This has an interesting, original premise. Peter Cushing makes a great Baron Frankenstein, and Susan Denberg does well as the heroine Christina. Despite what Frankenstein Created Woman has going for it, there’s a bit too many contrivances for the plot to add up.
Cushing is anything but the idealistic Dr. Frankenstein of earlier versions of the story; he’s coolly obsessed with his bringing back the dead experiments, greedy with power. Unfortunately, his colleague, Dr. Herz (Thorley Walters), is an absurd contrast. Since The Baron already has Hans as an assistant, why is Herz there anyway? Instead of highlighting the Baron’s sinister nature, Herz compensates for it.
A bigger problem is the motivation for the innkeeper’s murder. The three wealthy bullies have had their fun with the innkeeper and his daughter Christina; it’s Hans who embarrassed them. Why don’t they go after him? That Hans gets blamed for the murder is beside the point; in fact, as others have said, it doesn’t make sense for him to not tell the truth.
He can’t be worried about the innkeeper hounding him about Christina anymore, because her dad’s dead. She would obviously back up Han’s alibi. And, why is her dad hostile to Hans? Maybe at first he just doesn’t trust him; but fighting off the three bullies shows how loyal and respectful he is. In any case, the revenge plot is effective; it’s the creepiest aspect of the movie.
With the possible exception of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the concept of two minds or souls in one body is a unique twist. That leads to all sorts of cool scenes and effects–not only Christina carrying out the grisly revenge murders–but her children consulting Han’s head, his disembodied voice spooking a victim, and her speaking with his voice to another victim.
The movie starts off nicely with the Baron suavely testing his resurrection method on himself. The ending is neat too, as Christina can’t deal with being a murderer; she kills herself all over again.It’s ironic that all of the mayhem is an unintended consequence of the Baron’s experiment with Hans and Christina. Unlike the traditional Frankenstein’s monster who acts like Frankenstein’s lackey, when he isn’t just sort of stumbles around scarring people, the Hans/Christina creation is not only autonomous, it’s got an agenda.
It might’ve made more sense if the Baron had done the soul-shifting on himself, and then maybe goes after his enemies. As it is, the Hans and Christina characters put too many holes in the plot.
Frankenstein Created Woman is entertaining, and worth watching; I just wish the script were tightened up and some of the characters given more believable roles. 6/10.