Super Mates 63: House of Franklin-Stein Part 4

It’s the end of The House of Franklin-Stein for 2016…and the beginning of Hammer Horror! Chris and Cindy discuss 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein starring Peter Cushing as the mad but charismatic baron, and Christopher Lee as his grotesque creation! This film launched the Hammer Horror tradition; the color, the gore and the glamour!

Then, instead of the dusty comic long boxes, the intrepid duo fire up the old TV set, for a look at a 1979 episode of the Super Friends: “The Super Friends Meet Frankenstein”! The mad doctor takes the powers and abilities of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman and makes a Super Monster! Can Super Robin stop him?

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Clip credits:

The Curse of Frankenstein directed by Terrence Fisher; music by James Bernard

The Curse of Frankenstein score by James Bernard: Midi reconstruction by Gaetano Malapont

Opening wedding march by Marc Shaiman from Addams Family Values

World’s Greatest Super Friends: “The Super Friends Meet Frankenstein”: Theme by Hoyt Curtin

“Frankenstein” by The Edgar Winter Group

“The Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett

Opening from The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

15 responses to “Super Mates 63: House of Franklin-Stein Part 4

  1. Yes! This is one of the Super Friends episodes that I remember the clearest. Is that because it has the Frankenstein Monster or because Robin gets to save the day? Probably a little of both. Of course, I’ve blocked out the annoying Gleek bit, but who can blame me for that? I believe I even brought it up last year on Back to the Bins. (

    I always preferred the Super Friends without any made-up side kicks, but at least The Wonder Twins were useful. They had powers and could actually save the day if needed. Wendy was alright, but pretty bland. Marvin, like Chris said, was just annoying. The ones that I really can’t stand were the goofy pets. Gleek and, to a lesser extent, Wonder Dog were just completely pointless. They were only there because Hanna-Barbara seemed to be required to include the Scooby-Doo stand in to EVERY show they did.

    “The Curse of Frankenstein” is another one that I saw much later than other versions, but it certainly is one of the better ones fro showing who the real monster is. Cushing does a great job, as usual, and I can certainly believe that this is a guy who’s never really had any adult supervision in his life. As you guys said, it’s most notable in the scene where the brain jar is smashed. I’ve seen one sequel, “The Evil of Frankenstein”, which I enjoyed. I’m going to have to track down the rest of them, at some point.

    Unfortunately, a Belmont has sent The House of Franklinstein back into the mists for another year, but I’ll be here waiting for it to rise again. 😀

    1. Yeah, Robin saving the day is something I really wanted to stress on this one…and I didn’t. We got too wrapped up in other things. But I think that made it a stand-out for me, and because I was a sucker for “safe” monster things. I wanted desperately to be a Monster Kid, but I was such a weiner, I couldn’t handle it for years.

      I know TCM aired “Curse” and “Revenge” last week, but they are airing Frankenstein Created Woman and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed this coming Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8 PM. “Curse” is re-airing Monday at 4:45 on Monday, Oct. 24. Those two sequels are particularly good. “Created Woman” is the film Cindy had seen before and enjoyed. I like all of ’em!


    1. I would start a Kickstarter campaign for that RIGHT NOW but I’m betting they have some restrictions on resurrecting the dead for funded projects.


  2. Great episode! Sorry to have it be the last of the HOFs but I understand what an editing assignment they must be.

    Sure, a bit disappointed Aquaman was not in the SF episode, but Aqua-Fans are great at managing expectations. I love the idea that Frankenstein exists in the world of the Super Friends: we have a talking dog, a monkey in a costume, and a guy made up of exhumed corpse parts. Seems legit.

    Nice find on the Kirby character design! I love seeing that kind of stuff. I wonder what a full-blown monster rally type comic done by the King might have looked like.

    “We don’t marry our cousins.” Isn’t that on Kentucky license plates?

    1. Dracula also exists in the SF Universe, and he’s got laser eye beams that turn people into vampires! He also has asthma. Probably due to the mold content in that old damp castle.

      As for the Kirby Monster Rally, you do remember SM episode #60, with the Jimmy Olsen Transylvane story, don’t you Rob? There will be a test later.

      I said we don’t marry our FIRST cousins. After that, it’s fair game. We leave the first cousins to West Virginia.


  3. Great episode as always.

    I’ve never seen CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN before but from your synopsis and the clips you played, it sounds great. I particularly liked the subplot with Victor’s affair with Justine and then his way of eliminating her by monster-proxy. I’ll have to check this out sometime.

  4. Love the Hammer Frankenstein series, more than Dracula. Peter Cushing creates a real monster, in the evil Dr Frankenstein. It was an interesting idea, taking the idea that the creator was the villain of the story, not the monster, and running with it. One could imagine a more epic story of Dr Frankenstein as a real Victorian villain, facing the heroes of the ages. Imagine Sherlock Holmes going up against the mad doctor?

    Bernard Bresslaw appears in the notorious Old Dracula, with David Niven; but, can be seen (sort of) in the more widely seen Krull. He is the cyclops, under heavy make-up. You can also see him in the Beau Bridges-starring Fifth Musketeer, an adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask. Bresslaw plays a blind saloon keeper, who aids the musketeers and their young ward (Bridges). Beau’s father, Lloyd, appears as a rather unlikely Aramis, Jose Ferrer is Athos, while Alan Hale Jr and Cornell Wilde reprise their roles as Porthos and D’Artagnan, from At Swords Point (well, they were the sons of those characters, in that film).

    I love those Peter Cushing Doctor Who films; they are great fun and he plays an interesting version of the character. Plus, the budget allowed for effects you couldn’t get in the series. To top it off, the young actress who plays Susan (Roberta Tovey) was a much better actress than Carol Foreman, who played the character in the Hartnell years. She is the only one to repeat in the second film, apart from Peter Cushing. The second one, Dalek’s Invasion Earth 2150 AD, also has some great comedy from Bernard Cribbins.

    This season of the Super Friends drew heavily from fairy tales and literature, with Frankenstein quite at home. Jack Kirby and Mike Sekowsky ended up being treated far better in animation than comics. Kirby did some character work; but, he specialized in presentation art. Not sure about Sekowsky.

    Casey Kasem also portrayed Mark Venture, in the Battle of the Planets version of the Japanese Gatchaman.

    1. If Sherlock Holmes went up against Baron Frankenstein… would they both be played by Peter Cushing? What if he did play both, and they made their resemblance part of the plot? The mind boggles!

      I’ve never seen Old Dracula. I know it gets panned in about every circle I’ve ever been in, but it seems to have an interesting supporting cast if nothing else. I’ve never heard of the Fifth Musketeer! I may need to check that one out. The Skipper as a Musketeer? Whoa.

      I haven’t seen the Dalek Invasion film yet, only the first one. I did enjoy that one though, despite the out-of-continuity wonkiness. I know Bernard Cribbins goes on to feature in legitimate Who as Donna’s grandfather, and of course he figures heavily into Tennant’s regeneration into Smith.

      I’m still amazed Super Friends got away with their Middle Earth episode without a lawsuit from the Tolkein estate. It’s not in public domain, folks!

      Kasem was also Cliffjumper on the Transformers, one of the few G1 Autobots to survive the animated movie!


      1. Check out At Sword’s Point, to see the younger Hale as musketeer. the film features Cornell Wilde, Alan Hale Jr and Dan O’Herlihy as the sons of the musketeers, and Maureen O’Hara as the daughter of Aramis (despite his taking holy orders, after the original book). O’Hara masquerades as a rather unconvincing boy, at first.

        The Bridges movie also has Rex Harrison as Jean Colbert, minister of state to King Louis and Ian McShane as the villainous Fouquet. Ursula Andress is a scheming Louise De Le Vallier and Olivia De Havilland has a cameo as Anne of Austria, while Sylvia Kristel, of the Emmanuelle films is Marie Teresa, of Spain (the love interest). The Richard Chamberlian/Louis Jordan/Ralph Richardson/Patrick McGoohan Man in the Iron Mask is better; but, this has some good swashbuckling.

        1. Yeah, Maureen O’Hara as a boy…I ain’t buying it.

          She’s one of Cindy’s favorite actresses, and we both like Musketeer stories. I’m definitely looking these up!

          She’s still giving me hell for us missing the first 20 minutes of the 90s Musketeers movie with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, etc. I got the times wrong and we waited in the lobby while the movie was playing. That was 20 years ago!!!


          1. You didn’t miss much, in my opinion. You certainly didn’t miss anything written by Dumas.

            Ever see the Hanna-Barbera version; not the cartoon from the Banana Splits Show; but, the one they did for their Family Classics holiday series? like the BSS cartoon, it features Alex Toth designs; but, it covers the bulk of the novel, rather than just using the characters. It’s available from the Warner Archive, on a set, with several of their specials, including Cyrano, with Jose Ferrer voicing the character. I remember seeing that as an ABC After School Special, which introduced me to the play and the character. The set also includes the Toth-designed Oliver and the Artful Dodger, with Richard Dawson voicing the villain.

        2. Oddly enough, Peter Cushing’s first role in Hollywood was a body double as The Man in the Iron Mask in the 1939.


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