FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN (1966) Reviews and overview

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‘A beautiful woman with the soul of the Devil!’

Frankenstein Created Woman is a 1966 British science fiction horror feature film directed by Terence Fisher from a screenplay written by Anthony Hinds [as John Elder].

The Hammer production was produced by Anthony Nelson Keys and stars Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters and Robert Morris.

Scream Factory released a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on June 11, 2019. The sleeve features new artwork by Mark Maddox; original Hammer artwork is on the reverse side.

  • Audio commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman and filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr (new)
  • Audio commentary with actors Derek Fowlds and Robert Morris and film historian Jonathan Rigby
  • Interview with actor Robert Morris (new)
  • Interview with camera assistant Eddie Collins and 2nd assistant director Joe Marks (new)
  • World of Hammer episode The Curse of Frankenstein
  • World of Hammer episode Hammer Stars: Peter Cushing
  • Hammer Glamour featurette
  • Theatrical trailers
  • TV spots
  • Radio spots
  • Still galleries – movie stills, posters and lobby cards


Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) and Doctor Hertz (Thorley Walters) are embarking upon an experiment to capture the souls of the dead and impose them into other bodies.

When their assistant, Hans (Robert Morris), is unjustly accused of murdering his girlfriend Christina’s father and is himself put to death, the two men claim his body and trap his soul in their laboratory.

Meanwhile, Christina (Susan Denberg) is consumed with grief over the death of her beloved Hans and commits suicide. Frankenstein and Doctor Hertz are able to transfer Hans’ soul into Christina’s healed body, which results in a vision of beauty.

Their experiment appears successful until Frankenstein discovers that Christina’s seductive appetites are being driven by the spirit of Hans and his passion for revenge…


“Enhanced by admirably controlled acting, especially by Cushing, his colleague (Walters) and Denberg, this is the best of Hammer’s Frankenstein movies.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror 

“Comparatively mild addition to Hammer’s Frankenstein cycle, perhaps because there is no actual marauding monster. The cutting of the central laboratory scene doesn’t help matters either especially as it wrecks the narrative. But there are spirited moments.” Howard Maxford, The A – Z of Horror Films

” …Frankenstein Created Woman has its moments and is worth watching, but it isn’t a great film.  If you like the Frankenstein character or Cushing, you might be disappointed by the limited role he has in this film, and if you want to see a real thinking picture, you will be disappointed that the ideas aren’t fully explored.” JP Roscoe, Basement Rejects

“The idea of a man’s soul trapped inside a woman’s body is an intriguing one rife with potential subtext, but this movie is having none of that. The male soul is interested in one thing and one thing only: revenge.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

” …Anthony Hinds’ script fizzles with fascinating ideas and is one of the very best of the series […] Cushing and Walters work together tremendously well in a Holmes and Watson manner, with Walters kindly but uncomprehending Hertz acting as an effective foil to Cushing’s brilliant but cold and acerbic Frankenstein.” Ian Fryer, The British Horror Film from the Silent to the Multiplex, Fonthill, 2017

“My only criticism is a slow third quarter. I also found myself wishing that the male/female confluence could be explored in further depth. But it’s a very bold film, and in some ways the best of the series.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

“Hind’s script wastes no opportunity at piling up a number of morbid sequences (two executions, a murder, a suicide, and the Baron’s unworldly experiments) to lead up to the third act, which involves Christina’s revenge on the three antagonists […] a satisfying horror tale to say the least.” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

“It’s a heady brew, rather as if it were written by the Brothers Grimm with ‘additional dialogue’ by Sigmund Freud […] Christina’s appalling confusions can only end in suicide. As a result, one of Hammer’s most complex scenarios concludes with perhaps the most downbeat ending in all horror films.” Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic

” …this is a film that benefits from both tight scripting and a willingness to push boundaries. Its equivocal take on justice gives it a distinctive character for the period, some of its scenes are shockingly brutal and it has a way of pulling back from kitsch melodrama to ugly realism that can be appropriately disorientating.” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

” …the three drunk nobleman are such total rotters that they never emerge as real characters at all, and the attempts to gain sympathy for the deformed woman are so blatant and repetitive that they get truly annoying; if a movie is going to play on your emotions, it should do so subtly and convincingly.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“Terence Fisher directs with his usual expertise, but in future let’s have a token attempt at credibility, even in horror.” Films and Filming, 1967

” …Terence Fisher keeps most of the violence and gore offscreen, for the most part, but wrings such watchable moments from his cast throughout that you never feel shortchanged. One of the better Hammer movies though others may, like me, enjoy it more as a black comedy than outright horror.” Kevin Matthews, For It Is Man’s Number

“John Elder has a script full of set pieces rather than a developed plot, and Terence Fisher builds tension at the expense of pace while Peter Cushing is relegated to almost a supporting role, watching the action from the sidelines. Not perhaps a great Frankenstein movie, but interesting if treated as a separate project.” Andy Boot, Fragments of Fear, Creation Books

“Despite a plot that is ridiculous even for a Frankenstein movie, it does raise some intelligent points. The implications of the Baron’s soul-transference theories are interesting, as is his desire to provide his “creation” with a conscience […] Although the film is not Hammer’s best in the series, it is the most poignant.” Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography

“Fisher’s direction, impressive settings and a neat performance from Cushing make it a first-rate addition to the genre.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982

” …this is a decent Hammer production with a cool metaphysical twist that’s just not fleshed out very well.  Also, the idea of putting the soul of a man into the body of a woman could have been explored way more – there’s just so much potential there that goes absolutely nowhere.” Ken Kastenhuber, McBastard’s Mausoleum

“The film spends no time dealing with the possibilities of what confusion a man must surely feel inside a woman’s body. Instead, it has Hans implausibly taking over and turning Christina’s innocence into seductivity in order to attract and kill his enemies. All that we end up with is a conceptually stretched version of Hammer’s feminine monstrous.” Richard Scheib, Moria

” …Frankenstein Created Woman is, on any thematic level, absurd, but then that can be said of a great many works which generate a considerable force within their dream-like atmosphere. It is not as satisfying as Fisher’s two earlier Frankenstein films, but in one respect – the sheer beauty and poetry of its images – it certainly excels them.” David Pirie, A New Heritage of Horror, I.B. Tauris, 2008

“The gender politics (not to mention the attempt at tackling gender confusion) is admittedly messy, especially once the film hacks and slashes its way to its conclusion. Nonetheless, Frankenstein Created Woman remains a striking entry in Hammer’s oeuvre, anchored by a returning Terence Fisher…” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

“The science is never elaborated upon, and the talk of ‘frames of force’ to give life after death is wooly indeed. Thorley Walters’ wide-eyed, child-like Doctor Hertz, is agog at every new scientific marvel, and comes very close to stealing the film. The soul-catching apparatus itself consists of two parabolic dishes and a tuning fork, but with Cushing manning it we are compelled to believe, bringing a glimpse of the metaphysical to the Hammer Frankenstein canon.” David Miller, The Peter Cushing Companion

“It’s Thorley Walters as Frankenstein’s assistant who steals the show here. Walters was an amazing character actor, usually playing bumbling or comedic roles during his time spent in the horror genre. His role here is more fatherly. Frankenstein Created Woman is good, not great, Hammer horror.” Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

” …Frankenstein Created Woman holds up well. The score from James Bernard is also excellent, adding to the drama and tension inherent in the storyline quite effectively […] a morbid tale of twisted love and unholy horror that moves at a good pace and which features some rock solid direction and two excellent performances.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

“In a typically mature and intelligent entry in the outstanding Terence Fisher-directed Frankenstein cycle, the emphasis is on tragic inevitability rather than gaudy horrors […] The beautifully elegiac theme James Bernard composed for the central “monster” in Frankenstein Created Woman reinforces the desperately sad nature of the title character…” Steven West, The Shrieking Sixties: British Horror Films 1960 – 1969

“With evocative direction from veteran Terence Fisher and a stronger script than most Hammer product, Frankenstein Created Woman is a better movie than its cheesecake-baited premise suggests.” The Spinning Image

“Where it was almost as if Hinds gave up in the last film, he creates something moody, a little frightening and even original as it adds to the Frankenstein mythos rather than just repeating what has already come before […] The movie was also one that did not feature a monster in the conventional sense, only highlighting men and their monstrous actions.” The Telltale Mind

” …enjoyable fun, highlighted by some good sequences with pretty Denberg as the unstoppable she-monster. And the premise is an interesting one, in particular the clever handling of Denberg’s female body melded with the male/revenge mindset of her ‘dead’ lover.” The Terror Trap

“It’s full of cloying Keatsian imagery, which somehow transcends the more idiotic aspects of the plot.” David Pirie, The Time Out Film Guide

“It took the project nearly a decade to come to fruition, but the end result turned out to be well worth the lengthy wait. Peter Cushing is excellent in his signature role, if a trifle more benevolent than usual.” Gary A. Smith, Uneasy Dreams 

Cast and characters:

  • Peter Cushing … Baron Frankenstein
  • Susan Denberg … Christina
  • Thorley Walters … Doctor Hertz
  • Robert Morris … Hans
  • Duncan Lamont … The Prisoner
  • Peter Blythe … Anton
  • Barry Warren … Karl
  • Derek Fowlds … Johann
  • Alan MacNaughtan … Kleve
  • Peter Madden … Chief of Police
  • Philip Ray … Mayor
  • Ivan Beavis … Landlord
  • Colin Jeavons … Priest
  • Bartlett Mullins … Bystander
  • Alec Mango … Spokesman
  • Jack Armstrong … Clerk of the Court (uncredited)
  • Hyma Beckley … Townsman (uncredited)
  • Daniel Brown … Townsman (uncredited)
  • Patrick Carter … Guard (uncredited)
  • Kevin Flood … Chief Gaoler (uncredited)
  • Lizbeth Kent … First Woman (uncredited)
  • Howard Lang … Guard (uncredited)
  • John Maxim … Sergeant (uncredited)
  • Mark McMullins … Villager with Body (uncredited)
  • Stuart Middleton … Young Hans (uncredited)
  • Paddy Smith … Townsman (uncredited)
  • Nikki Van der Zyl … Christina (voice) (uncredited)
  • Antony Viccars … Second Spokesman (uncredited)

Production and release:

Principal filming ran from 5th July 1966 to 12th August 1966.

Following a trade show on 2nd May 1967, film premiered at the New Victoria cinema in London on 19th May 1967 and was released on the ABC circuit on a double-bill with The Mummy’s Shroud.

Filming locations:

Black Park, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England
Bray Studios, Down Place, Oakley Green, Berkshire, England
Frensham Common, Near Farnham, Surrey, England

Technical credits:

86 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1
DeLuxe colour
Audio: Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Previous Blu-ray release:

Millennium Entertainment released a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on January 28, 2014. This is sold out and only available via resellers.

Some image credits: The Bloody Pit of Horror | The Telltale Mind

More Frankenstein films 

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