In the 1930s, Universal made a name for themselves with their line of horror films. While people will have their favorites of monsters, Frankenstein was without a doubt the best of the bunch.
So, fast forward to the 1950s. Univeral had abandoned their classic monsters for space invaders and all that jazz. In comes those chaps from Hammer. They made the monsters of yester-year cool again. So, which had the better Frankenstein flicks? Lucky for you, I managed to sit through both film series. The things I do for you!
Round 1- Frankenstein (1931) vs. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
We start this battle off with the beginning of each. The 1931 film is without a doubt the most famous version of the character. We get the introduction of Boris Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein. This is where Frankenstein was born from lightning.
The Curse of Frankenstein follows the same approach. It shows us the creation of the monster. We have Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the monster. This is the first time that they appear onscreen together.
The Verdict: While Curse has a lot going for it. 1931 is the definitive Frankenstein film. Everything Frankenstein comes from that.
Round 2- Bride of Frankenstein (1935) vs. Frankenstein Created Woman (1966)
Now lets get into the female Frankenstein films. Bride is often regarded as a masterpiece. It is also iconic and burnt into our minds. With terrific acting from Karloff (who should’ve got an Oscar).
With the 4th Hammer Frankenstein, things went in another direction. Cushing returns, this time to transfer souls. A different film in the series and also regarded as a masterpiece.
The Verdict: Again, Universal wins this round. Bride is a strong film.
Round 3– Son of Frankenstein (1939) vs. Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
Both being the third of each respectable series. Son brings Karloff as the monster for the last time. We also have Bela Lugosi as Ygor.
While Evil has Cushing returning home and finding his original creation. Both films are similar with someone using the monster for revenge and the monster befriending a disfigured person.
The Verdict: While I love Son of Frankenstein, it was a step in the wrong direction. The film didn’t focus much on the monster while Evil had plenty of moments with the monster and more importantly, Peter Cushing.
Round 4- The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) vs. Frankenstein and The Monster from Hell (1974)
Our final bout! Gjost Ygor trying to enlist the help of another Frankenstein to help the monster be strong again.
Hell, has Victor Frankenstein creating another monstrous creature by stealing the body parts of inmates at an insane asylum.
The Verdict: After this Universal decided every monster film was going to be a crossover. While Hammer kept a consistent pace with their films.
WINNER: Hammer, while there are three other Frankenstein films in the franchise (Revenge of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, and Horror of Frankenstein(. Hammer didn’t overshadow the film’s main antagonist, Frankenstein. While making each film a little more different.