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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Blood of Frankenstein")

 

Directed by Terence Fisher
UK 1958

 

Death has never stopped anyone from crafting a sequel to a successful film, but Terence Fisher and screenwriter Jimmy Sangster rather ingeniously twist the climactic execution of The Curse of Frankenstein into the opening of The Revenge of Frankenstein. With a cold-blooded flourish that would become his trademark, Frankenstein plots his escape and sends an innocent (a priest, no less) to take his place on the guillotine, leaving himself free to continue his experiments. As the new head of a hospital for the poor, he builds a body for his crippled assistant from parts amputated from his patients, but body battles mind for supremacy and turns the newly ambulatory man into a bloodthirsty cannibal. Once again Fisher makes the most of a constricted budget, turning his poorhouse hospital into a cramped, dank hole and splurging on another colorful laboratory of buzzing devices and a centerpiece tank for his suspended creature. There are few innocents in the Frankenstein films and this is no different: high-society dandies are hypocrites, poorhouse patients thieves and opportunists, and of course the driven doctor is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to achieve his goal. The clever conclusion, which lays the groundwork for the next sequel, was curiously ignored when the third installment finally arrived six years later in The Evil of Frankenstein.

--Sean Axmaker from Amazon

***

The final scene of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Hammer Films' startling and enormously influential initial effort in the field of horror films, features the good Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) being marched to a date with the guillotine. In spite of the finality of this punishment for dabbling in the realm of God by creating life from a sewn-together amalgam of dead bodies, Hammer knew that there would be a sequel; or, at least, Hammer head James Carreras did. Producer Anthony Hinds told Little Shoppe of Horrors years later that he and screenwriter Jimmy Sangster must not have given any thought to a sequel when they wrote The Curse of Frankenstein, "...because I can well remember Jimmy and I rubbing our hands together with satisfaction when we wrote the last scene - in which the Baron went to the guillotine - saying: 'They can't possibly ask for a sequel now!' But they did, and we had to devise a way for him to escape the blade." When he announced in 1958 that a sequel was indeed in the works, Carreras jokingly told The Sunday Express, "Oh, we sew his head back on again!"

The Revenge of Frankenstein, in fact, begins just where the previous film left off, as Frankenstein (Cushing) is led to the guillotine in 1860 "for the brutal murders committed by the monster he had created." We see the blade fall, and later two grave robbers (played by Hammer regular Michael Ripper and future ubiquitous character actor Lionel Jeffries) arrive to dig up the coffin and find a beheaded priest buried in place of the Baron. Much to their horror, Frankenstein arrives on the scene with his deformed assistant Karl (Oscar Quitak). He explains that Karl had performed a switch at the guillotine in exchange for the promise a new body.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 1st, 1958

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Millcreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

 

  

Part of Indicator's Hammer Volume Four: Faces of Fear with THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, TASTE OF FEAR, THE DAMNED:

Distribution Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:29:56.015     1:29:56.682 
Video

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,146,896,627 bytes

Revenge Feature: 11,634,223,104 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,328,826,870 bytes

Feature: 26,553,910,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.80 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Millcreek Blu-ray:

Bitrate Indicator Blu-ray:

Audio Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

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 None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Mill Creek
 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,146,896,627 bytes

Revenge Feature: 11,634,223,104 bytes

Curse Feature: 10,380,029,952 bytes 

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 16.00 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• None

Blu-ray Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 4

Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,328,826,870 bytes

Feature: 26,553,910,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.80 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with film historians Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby (2019)
• Audio commentary with horror and fantasy authors Stephen Jones and Kim Newman (2019)
Back from the Dead: Inside ‘The Revenge of Frankenstein’ (2019, 21:21): new and exclusive documentary, featuring Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby, exploring aspects of the film’s production
• Hammer’s Women: Eunice Gayson (2019, 7:48): profile of the Hammer star by film historian Pamela Hutchinson
• A Frankenstein for the 20th Century (2019, 26:37): video essay by film historian Kat Ellinger and Dima Ballin
Arpeggios of Melancholy (2019, 12:57): appreciation of composer • Leonard Salzedo’s score by David Huckvale, author of Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde
Outtakes reel (1958, 11:43, mute): rare, unseen on-set footage
• Super 8 version (8:17, b&w, mute): cut-down home cinema presentation
• Original theatrical trailer (2:17)
Joe Dante trailer commentary (2013, 1:59): short critical appreciation
• Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
• Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Marcus Hearn, Kieran Foster on Hammer’s unrealised Tales of Frankenstein television series, Jimmy Sangster on The Revenge of Frankenstein, a selection of promotional materials, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits
 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 25th, 2019
Custom Blu-ray Package (see below)

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (October 2019): Indicator have transferred Terence Fisher 's The Revenge of Frankenstein to 1080P Blu-ray in a new 4K restoration. It is part of Indicator's Hammer Volume Four: Faces of Fear with THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, TASTE OF FEAR, THE DAMNED: There is some blue and green in the 1080P image, and this may very well be accurate, but the detail handily advances over the softer Millcreek regardless. Skin tones warm on the UK HD presentation and it shows distinctly more texture. The Indicator is vastly superior with double the bitrate. 

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement over the lossy Dolby transfer of the Millcreek. This is highly notable in the score by Leonard Salzedo (who did a few Hammer Noirs - Race for Life, Blonde Bait etc), sounding a bit deeper with more cleaner dialogue. Indicator offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Indicator Blu-ray has a plethora of supplements. I loved both, new, audio commentaries - the first with film historians Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby who know heaps more than they can export about The Revenge of Frankenstein during the running time but they work great together and provide a lot of Hammer anecdotal data that keep the film fresh and enjoyable. I really enjoyed the second audio commentary with horror and fantasy authors Stephen Jones and a very enthusiastic Kim Newman as they talk a lot of about other Hammer efforts and the lack of sexualized women in Revenge of Frankenstein. These are both fabulous additions to the disc. Back from the Dead: InsideThe Revenge of Frankenstein’ is a new (2019) and exclusive documentary featuring Alan Barnes, Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby, exploring aspects of the film’s production. It runs 21-minutes. We get another chapter of Hammer’s Women. This one on Eunice Gayson - a profile of the Hammer star by film historian Pamela Hutchinson running 8-minutes. A Frankenstein for the 20th Century is a wonderful new video essay by film historian Kat Ellinger and Dima Ballin that runs 26-minutes. It explores many facets including discussion of the Gothic period and is an essential watch. Arpeggios of Melancholy is a new 13-minute appreciation of composer Leonard Salzedo’s score by David Huckvale, author of Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde. There is a sound-less Outtakes reel with rare, unseen on-set footage. Another Super 8 (also mute) cut-down (8-minute) home cinema presentation, an original theatrical trailer plus a Joe Dante TFH trailer commentary (from 2013) as a short critical appreciation. Lastly is an image gallery of promotional and publicity materials and the package includes a limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Marcus Hearn, Kieran Foster on Hammer’s unrealized Tales of Frankenstein television series, Jimmy Sangster on The Revenge of Frankenstein, a selection of promotional materials, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits

One of the more re-watchable 'Hammer' films (although - aren't most?) - and it has a uniqueness that is analyzed in the commentaries and extras. The Revenge of Frankenstein has Fisher's fine genre storytelling and abundant Hammer charisma. It's another Blu-ray package that will go in the 'rewatchable shelf'. Indicator just keep impressing - 'WOW'.

***

ADDITION: Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray September 16': Like Hammer Film Double Feature - The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll & The Gorgon (compared HERE), Mill Creek's 2016 Blu-ray transfer is also technically underwhelming - the two features share a single-layered Blu-ray disc supporting a modest bitrate (16 Mbps) and only lossy audio (no improvement). There are no extras and no optional subtitles. To be fair The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb does, visually, look better than the old DVD. We lose the orangey-ness of the SD flesh tones and film textures, on both titles, looks much better.

We only compared The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, part of the old Sony DVD set - reviewed HERE, to this Blu-ray. We are anxious to obtain and review Universal's 2016 Hammer Horror 8-Film Blu-ray Collection.

Big bonus here, though, is the price. Fans should probably nab it - for me the inclusion of Revenge of Frankenstein in 1080P was appreciated as I really like this particular Hammer film. Fans should nab this at the low price. 

Gary Tooze

 


Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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1) Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

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Box Cover

 

  

Part of Indicator's Hammer Volume Four: Faces of Fear with THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, TASTE OF FEAR, THE DAMNED:

Distribution Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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