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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Frankenstein Created Woman [Blu-ray]

 

(Terence Fisher, 1967)

 

 

There is also a Region FREE Australian Blu-ray available here:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Millennium Entertainment / Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' / 'A'  (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:31:40.250 / 1:31:49.962   

Disc Size: 21,840,914,982 bytes / 48,685,227,726 bytes

Feature Size: 14,689,179,648 bytes / 24,706,191,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.91 Mbps / 32.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 28th, 2014 / June 11th, 2019

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 / 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1571 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1571 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles (both):

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Commentary featuring Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris and Jonathan Rigby

Frankenstein Created Woman trailer (2:28)

World of Hammer Episode with Roy Skeggs - The Curse of Frankenstein (25:56)

World of Hammer Episode - Peter Cushing (24:54)

New Documentary - Hammer Glamour (44:05)

Animated Stills Gallery (7:06)

Envelope with 5 'Exclusive" Collector Cards

 

• NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman And Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr
• NEW Interview With Actor Robert Morris (11:19)
• NEW Interview With Camera Assistant/Clapper Loader Eddie Collins And 2nd Assistant Director Joe Marks (12:13)
• Audio Commentary By Actors Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris, And Film Historian Jonathan Rigby
• World Of Hammer Episode The Curse Of Frankenstein (24:46)
• World Of Hammer Episode Hammer Stars: Peter Cushing (24:44)
• Hammer Glamour Featurette (44:10)
• Theatrical Trailers (4:37)
• TV Spots (1:24)
• Radio Spots (1:44)
• Still Galleries – Movie Stills, Posters, And Lobby Cards

 

Bitrates:

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Description: Hammer Studios followed up Evil of Frankenstein with this entertaining sequel, again starring Peter Cushing as the quintessential mad scientist obsessed with the reanimation of dead bodies and the creation of superhuman creatures. His latest project involves transferring the mind of a wrongly-executed man into the body of his lover (former Playboy centerfold Susan Denberg), whose own suicide left her horribly disfigured. After restoring her beauty, the Doctor performs the mind-transference, which comes off without a hitch... until the lust for revenge against his executioners begins to surface. He/she then pursues this vendetta by seducing and murdering those who wronged him. Hammer stalwart Terence Fisher directs this quirky entry with his usual flair -- aided considerably by a decent budget -- and spices things up with a fair share of titillation (courtesy of Ms. Denberg).

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

The Film:

A dead and frozen Baron Frankenstein is re-animated by his colleague Dr. Hertz proving to him that the soul does not leave the body on the instant of death. His lab assistant, young Hans, is found guilty of murdering the local pub owner with whom he had an argument where he foolishly swore to kill the man and Frankenstein acquires his body immediately after the execution. Hans had been quite friendly with the dead man's daughter Christina who returns just in time to see him guillotined. Distraught, she commits suicide and is brought back to life by the good Doctor but with Hans' brain replacing her own. As memories return to her - Hans' memories in fact - she sets out to pursue and kill those responsible for having sent him to his death. ...Frankenstein Created Woman (1967).

Excerpt from Amazon located HERE

A bit of history is in order here. Hammer Films was founded in 1932 and spent its first few decades doing the same thing as other British film concerns--that is, struggling to find an audience. Their farce comedies and crime thrillers were competently made, even fitfully brilliant, but remained stubbornly local. Then, in the mid-1950s, the studio's management noted that a few of their science fiction offerings were performing better at the box office than anything they'd done before--and had even started to crack the elusive American market. Hoping to chase that success, the studio produced a pair of horror films adapted loosely from the stories of Frankenstein and Dracula. These were not like the gothic horror films that Universal Studios had made their bread and butter. Instead, The Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula (1958) were ripe with sexuality and Technicolor gore. They were instant sensations, earning back more than thirty times what they cost to make, and establishing "Hammer Horror" as an internationally-recognized brand name for a special kind of screen entertainment.

The producer of these breakthrough hits was Anthony Hinds, son of one of Hammer's founders. In addition to being a producer, he was also a writer--a fact he concealed by use of the pseudonym John Elder. In a playful nod to Roger Vadim's And God Created Woman (1956), he sketched out a story for an immediate sequel, to be titled And Frankenstein Created Woman -- but decided to set the script aside in favor of another approach. That script would simmer on a back burner for years, maturing like a fine wine.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Frankenstein Created Woman is a lesser, if still highly interesting, late 60's Hammer Studios feature that is surfacing on Blu-ray. This transfer is not a good representation of the HD format's capabilities but there are a few positives.  It is single-layered but 1080P and the visuals are fairly consistent although there are speckles. It has been moved from the original 1.66:1 to 1.78 aspect ratio but I wouldn't say composition suffers terribly. Colors seem a shade dampened but retain a rich quality. Black levels seem solid enough and detail is modest. This Blu-ray does a fair job with the print which seems in acceptable condition - it could have benefited with a good cleaning though. There is no real depth - appearing mostly flat and I don't see excessive digital manipulation. The outdoor sequences look the most impressive. Overall, it seems ahead of SD - but not by a significant amount Home Theatre devotees of the new format might be anticipating.

 

The Shout! Factory is a massive improvement over the Millennium Blu-ray edition. The new Blu-ray is in the proper 166:1 aspect ratio, show more information in the frame, detail advances and the overall image tightens, it has over 50% higher bitrate on  dual-layered disc, colors are richer (there is a blue-leaning where the Millennium had an earthy brown tinge) and contrast is more layered. There are minor speckles but no distracting.  Not much of a contest with the Shout! Factory winning hands down.  

 

NOTE: We have added 29 more large resolution Shout! Factory Blu-ray captures for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY (1920 X 1080) CAPTURE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 

Audio :

No boost going on here - only a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 channel track as Millennium does not taking advantage of incorporating a lossless audio track.  There are, optional, Universal-like English subtitles positioned underneath the character speaking. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Another hefty improvement for the Shout! factory transfer with a 24-bit lossless DTS-HD Master track. This is evident in every aspect of the film's audi including the score is by James Bernard (Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge) and is one of the appealing characteristics creating some desirable Hammer-esque atmosphere. There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

There are some very worthwhile extras - a commentary featuring knowledgeable Hammer experts Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris and Jonathan Rigby who cover extensive details of the studio and this particular production as well as Cushing and the other performers. We also get two 25-minute World of Hammer Episodes with Roy Skeggs - one entitles The Curse of Frankenstein and another solely on Peter Cushing. Some may be keen on the new documentary Hammer Glamour which runs just shy of 45-minutes. I assume it is relating to the book of the same name (HERE) and the video has five of Hammer's females stars - Valerie Leon, Caroline Munroe, Martine Beswicke, Vera Day and Madeline Smith reflecting back on working in the genre. They offer some interesting stories. There is also a trailer, an animated stills gallery and the package contains an envelope with 5 'Exclusive" Collector Cards.

 

As well as the previous commentary with Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris, And film historian Jonathan Rigby, Shout! Factory also add a new audio commentary with author/Film Historian Steve Haberman (Silent Screams: The History of the Silent Horror Film) and Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr. It is delightful, informative and well-worth the indulgence offering comparisons to other Hammer efforts and discussion of the studio's regulars. There are also new interviews with 80+ year old actor Robert Morris, who played Hans in Frankenstein Created Woman lasting a dozen minutes. There is a 10-minute new interview with camera assistant/clapper loader Eddie Collins and 2nd assistant Director Joe Marks recalling the production. There are vintage (and duplicated) supplements like the World Of Hammer episodes The Curse Of Frankenstein and another on Hammer Star: Peter Cushing running over 20-minutes each. The same 3/4 hour Hammer Glamour featurette is included and theatrical trailers, TV and Radio Spots plus a stills galleries of glossies, posters, and Lobby cards.

 

Millennium - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I thought the Blu-ray presentation was only okay. The film had that indefinable Hammer charm that is so addictive. I appreciate the effort that went into this Blu-ray package with the extras. Frankenstein Created Woman is niche Hammer but it still offered much of what we love about the studio's Horrors. Cushing really adds a beneficial ingredient. The Blu-ray certainly has enough going for it to recommend to Hammer fans although we hope for a better edition soon!

 

Frankenstein Created Woman is lovable Hammer fodder with Peter Cushing and sexy Susan Denberg. It is not an iconic effort from the studio (more murder than horror) but is memorable and full of the charismatic charm that we covet from Hammer. Shout! Factory's Blu-ray wins in every category - a/v as well as new, extras, the commentaries and interviews garner appreciation and fans should pick this up as the definitive issue to-date.   

 

Gary Tooze

January 18th, 2013

June 11th, 2019

 

 

 

 

There is also a Region FREE Australian Blu-ray available here:

Released by Shout! Factory on Blu-ray, June 11th, 2019:

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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