Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell was released in the United States on June 12th, 1974. It was directed by Terence Fisher. The screenplay was written by Anthony Hinds. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is and installment in the Hammer Studios Series.
This film is the last of the Hammer Frankenstein films, in an attempt to connect all of the stories of the previous films and create something original. The movie begins with a medical student named Simon who is arrested for the "sorcery" of trying to create life out of dead matter. He is held accountable for his "disgusting science" and sent to the asylum. He discovers Victor Frankenstein is working as the doctor there under another name.
There is a strange female dynamic in this film that is not usually explored. Sarah, or Angel, has a calming effect on the inmates and the creature. This is probably because she is sympathetic to them since she is in the asylum because she is suffering after her father raped her. Her father is the director of the asylum, and rapes inmates all the time, so its no surprise that he also took advantage of his beautiful daughter. There is something to be said about the fact that she is a violated woman and tries to help those that are afflicted, especially the monster. There is a moment where her gaze with the monster is nothing but love. She loves the unlovable being in the film. It is also interesting to note that she was an inadequate lab assistant, and that Frankenstein suggests that she fulfill her place as a woman and mate with the monster. It is this suggestion that shows the films awkward commentary on the role of women in the Frankenstein story. They cannot create life adequately, and they are used as a last resort to fix the problem of creation.
The Sympathetic Creature
Another interesting theme in the film was that of sympathy that the creature draws out of the audience. He looks more ape than man, perhaps drawing reference to a primal being that gains sense, but more likely drawing off of the popularity of the Wolf Man films. The audience pities the monster immensely, especially when the brain of the professor inmate is put in him. Attention is drawn to the ability to see, since the creature completely changes when he gains sight. The monster reacts differently again when others see him for the first time, destroying people and furniture in his rage at being kept locked up. The monster has a lot of sense, which draws sympathy in that he is a rational being kept caged like an animal and not respected as a man. This is perhaps a commentary on the way people's environment influences them, seeing as he is a "normal" being when he is being loved by Sarah, but reacts violently when others scorn him.
Fisher, Terence, dir. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. Hammer Films, 1974.
"Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)." The Internet Movie Database. IMDB.com, INC, n.d. Web. 21 April 2016. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071519/