Peter Cushing played Dr. Frankenstein several times, but his frequent Hammer Films horror co-star played the monster just once, in 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein. Unlike other versions of the creature, Lee’s is pure evil, a violent and psychotic being whose first act is to try to strangle his creator. (He has the brain of a brilliant professor, whom Cushing’s Victor killed in a seemingly accidental fall in order to harvest the noggin, but the brain was damaged in the process.)
As in other variants of the tale, Victor tries to use the monster as a golem, commanding it to kill in order to cover up Victor’s own crimes, but this strategy, of course, backfires horribly. Lee delivers one of his scariest performances, aided by facial makeup that, with its open wounds and mismatched eyes, transforms Lee into one of the most hideous-looking Frankenstein monsters ever.
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