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In 1957 England’s Hammer Films was about to give up the ghost.

They had one film left in them.

They decided to do a new version of Mary Shelly’s FRANKENSTEIN in color.

At once Universal Studios fired off a letter warning Hammer that if anything were used from their 1931 FRANKENSTEIN Hammer would rue the day.

Forced to go in a completely new direction Hammer hit the mark and hit it big.

Naturally the color upset a lot of gentle folk. The critics lambasted the movie.

None of that mattered because Hammer had done what no British Studio before had done. They produced a movie the world demanded to see.

THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN went into theatres and just stayed there.

Wow!

The film made stars out of Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein and Christopher Lee (chosen because he was the tallest actor in England).

The film’s director Terrence Fisher is now recognized as one of the great masters of fantastic cinema.

More importantly THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN brought Hammer back from the dead. The studio went on to produce a host of interesting films.

I bought this CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN manikin several years ago. He has stood in my world renowned Cineforum quietly scaring the bejeezus out of folk who wander in.

I’m 73. Won’t be long before I go the way of the wind. It’s time to find a new home for the treasures here so that future generations can enjoy them.

This classic manikin speaks to the long forgotten art of showmanship that once packed motion picture theaters.

It is a unique, one a kind cultural artifact.

It’s also something the classic collectors of horror artifacts don’t have in their collections.

In short it’s a monster to have!

Reg Hartt (Contact: reghartt@gmail,com).

 

 

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