Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

frankenstein must be destroyed poster 1969 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Better looking

Weird rape scene, but in a way makes the film interesting

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Studio:  Hammer Studios

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  May 22, 1969 (UK)/September 11, 1969 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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I’m on fire!

Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) continues his mad experiments to bring transplant human brains between bodies.  When he learns one of his contemporaries named Dr. Frederick Brandt (George Pravda) is in an insane asylum, he sets out to transfer his mind to gain his secrets.  Blackmailing his tenant Anna Spengler (Veronica Carlson) and her lover Dr. Karl Holst (Simon Ward) into helping him, Frankenstein is about to create a new monster that could be his doom!

Directed by Terence Fisher, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is the fifth entry in the Hammer Frankenstein series.  Following Frankenstein Created Woman in 1967, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed received mixed reaction from critics and creative differences between the actors, director, and the studios.

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What’s more awkward for actors than a rape scene? A rape scene that doesn’t fit into the story in any way and that no one wants

This entry in the Frankenstein series is just really odd.  The movie has Frankenstein once again returning to the completely evil Frankenstein of the first film and possibly one of the strangest moments in the series.

The movie does return to being a monster movie.  Frankenstein creates a new beast for the film and it once again is a rather sympathetic monster.  The path to create this monster however is where Frankenstein displays his most disturbing moment…but it wasn’t really his fault.

The movie involves Frankenstein blackmailing a couple to help him.  Victor enters the room of Anna and proceeds to rape her…and not just a fade-to-black rape…it is violent and dark (darker than I’ve seen Cushing).  The rape never comes up again.  The reason behind the rape was that the American  studios wanted more from the movie and despite the objections of Cushing, Carlson, and Fisher, the scene was put in…it is weird, uncharacteristic, and very unnecessary.

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I’m the 007 of the monster world!

Cushing (despite the awkward rape scene) is great as a villain.  I much prefer this darker take on the character simply because it is different than any other Frankenstein performance.  I like Freddie Jones’ tortured creature…plus, you don’t often see the Monster use a gun.  I feel sorry for the characters of Veronica Carlson and Simon Ward because it feels that once Frankenstein goes on the run, they just get sidelined and unceremoniously dispatched.

The movie looks quite good and looks a bit better than the previous entry.  I like having a monster back and the film looks more modern than earlier entries.  Stylistically, it might not fit in great with the series, but by 1969, the Hammer movies needed to look better if they had any chance of survival.

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a weird movie.  I actually like it a bit better due to its weird story.  The movie doesn’t work as a whole due to the one scene, but in that one scene, it says a lot about Hollywood and what sells.  Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed was followed by The Horror of Frankenstein in 1970.

Related Links:

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Frankenstein Creates Woman (1967)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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