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The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
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Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Peter Cushing
Francis Matthews
Eunice Gayson
Michael Gwynn.
Directors
Terence Fisher.
Screenwriters
George Baxt
Hurford Janes
Jimmy Sangster.
Running Time
94 minutes

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The Revenge of Frankenstein
The cadaver-happy doctor makes a sinister return in this Hammer classic


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Plot
Having escaped execution, Dr Frankenstein goes undercover to illicit some more ghastly goings-on.


Review
The first sequel to The Curse Of Frankenstein and one of the best of the Hammer series, with Peter Cushing elegantly perfect as the amoral dilettante mad scientist, who kicks off the picture by persuading the hunchback who has been given the job of guillotining him to lop off instead the head of the smug priest who is supervising the execution. He then sets up shop as a society doctor, which allows him to kiss plenty of hands and attend nice musical evenings, and does good work on the side in a charity hospital for dirty-faced, cockney-accented middle European scum.

Of course, he's only helping the poor so he can perform unnecessary amputations and piece together a new body for the hunchback. As usual, things go badly wrong and it ends in tears and mob violence as the pathetic monster (Gwynne) becomes a crippled cannibal and has the temerity to explode through a window at a soiree, blowing Cushing's pose as a philanthropist.

Terence Fisher, who directed the best of the Hammer Frankenstein movies, here explicitly mixes class and gore with limbs floating in tanks and people being torn apart by angry mobs. The party at the end is a priceless mix of horror and social embarrassment.


Verdict
Expertly executed example of a golden time in British cinema - one to savour


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