Hammer Studios tried something different in 1970 with its Frankenstein franchise. Instead of making another sequel with Peter Cushing, it decided on producing an entirely new revisioning. The result is a superb, horrific, and sometimes intentionally funny film that is populated by many characters with unredeeming qualities.
Ralph Bates' ruthless Dr. Victor Frankenstein is unarguably the most evil characterization of the baron ever to grace a film. If you get in his way, he'll kill you without ever batting an eye. The monster, played by David Prowse, isn't introduced until more than one-hour into the film. While the monster is a terrifying, mindless murderer, the baron is the true villain here.
Bates performance dominates the film. While it's extremely difficult to root for the guy, you can't help but be interested in what he'll do next in order to achieve his goal. For whatever reason, this film seems to get panned as one of the failures of the Hammer horror pantheon. I strongly disagree with the negative reviews. This is one of the best Frankenstein films ever made. The film is never boring, and it's always scary because you dread what the baron will do next to forward his plans.