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GASP! Baron Victor Frankenstein didn't die, and he's back at it again! But lest anyone suspect, he's got a great secret identity... Dr. Victor Stein. Read all about Hammer's sequel to The Curse of Frankenstein below!
1. The idea started before Frankenstein was released.
Two months before Frankenstein hit theaters, Hammer registered the sequel’s title “The Blood of Frankenstein”. Another working title was simply “Frankenstein II”. Of course, there’s just one problem – the title character was to be beheaded by guillotine at the end of the original. Hammer co-founder James Carreras’ response: “We sew his head back on again.”
2. The poster was completed before the script.
Anxious to capitalize on the success of the first film, Carreras traveled to the US and sold the distribution rights with a mock-up poster. The news was a shock to screenwriter Jimmy Sangster who now only had ten weeks to finish a script before production began. “You’re a writer. You’ll think of something” was the advice Carreras gave him.
3. Two Frankenstein projects were going at the same time.
Hammer hoped to launch an American series called “Tales of Frankenstein”, and filming of the pilot ended two days after the Frankenstein sequel. However, creative differences stopped the series short.
4. The story stemmed from fear.
The author adage “write what you know” came into play when crafting the sequel. Sangster was, of course, no stranger to horror, and during his time at Hammer, he wrote more than seventeen scripts, including the original Frankenstein and Dracula. "So I tried to think of something which really frightened me -- upset me, personally - revolted me, actually. And that's when I wrote the business about the monster they create ate people, because I have a fear of being eaten by anybody,” Sangster said.
5. The film got three novelizations.
In 1958, Sangster adapted his screenplay as a novel, followed by John Burke’s adaption in 1966, and finally Shaun Hutson’s adaption in 2013. The cannibalism theme was left out of the second adaption, perhaps because the author couldn’t stomach it.
6. Cushing was enthusiastic returning.
Peter Cushing attributed his breakthrough as an actor to Hammer and appeared in more than 20 of their films. Cushing said, “Great skill goes into their making. They demand the very best an actor can give. And it is these films, more than any others, which have done so much to establish me with world audiences.” Cushing was beloved by his fellow actors and crew members, who remarked that he was welcoming and fun to be around.