror film - that is to say, the first horror movie to employ an awareness of the genre’s standard tropes, gimmicks and guidelines within its plot to both inform and satirize the conventions of the genre (AIP’s HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER beat it to the streets by three weeks) but it certainly does deserve a modicum of credit for bringing onboard one of the greatest (and quite possibly the greatest) horror icons of all time…”

Thus writes rhsmith this week on Movie Morlocks, the TCM blog, in Like a Rembrandt!, a smart review of Frankenstein 1970, and an appreciation of the aging Boris Karloff.

Smith is a sharp, perceptive and funny writer. Check out his contributions to Movie Morlocks, scroll around, see for yourself. I blogged, previously, about his ode to Monster Kids. That one is a classic.

Frankenstein 1970
The Hand of Frankenstein


Christopher said...

Warners is releasing this on DVD around Halloween..
..THis is one of the first Frankensteins I saw on TV as a real little kid..For years I wondered what the title of this was and then in 1970 ,in fact,Icaught this on TV again..and there was my bucket headed Mummy!

Arbogast said...

Warners is releasing this on DVD

Well, that's one liner notes gig I won't be getting!

Danél Griffin said...

I wrote a review for this film a couple of years ago. Though I instinctually knew that it was a bad movie, I found myself admiring the sheer B-grade cheesiness of it and found it a delightful homage to Karloff's work in the Universal films. Because after all, to play both the Monster and the Doctor brings the actor full-circle, no matter the film's ultimate shortcomings.

My review at:

The Flying Maciste Brothers said...

Great movie, tho it never allowed itself to run its natural meta cinematic course and engage in the multiple dummy-deaths that the story inherently beggars. A shame, since it would have zoned it's thematic appreciation into the stratosphere! It comes very close -- The Flying Maciste Brothers like to think of FRANKENSTEIN 1970 as the WINKY DINK AND YOU of horror films -- every time the scenario hedges close to what could have been a perfect dummy-death, we pause the presentation and quickly draw it out for ourselves, then restart the action and continue. Interactive fun cloaking spine-pulverizing disappointment. It's an important Frankenstein film nonetheless -- can't wait for the DVD.

Wich2 said...

Wish I could buy the Revisionist Theory on this one; but I'll just have to continue to agree with what was evidently Karloff's opinion.


-Craig W.

Richard Harland Smith said...

Pierre, you are too kind. A great judge of character, but entirely too kind by half. You also have a flawless aesthetic. But much too, too terribly kind.