- Special Features
- Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
After Universal Studios, the studio most associated with horror films is Great Britain’s Hammer Films.
In 1957, executives from the studio decided to make a black-and-white remake of Frankenstein (1931) with Boris Karloff playing the doctor.
However, those plans later changed and the studio decided, amidst the introduction of television (which was initially black-and-white), to make the first-ever color version of the Mary Shelley story.
In this version, Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) becomes obsessed with creating new life after his experiments succeed in bringing a dog back to life. With his unwilling associate Paul (Robert Urquhart), Frankenstein eventually succeeds in bringing to life a creature (Christopher Lee) with a hideous appearance and an unstable mind.
Aside from the color, perhaps the most different aspect of the film from its 1931 predecessor is the characterization of Victor. In the original film, he is well-meaning but misguided in his work, whereas here he is so obsessed with his goal that he is willing to disregard the welfare and safety of other people in order to succeed.
Hence, the doctor is the true monster here.
This movie’s success led to Hammer bringing the world color versions of other classics, including Horror of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959).
Hammer would continue to enjoy its reign as the studio of horror until the 1970s when numerous factors led to the studio being dissolved.