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Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell opens with the capture and involuntary commitment of one of Baron Frankenstein’s disciples, a young doctor called Simon Helder. Helder hires a local alcoholic to rob graves for his experiments and keeps a jar of eyeballs in his workroom where he studies the Baron’s books and tries to make him a man. In the insane asylum, he discovers his unknowing mentor working as the staff doctor, having blackmailed the director of the asylum into helping him fake his own death. Baron Frankenstein enlists Helder’s help in the daily medical care of the other patients, but Helder soon discovers that Frankenstein still strives towards much more grotesque achievements using the patients as unwilling donors.

Your enjoyment of this film must depend on a few factors: your love for Hammer, your level of Peter Cushing fandom, and/or your desire to stare at Madeline Smith. I have a prideful weakness in that I hate to admit to being bored because it seems like in doing so I am admitting intellectual defeat; however, in the case of this film I have to say check and mate, or game, set, match, or whatever metaphor you want to use to convey that the movie won and I lost. I was bored. Also, I was unimpressed with the monster, who looked like a gorilla. One often reads about the terrible decline of Hammer, and this movie encapsulates it.

I only have one more thing to discuss. In a couple of instances we see men in their coffins who are wearing white burial shrouds, and that image horrifies me much more than anything else with the possible exception of all the eyeballs in this movie. I’d rather be faced with the image of a dead person in a nice suit and tie, looking like they’re about to embark on a magnificent journey! A journey which hopefully will not take them through the middle of this film.

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