This is a blog which primarily gives some attention to movies that I find were overlooked (for whatever reason) or are simply underrated. I also comment on other, mainly movie-related issues as well. I welcome any suggestions for films to be added to this distinguished list.

One word of warning: The films listed below contain spoilers, so caution during reading is required.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lady Frankenstein (1971)

"But to create life? Should Man leave that to God?"
"Here on Earth, Man is God!"
-Charles Marshall and Baron Frankenstein.

Normally, I wouldn't say anything like this here, but as a new year has begun and, in a matter of days, a new Presidential administration will start, I just wanted to say that, while I was also disappointed with the results of November's election, I feel optimistic that all of us will be able to continue to enjoy life!

My first 2017 post this is film, which has certainly grown on me over the years. Produced by Roger Corman's New World Pictures, this is an interesting variation on Mary Shelley's classic story Frankenstein.

It more or less begins as the other film adaptations of the novel do, with Baron Frankenstein (Joseph Cotten) obtaining corpses for his work. Soon, though, we begin to see what makes this film unique. The movie's title character, the Baron's daughter Tania (Sara Bey), comes home as a graduate from medical school and is eager to follow in her father's footsteps.

At the same time, the Baron and his assistant Dr. Marshall (Paul Muller) set their eyes on the body of a recently executed criminal, even though Lynch (Herbert Fux), their hired grave robber, is already under suspicion by authorities.

But the Baron and Marshall's experiment proves successful. However, their creation (played by Peter Whiteman) quickly kills the Baron before leaving the castle. Marshall and Tania, who was watching the experiment secretly, report the murder to police Capt. Harris (Mickey Hargitay) but they say the perpetrator was a burglar.

As the monster terrorizes the countryside, killing (among others) Lynch and a couple while they are having sex in the woods, Tania then expresses her romantic feelings for Marshall. But, this proves to be a ruse in order to create her own creature by placing Marshall's brilliant mind into the strong body of their retarded servant Thomas (Marino Mase).

As with her father, Tania's attempts to recreate life prove successful and her new creation manages to kill her father's just as the townsfolk begin to destroy the castle. Again like her father, Tania meets her fate at the hands of her own creation when her creature chokes her as they make love while the castle burns down around them.

Corman's productions were often noted for their less-than-convincing production values (although Corman's Edgar Allan Poe series with Vincent Price would prove an exception), and this movie follows suit in some ways. The Baron's monster, for instance, looks somewhat ridiculous.

But this movie has a nice atmosphere to it and, like Shelley's novel, it nicely illustrates how one's obsession can bring about their downfall.

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