The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Director: Freddie Francis

Writer: Anthony Hinds (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Kiwi Kingston, Peter Woodthorpe, Sandor Eles

 

Plot: Upon returning to his home village to continue his experimental research, the destitute Dr. Frankenstein revives his old creature, but a hypnotist wants the monster to control for himself.


Tagline – The monster bred from a dozen corpses.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hammer Horror 101

 

Story: The Evil of Frankenstein starts when Baron Frankenstein (Cushing) returns home with Hans (Eles) to create his next monster, he finds a carnival in town which makes it easier for him to get around and see what has changed in his time away from the village.

While in hiding from the locals that learn of his return, Baron discover the body of the original creature (Kingston) frozen, he takes it back to his castle to bring it back to life once again, turning to hypnotist Zoltan (Woodthorpe) to help command him, only he has his own ideas on what to use the creature for.

 

Thoughts on The Evil of Frankenstein

 

Characters – Baron Frankenstein is tired of his work being interrupted, he needs equipment which takes him home to use his old castle, he isn’t happy with how the village is operating now, but will continue his work even if the person he turns to for help only makes his life more difficult. Zoltan is the hypnotist that is being run out of the village, he gets recruited by Baron to help control the creature, he soon starts using his own motives to control the creature to eliminate the people that got in his way. Hans is the loyal partner of Baron who helps him through his experiments without questioning him. The Creature has been frozen for years and now it is free again to follow instruction not from Baron, but from Zoltan.

PerformancesPeter Cushing is the icon of Hammer Horror and this shows why, he can make himself the strongest member of nearly any cast, this is no different. Kiwi Kingston as the creature is an imposing presence on the camera, while Peter Woodthorpe shows strength as the hypnotist with his own agenda.

StoryThe story fits into the Hammer Horror style of film making, lets just keep making sequels to our strongest movies, this is the third of seven which shows that we still us events of the first films and try to build around it with what to do with the creature that is different from before and we get a nice enough spin on where to go. This time we focus more on the battle between Baron and Zoltan for control of the creation while it goes on to scary the people of the village. This doesn’t however give enough time to the creature which is one of the main drawing points.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from the creature which shows us just how it terrified the local village, though it doesn’t feel as scary as it should be.

SettingsThe film returns to the main village setting which shows us just how the people will never forget what they once saw.


Scene of the Movie –
The creature attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough of the creature.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid sequel that showed us just how the hammer horror system worked, just cash in on the names that work well.

 

Overall: Hammer horror system working well.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – Z – Zorba the Greek (1964)

Director: Michael Cacoyannis

Writer: Michael Cacoyannis (Screenplay) Nikos Kazantzakis (Novel)

Starring: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas, Lila Kedrova, Giorgos Foundas, Sotiris Moustakas

 

Plot: An uptight English writer traveling to Crete on a matter of business finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic That Hasn’t Dated Well

 

Story: Zorba the Greek starts when uptight English writer Basel (Bates) heads to Crete, on his journey he meets Alexis Zorba (Quinn) who shows him the sites around the island using his social skills which makes him on of the most welcoming people Basil will ever meet.

As the two become friends we learn how Zorba has his lady Madame Hortense (Kedrova) waiting for him and he pushes Basil to follow the sparks he has with the Widow (Papas of the town, life lesson will be taught here for both of the men.

 

Thoughts on Zorba the Greek

 

Characters – Alexis Zorba is the Greek that knows everyone, gets on with everyone and is a pleasant guy with a haunted past. He takes Basil under his wing in Crete showing him how to come out of his shell. Basil is the English writer that travels to Crete to focus on his next book, he is uptight until Zorba starts showing him where the real stories in life can come from. We have two different lonely women, one a widow and one that has had her heart broken too often they become the objects of their affections.

PerformancesThe performances from the main cast are good throughout with the heavyweights of Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates showing their talents in the leading roles.

StoryThe story shows us how an Englishman visits a new country and starts living his life to the fullest after meeting a stranger with a lust for life, this does the traditional new world, new way of life ideas which Basil must go through, but otherwise this story is way too long without much happening or make too much sense. I found myself stopping this movie a lot because nothing was happening and it just became a dated classic for storytelling.

ComedyThis is meant to be some sort of comedy, I guess I missed the funniest moments?

SettingsThe film is set in Crete which does help Basil see a new style of life and it does look lovely.


Scene of the Movie –
First meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand the gang mentality here.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the film that won big at the Oscars, but the truth is that it just doesn’t pull you in as much as it once did near its release.

 

Overall: Not one I enjoyed.

Rating

 

 

Zulu (1964)

zluDirector: Cy Endfield

Writer: John Prebble, Cy Endfield (Screenplay) John Prebble (Article)

Starring: Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ula Jacobsson, James Booth, Michael Caine, Nigel Green

 

Plot: Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke’s Drift.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Story of Heroism

 

Story: Zulu starts as we see the aftermath of one of the Zulu warrior’s attacks on the British military post before we see how Otto Witt (Hawkins) and his daughter Margareta (Jacobsson) is trying to discuss peace. He learns that the Zulu warriors are about to attack the Rourke’s Drift post one of the strongest military posts the British have.

When Lieutenant Chard (Baker) arrives at Rourke’s Drift to help construct a bridge he clashes with LT Bromhead (Caine). As the Zulu approach the military post Chard and Bromhead clash on defensive techniques in what is the story of 4000 Zulu warriors against a mere 140 British soldiers in what is one of the most famous battles in military history.

 

Thoughts on Zulu

 

StoryThe story is easy to follow but when you look at history you are left to wonder (without doing research) why the British were at war with the Zulu’s in the first place. The story only shows one epic battle that the British actually won against what seemed like impossible odds at the time.

History/WarWhen you look through the history books we have seen the British have been involved in many wars but this one could well be one of the greatest victories against the odds in our military history.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are based on the real men who were fighting in the battle of Rourke’s Drift in what is considered a battle for true heroism. The performances are all great throughout the film showing how organised the British soldiers once were when it came to battle for King and country.

SettingsLooking at the settings we see they used South Africa as the main setting which makes us understand the climate and condition the soldiers would have had to fight under.

Final ThoughtsThis will always be one of the classic war films that shows just how the British managed to overcome the impossible odds, we get to understand the military decisions being made throughout which makes this one of the greatest of all time.

 

Overall: Classic that will always be considered one of the greatest.

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