Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Howard W. Koch|
George Worthing Yates
|Screenplay by||Richard H. Landau|
Charles A. Moses
|Based on||characters from Frankenstein (1818 novel) by Mary Shelley (uncredited)|
|Music by||Paul Dunlap|
|Cinematography||Carl E. Guthrie|
|Edited by||John A. Bushelman|
Aubrey Schenck Productions
|Distributed by||Allied Artists Pictures Corporation|
Frankenstein 1970 is a 1958 science fiction/horror film, shot in black and white CinemaScope, starring Boris Karloff and featuring Don "Red" Barry. The independent film was directed by Howard W. Koch, written by Richard Landau and George Worthing Yates and produced by Aubrey Schenck. It was released theatrically in some markets on a double feature with the Zsa Zsa Gabor film Queen of Outer Space.
Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) has suffered torture and disfigurement at the hands of the Nazis as punishment for not cooperating with them during World War II. Horribly disfigured, he nevertheless continues his work as a scientist. Needing funds to support his experiments, the Baron allows a television crew to shoot a made-for-television horror film about his monster-making family at his castle in Germany.
This arrangement gives the Baron enough money to buy an atomic reactor, which he uses to create a living being, modeled after his own likeness before he had been tortured. When the Baron runs out of body parts for his work, however, he proceeds to kill off members of the crew, and even his faithful butler, for more spare parts. Finally, the monster turns on the Baron, and they are both killed in a blast of radioactive steam from the reactor. After the reactor is shut down and the radiation falls to safe levels, the monster's bandages are removed, and an audio tape is played back in which the Baron reveals that he had intended for the monster to be a perpetuation of himself, because he was the last of the Frankenstein family line.
- Boris Karloff as Baron Victor von Frankenstein
- Tom Duggan as Mike Shaw
- Jana Lund as Carolyn Hayes
- Donald Barry as Douglas Row
- Charlotte Austin as Judy Stevens
- Irwin Berke as Inspector Raab
- Rudolph Anders as Wilhelm Gottfried
- Norbert Schiller as Schutter, Frankenstein's butler
- John Dennis as Morgan Haley
- Mike Lane as Hans Himmler / the Monster
Alternative titles during pre-production included Frankenstein's Castle, Frankenstein 1960, and Frankenstein 1975. Shot in a mere eight days on a modest budget, the film was finally titled Frankenstein 1970 to add a futuristic touch. The film's main set was borrowed from the 1958 movie Too Much, Too Soon.
For several years, only a pan and scan VHS tape of the film was available. In October 2009, Warner Brothers released the DVD Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics, which includes Frankenstein 1970 as one of its four films, and features an audio commentary by one of the film's co-stars, Charlotte Austin, and fan historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns.
- Jacobs, Steven. (2011) Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomahawk Press. p.418
- Weaver, Tom. (2000) It Came from Horrorwood: Interviews with Moviemakers in the SF and Horror Tradition. McFarland. p.279
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