The Hammer horror films were originally distributed in North America by different studios, but the first Frankenstein riff finally makes its premiere to DVD in a clean anamorphic transfer made from a decent print. The black and grey levels are natural, and the odd Eastmancolor palette reveals some curious pastel shades, particularly the flesh tones.
Jack Asher's cinematography leans towards a harsher edge, shading scenes with various cold blue elements, though Frankenstein's lab - comprised of multicolored boiling and steaming flasks, and wooden cabinetry - offers some vivid colours, and human blood comes through with visceral clarity. Some of the widescreen lensing suffers from obvious focus problems - depth of field is rather weak in wide shots bearing several focal points between characters and objects - but the close ups are quite startling (particularly the ratcheted close-up which introduces us to the battered and stitched face of the monster).
The mono sound mix is adequate, though James Bernard's score shows signs of some digital processing in a few spots. Basic extras include a window-boxed 1.33:1 trailer (happily hiding the monster from audiences and saving the surprise), a concise history of Hammer's fling with the Frankenstein character (begun and concluded by director Terence Fisher), and a basic cast/crew text page.
This Warner Bros title is also available as part of the Hammer Collection that includes The Curse Of Frankenstein, Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Horror Of Dracula, The Mummy" (1959) and Taste The Blood Of Dracula.
© 2002 Mark R. Hasan