Warner Archive: Frankenstein 1970 on Blu-ray

3 Stars

FRANKENSTEIN 1970 (1958)
NEW 2019 1080p HD MASTER
Run Time 83:00
Subtitles English SDH
Sound Quality DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 – English
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, 16 X 9 LETTERBOX
Product Color B&W
Disc Configuration BD 25
Special Feature: Commentary by Historians Charlotte Austin, Bob Burns, and Tom Weaver

Is there a doctor in the house? At the eerie House of Frankenstein, the answer is “yes” – and he’s out to make right the experiment in playing God that’s doomed his family for generations.

There’s also a Karloff in the house, a fact that makes 1958’s Frankenstein 1970 a must-see for savvy fright fans. Twenty-seven years after scaring the daylights out of everyone as the lumbering monster in Frankenstein, Boris Karloff is at the other end of the laboratory switches and gizmos. He’s Dr. Victor Frankenstein, an aging, hulking shambles of dignity and menace who agrees to let a TV crew shoot a horror flick at the family castle. The crew members don’t know it yet, but they’re just what the doctor ordered: fresh body parts, ready for harvesting!

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19 Comments

  1. Of course, like every guy my age, I saw this movie on opening day. Not fabulous, but then again, Boris Karloff's in it. Who needs fabulous?

    If memory serves, and I could be wrong about this, I had a professor at NYU who was working on a book about Edgar Ulmer, and said that the opening sequence was directed by him, possibly taken from unused footage originally done for DAUGHTER OF DR. JEKYLL. This is by no means authoritative, as I'm recalling this from something someone told me 35 years ago, though the opening sequence is similar in lighting and composition to DAUGHTER OF DR. JEKYLL, and is completely different stylistically to the rest of FRANKENSTEIN 1970. .

  2. bujaki

    I also saw this when it came out. 1970 seemed so far away for an eight-year old kid. I don't recall seeing it since.

    I bought it on DVD. It was a much better film when I was 8, though at the time I recognized it wasn't a very good film, but I was happy to see anything with Boris Karloff in it. I loved the idea of going to see it more than the film itself. The combination of the two words "Karloff" & "Frankenstein" were impossible for an 8 year old to resist.

    Does the prospect of buying on Blu a fairly sluggish and sloppily made (except for the pre-credit sequence) painfully low budget film, not to mention a plot that goes nowhere, with a late Karloff performance interest me? You bet!

    In the SUMMER STOCK thread a number of posters stated they would buy any film of Judy Garland's that came out on Blu. I feel the same way about Boris Karloff.

  3. This film has an excellent opening sequence, and then goes to hell.
    Still, it is incredible fun.
    The most awful and hammy performance given by Boris Karloff in his entire career. He is unbelievably over-the-top in every scene.
    I've never seen Karloff act so stratospherically without any sort of restraint. I can't even begin to explain it.

  4. And, yes, I'm a sucker for this stuff and will buy it,
    but
    the Karloff movie that Warner really needs to restore and put on Blu-ray is 1936 classic "The Walking Dead" — That old DVD transfer looks very weak.

  5. Does the monster wear a shirt with a giant collar unbuttoned to his belly exposing his hairy chest and bell bottom pants? I mean if they are doing 1970 they should get the clothing correct.

    Seriously though, I'd be curious to see how they thought the future of 1970 was going to look in 1958…it would have been perfect if they had John Wayne play the monster!

  6. The closest I've come to this film is a trailer I saw for it in the sixties (showing on Sunday only, with another cheapo horror that I can't remember), I didn't fancy it then & still don't. The b/w Karloff I'd love is The Mask Of Fu Manchu (1932), but the Warner DVD in their horror set looks pretty good.

  7. Billy Batson

    The closest I've come to this film is a trailer I saw for it in the sixties (showing on Sunday only, with another cheapo horror that I can't remember), I didn't fancy it then & still don't. The b/w Karloff I'd love is The Mask Of Fu Manchu (1932), but the Warner DVD in their horror set looks pretty good.

    The Mask of Fu Manchu on Blu-ray would also be good.
    I mentioned The Walking Dead as it was originally on a DVD set with Frankenstein 1970, You'll Find Out, and Zombies On Broadway (and I would like all those on Blu as well).

  8. Billy Batson

    The closest I've come to this film is a trailer I saw for it in the sixties (showing on Sunday only, with another cheapo horror that I can't remember), I didn't fancy it then & still don't. The b/w Karloff I'd love is The Mask Of Fu Manchu (1932), but the Warner DVD in their horror set looks pretty good.

    Of course, Alan, you were saved from impulsively seeing this film on the first day before any reviews were published–like we all did in the States–when you were a pre-teen because in the UK it was probably rated X.

  9. aPhil

    This film has an excellent opening sequence, and then goes to hell.
    Still, it is incredible fun.
    The most awful and hammy performance given by Boris Karloff in his entire career. He is unbelievably over-the-top in every scene.
    I've never seen Karloff act so stratospherically without any sort of restraint. I can't even begin to explain it.

    While it's true that this may be Boris Karloff's most over the top performance, at the time, I didn't care. I just wanted to see a movie with Boris Karloff, because in 1958, the classic Frankenstein films weren't available. You could read about them in "Famous Monsters of Filmland" and you could buy a Super 8 film of the last 8 minutes of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, in which Boris Karloff was featured for about 15 seconds, but that was about it.

    So it didn't really matter how poor Boris Karloff's performance was, just seeing him on that big silver screen was more than enough. Also, because his other films weren't yet available, there was nothing for me to compare his performance in FRANKENSTEIN 1970 with.

  10. I just watched Joe Dante's trailer from hell on FRANKENSTEIN 1970, and while the Shock Theater-Universal films did come to TV in major markets in 1957, they didn't show up in Syracuse until much later, and the only Universal Frankenstein film that was on during the week I spent with my relatives in the Bronx in 1957 where I had access to a television was THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN, not a Karloff film. So I was dying to actually see Boris Karloff in a movie.

  11. aPhil

    This film has an excellent opening sequence, and then goes to hell.
    Still, it is incredible fun.
    The most awful and hammy performance given by Boris Karloff in his entire career. He is unbelievably over-the-top in every scene.
    I've never seen Karloff act so stratospherically without any sort of restraint. I can't even begin to explain it.

    He also gave a good performance in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Would have expected a blu ray by now.

  12. Billy Batson

    The closest I've come to this film is a trailer I saw for it in the sixties (showing on Sunday only, with another cheapo horror that I can't remember), I didn't fancy it then & still don't. The b/w Karloff I'd love is The Mask Of Fu Manchu (1932), but the Warner DVD in their horror set looks pretty good.

    Gosh Billy, that must have been the showing I went to! It was one of those Sunday only presentations when horror double-bills were often shown. I remember it well. It was at the Granada Harrow, early sixties and the double-bill was FRANKENSTEIN 1970 and MACABRE – both Allied Artists films.

  13. Douglas R

    Gosh Billy, that must have been the showing I went to! It was one of those Sunday only presentations when horror double-bills were often shown. I remember it well. It was at the Granada Harrow, early sixties and the double-bill was FRANKENSTEIN 1970 and MACABRE – both Allied Artists films.

    Ha, probably the same double bill, but I didn't go out of London that far then, so probably The Broadway Hammersmith (they showed a lot of Sunday only horror double bills, ah, Tales Of Terror & The Pit & The Pendulum, what a great double bill). I live near Harrow now, & if the Granada is the cinema I'm thinking of, I did see a lot of films there, it's a gym now.

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