Plot: Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) lives in the infamous Castle Frankenstein, home to the notorious reanimation experiments that grabbed the attention of a lot of people. Sadly for Victor, this included the Nazis, who demanded his cooperation on scientific research during World War II, but he refused and was tortured for his resistance. While his family has gained a sizable fortune over the years, the riches have started to run out and facing financial woes, Victor decides to cash in on the dark past of his ancestors. A film crew wants to make a movie at the actual castle where the deeds were done, so they’re willing to compensate Victor for his help and in desperate need, he agrees. But Victor has plans for his newly gained wealth and it isn’t exactly cheerful, as he wants to once again reanimate the dead and this time, he has a whole host of visitors to borrow parts from…

Entertainment Value: I think there’s a lot to like about Frankenstein 1970, as it has a fun premise that spins the Frankenstein lore in an interesting direction, while also giving us Boris Karloff as the Baron. The latter alone should put this on some genre fans’ lists, but the movie also offers some fun b movie elements that help balance out some of the creakier aspects of the production. If you’re here for serious scares or horror vibes, you’re likely to be let down, though some old school, hokey style chills can be found if you’re in the right mood. But seriously, Karloff dials up his performance and shines as the sinister Baron and the monster looks like a toilet paper mummy, so what else can you ask for here? I also appreciate the low rent, but fun locations and set design elements and general atmosphere of Frankenstein of 1970. At the same time, I know not everyone has a taste for this kind of material and those not in tune with b movie wavelengths aren’t likely to connect with this one. But for fans of Karloff, old school horror, and b movies, I think it is well worth a peek.

As much as I love the ridiculous monster in Frankenstein 1970, the real star is of course Boris Karloff. I imagine most of those interested in this one will have sought it out from his involvement, given his strong connection to both old school horror and of course, the cinematic lore of Frankenstein. As a star who could pull off both the monster roles and the parts of mad scientists, he seems right at home within the Frankenstein realm on either side of the equation. Karloff might not be in peak form here, but he is so much fun to watch as usual and really plays up the sinister side of the Baron. I love seeing Karloff in action and while he could deliver sincere, dramatic efforts, he was also a master of chewing scenes and that’s what we have here. I think his performance is the main reason to seek out the movie, but I have a soft spot for seeing him ratchet up his craft like this. The cast also includes Charlotte Austin, Jana Lund, Mike Lane, John Dennis, and Don Barry.

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