Miss Rose of Summerisle

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[NOTE: This post was originally published on my version of this blog at the now-defunct Open Salon, on October 8th, 2011, one day after Diane Cilento’s passing. I’m including the original comments to my blog post, because why not?]

Let’s kick off the weekend with a short tribute to the late Diane Cilento, who passed away yesterday at the age of 78.  The beautiful Ms. Cilento was both a Tony (Tiger at the Gates) and an Oscar (Tom Jones) nominee, and was also known for being Sean Connery’s ex-wife.  Sadly, to this last point, there are uncomfortable accounts of his abominably abusive behavior towards her.

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A Vindication of the Rights of Moviegoers

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A do do do, a da da da…

And yet, I’m being unfair, because on the surface, The Bride from 1985 isn’t completely without merit. The film was not well received when it was released, and beautiful Jennifer Beals was nominated for a Razzie  for her performance as “Eva”,  this film’s version of The Bride of Frankenstein.  This I found particularly unfair. Beals well served the role that was written, right down to the helpless Gothic heroine hamming. But, the flashes of strength and independence she briefly snuck in, including the reference to Mary Wollstonecraft, were subversive, more important and telling than the Sting character’s pathetic blather about an “equal” woman.

But more on that below. For now, see details….  Continue reading

The Evil of Frankenstein

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The Evil of Frankenstein

Year: 1964
Writers: Anthony Hinds
Director: Freddy Francis
Notable Cast: Peter Cushing, Sandor Elès, Peter Woodthorpe, Katy Wild, Duncan Lamont, Kiwi Kingston,
PlotPenniless, Baron Frankenstein, accompanied by his eager assistant Hans, arrives at his family castle near the town of Karlstaad, vowing to continue his experiments in the creation of life. Fortuitously finding the creature he was previously working on, he brings it back to a semblance of life but requires the services of a mesmerist, Zoltan, to successfully animate it. The greedy and vengeful Zoltan secretly sends the monster into town to steal gold and ‘punish’ the burgomaster and the chief of police, which acts lead to a violent confrontation between the baron and the townspeople. (SOURCE: IMDB and Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net> )

As much of a fan as I claim to be of Hammer Horror, I never really delved into their Frankenstein output, always too dazzled by their sexy vampires and tales of black magic. So, when Evil of Frankenstein was available on STARZ, I delved.  A little research revealed that it’s not well regarded within Hammer’s Frankenstein series. Perhaps with a few more under my belt I will change my tune, and yet, I liked this a lot. Continue reading