Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a 1969 British horror film directed by Terence Fisher for Hammer Film Productions, starring Peter Cushing, Freddie Jones, Veronica Carlson and Simon Ward. The film is the fifth in a series of Hammer films centering on Dr. Frankenstein, who, in this entry, tries brain surgery to save an associate who went mad.
The film begins with Baron Victor Frankenstein obtaining a brain for his next experiment, but he's surprised by a thief when he returns to his lab. The Baron destroys most of the evidence and moves on, with a haughty Police Inspector on his trail. He obtains a room at a boarding house run by Anna, whose fiance Karl is a doctor at the local insane asylum where a former scientific collaborator of the Baron's, who has lost his mind, now resides.
After discovering that Anna's fiance has been stealing narcotics in order to support her ailing mother, Frankenstein blackmails them into helping him kidnap the now insane Dr. Brandt so he can operate on his brain and cure him. Thereby allowing the Baron to obtain his knowledge of brain transplantation. Unfortunately Dr. Brandt suffers a heart attack during the escape, necessitating a transfer of his brain into another body. The Baron and Karl then kidnap the asylum's director Professor Richter and transplants Brandt's brain into the Professor's body.
They bury Brandt's now worthless body in the garden, but a water main break almost gives up the game. The police also start searching every house in the area as well. Unfortunately Brandt's wife recognizes the Baron on the street, but he's able to convince her to give him time to heal her husband completely. After she leaves, Frankenstein forces Karl and Anna to help him escape with the Dr. Brandt/Richter "Creature."
While the Creature recovers, Frankenstein and the lovers relocate to a deserted manor house as the police begin to close in. The Creature awakens and is horrified by his appearance. He scares Anna who stabs him with a scalpel, and then escapes. Finding the Creature gone, Frankenstein kills Anna in a rage. The Creature makes it to his former home, but his wife refuses to accept him as her husband. Wanting revenge on Frankenstein, and knowing the Baron will eventually track him there, he allows his wife to go free and pours paraffin around the house.
Frankenstein soon arrives, followed by Karl, and they fight while the Creature sets the house alight, at one point stating: "You must choose between the flames and the police, Frankenstein". The fight between Karl and Frankenstein continues, until The Creature knocks out Karl and carries a screaming Frankenstein into the burning house, which quickly explodes into a raging inferno.
- Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein
- Veronica Carlson as Anna Spengler
- George Pravda as Dr. Frederick Brandt
- Freddie Jones as Professor Richter
- Simon Ward as Dr. Karl Holst
- Thorley Walters as Inspector Frisch
- Windsor Davies as Police Sergeant
- Allan Surtees as Police Sergeant
- Maxine Audley as Ella Brandt
- Geoffrey Bayldon as Police Doctor
- Colette O'Neil as Madwoman
- Frank Middlemass as Guest - Plumber
- Norman Shelley as Guest - Smoking pipe
- Michael Gover as Guest - Reading newspaper
- Peter Copley as Principal
The scene where Frankenstein rapes Anna was filmed over the objections of both Peter Cushing and Veronica Carlson, and director Terence Fisher, who halted it when he felt enough was enough. It was not in the original script but the scene was added at the insistence of Hammer executive James Carreras, who was under pressure to keep American distributors happy. This explains why there is no mention of the rape subsequently by Anna or Frankenstein.
In 1978, the Welsh television station HTV Cymru/Wales broadcast a version dubbed into the Welsh language called Rhaid Dinistrio Frankenstein, a more-or-less literal translation of the English title. This was one of three films that were dubbed into Welsh, another being Shane, with Alan Ladd. Both these were rebroadcast on the new Welsh language channel S4C on its launch in 1982.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed currently holds an average 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.