skip navigation


TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

In 1970, an American television crew comes to the German estate of Baron Victor Von Frankenstein to film a movie based on the life of the baron's famous mad scientist ancestor who was obsessed with bringing the dead to life. Headed by director Douglas Row and starring vivacious Carol Hayes, the cast and crew are ill at ease around Victor, who is hunchbacked and crippled from being tortured by the Nazis years earlier during the war. Victor has allowed the filming in order to be able to pay for an atomic reactor which he insists will be used to heat the vast, ancient estate. However, Victor's old friend and estate manager, Wilhelm Gottfried, worries that Victor is fixated upon the idea of utilizing the reactor to recreate the original Dr. Frankenstein's failed experiment. As filming commences, Carol is unnerved by Victor's fawning over her, but grows fond of the kindly family butler, Shuter. Judy Stevens, Doug's former wife and the film's script supervisor, resents Doug's attentions to Carol, but nevertheless refuses the advances of publicity head Mike Shaw. After several days, Doug reports that the reactor has been delivered, which pleases Victor. Suspicious, Wilhelm asks Victor if he is aware that bodies have been reported missing from the local morgue, but Victor claims no knowledge of the thefts. Later, Victor sneaks into his hidden laboratory beneath the family crypt, which is accessed by a secret passageway in a fake tomb. Each of the guest rooms have been equipped with recording devices, thus enabling Victor to keep track of the activity throughout the estate. With the reactor now installed, Victor resumes his clandestine work which, as Wilhelm has feared, is a continuation of Dr. Frankenstein's experiment. Victor laments that the bodies he has stolen from the morgue are not all compatible and therefore his creature lacks several vital organs. That evening, Shuter accidentally stumbles upon the fake tomb and enters the lab. Although sad to do away with his old friend, Victor murders Shuter and places his brain in the creature. The next morning, when Carol asks after Shuter, Victor informs her that the butler has gone to visit his family. When Wilhelm privately tells Victor that he knows that Shuter has no family, Victor warns him against being too inquisitive. Later that afternoon in his lab, Victor accidentally drops the jar holding Shuter's eyes, but finally succeeds in bringing his creature to life. That night, after Judy evades Mike's drunken romantic overtures, she is attacked and carried off by the creature, who has been ordered by Victor to capture Doug. The next morning, when the group finds a note from Judy announcing her departure, Mike believes he is to blame for driving her away. Later, when Carol and cinematographer Morgan Haley test lighting conditions in the crypt, Carol is very nearly snatched by the creature, who recognizes her, though she does not see him. After Carol departs, Morgan is captured by the creature, but Victor is annoyed that his blood type fails to match the creature's, thus preventing Victor from performing an eye transplant. Disturbed that the sudden disappearances of Shuter, Judy and Morgan have slowed his film production, Doug summons the police, and Inspector Raab arrives to investigate. Victor insists that each disappearance can be explained and accuses Mike of having orchestrated the events for publicity. When Wilhelm confronts Victor in his lab about the disappearances, Victor brings forth the creature before murdering Wilhelm for his eyes. At police headquarters, Doug and Raab learn that no local taxi drivers have transported Shuter or Judy from the estate and fear they have met with foul play. While Doug and Raab hasten back to the estate, Victor orders the creature to seize Carol. Realizing that Shuter is part of the creature, Carol appeals to him and is set free. The creature then goes on a rampage, destroying Victor's lab and setting off the reactor, which emits a radioactive steam that kills both the creature and his creator. Much later, when the police have declared the lab safe, Doug, Raab and Mike enter, and upon peeling the tape off of the creature's face, discover that Victor made him in his own image.