Super Mates 92: House of Franklin-Stein Part 2

Chris and Cindy hop the pond to the Hammer House of Franklin-Stein! They discuss another classic Hammer film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, The Gorgon! A small European village is plagued by the curse of an ancient Grecian evil! Who has the stones to stop it?

Then from the Comic Crypt comes Hawkman #25 (May 1968) by Bob “Zany” Haney and Dick Dillin, where the Winged Wonder must contend with the city-destroying powers of a revived Medusa! The only problem is, she’s taken up vacancy in his wife’s body!

Subscribe via iTunes. Or Spotify.

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK

Clip credits:

The Gorgon (1964) directed by Terrence Fisher, music by James Bernard

“The House of Franklinstein” by Terry O’Malley, of Stop Calling Me Frank

“Turn to Stone” by Joe Walsh

“Black Magic Woman” by Santana

24 responses to “Super Mates 92: House of Franklin-Stein Part 2

  1. Another great episode! I love House of Franklin-stein!

    I’m not a super avid Hammer Film fan but I have always loved The Gorgon! So I am glad that you decided to review it. I love the slow petrification of the victims. Gruesome! And yes, the rubber snake wig only works in quick glimpses. But for the time, I think the effects are pretty decent.

    And while I like the Hawkman issue you reviewed, I was hoping you were going to review Supergirl #8 from 1972 in which she actually becomes a Medusa. Moreover, she petrifies Hawkman!

    Here is my review:

    It is a crazy crazy issue ( all those Supergirl issues in that solo run were). Hope you peek and enjoy!

    1. Gah! I forgot about that Supergirl issue! As soon as you mentioned it, I saw the cover in my mind! I have never read the story, but that would have been a great one to do. Maybe if we ever cover “House of the Gordon”?


  2. The Gorgon was one of the last of the Cushing & Lee Hammer team-ups I saw. I was always down to see these two amazing actors together. It’s unfortunate they were rarely ever on the same side. (Were they ever allied in a Hammer film?)
    The Gorgon was a great choice for a horror monster. Vampires, werewolves. The Frankenstein Monster and Mummies are all fun, but they’d been done to death even by the time Hammer infused them with new blood.
    A creature out of ancient myth was a refreshing new twist on a doomed gothic romance.
    I always felt that if Christopher Lee had been a few years younger, he’d have been a fantastic James Bond.

    1. Well, Lee and Ian Fleming were cousins, and there are some who believe Lee’s real-life exploits may have influenced the creation of Bond, and others claim Fleming was pushing for Lee to play him, so you are not alone!

      I don’t think Lee and Cushing were ever on the same side in a Hammer film. I haven’t seen She, though…


      1. Lee was and Cushing were enemies in SHE as well.
        I can only think of non Hammer films that featured the two as allies.
        Horror Express (and even then there is a rivalry) and House of Ling Shadows

      2. I would have loved to see Christopher Lee’s take on James Bond. I think he could have brought a real air of threat and menace to the character. At the same time, I think he could also have handled Bond’s more charming playboy side. I’m thinking of the character Lee played in The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll.

          1. I’m off to find the reality in which Christopher Lee IS James Bond! Once I find I’ll send back DVDS!
            Oh… what am I thinking… they’ll probably be Region Coded….

    1. I liked the moody atmosphere of the early B&W episodes, but yeah, the typical soap opera antics with only an occasional hint of something spooky got boring quickly. I may drop back in during the Laura/phoenix storyline.


  3. Usually on House of Franklinstein, I’ve read the comic and seen the movie. Occasionally it has been one or the other. This may be the first episode where I haven’t seen the movie or read the comic. I have the Hawkman Showcase, so I don’ have an excuse there.

    Is the Gorgon hard to find? I noticed it isn’t available on Amazon Prime right now?

    1. It’s available in a box set along with other Columbia-released Hammer films. The set includes Gorgon, Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Scream of Fear!, and Stop Me Before I Kill!. Not sure where it may be streaming, but this is a solid set. Scream of Fear is a great “mini-Psycho” like thriller with one hell of a twist…and Christopher Lee (who is also in the Jekyll movie, as Brian pointed out above).


  4. Thanks for covering this, Cindy and Chris. This is the film that haunted my childhood – I first saw it when it was about seven and from then on it was on local telly at least annually, it seemed. That haunted mansion with the eerie music and monster standing in the shadows spooked me, and I used to imagine she was in the room, behind me. As for why she did what she did, it’s her nature. She’s the gorgon.

    I was wondering if you would have some insider information as to why this wasn’t Medusa, but it’s probably just the screenwriter getting mixed up.

    Greg Rucka had Wonder Woman challenged by Medusa, and the only way his Diana could think to ensure she won was to blind herself with Gorgonzola venom. Pants. Hawkman was a far better choice.

    1. That’s cool that you watched and enjoyed this film as a kid, Martin! I don’t think I saw it until about 15 years ago, give or take. I can totally see the atmosphere really working on a kid. Heck, the Wolf Man traumatized me for years!

      I was aware of the Rucka Wonder Woman stories, but…yeah, not much fun to talk about.


  5. Thanks for covering this solid horror flick. Lee and Cushing are both great in it. Also, I agree with others that it is refreshing to see a “new” monster featured in one of these classic monster movies. It’s too bad there was never a follow-up Gorgon movie. Surely, they could have found a way to resurrect Megaera, or simply brought in the third Gorgon sister.

    I’ve also been thinking about Namaroff’s irrational behavior throughout the movie, and how it seemed to hinder rather than help his cause to protect Carla/Megaera. You could just say that he was in love with Carla, and his feelings for her clouded his judgement. But, there could be more going on here. We see that Megaera is able to influence men with her siren’s song. Perhaps, Megaera maintains this ability to some extent in her human-form. Perhaps, Carla unconsciously draws men under sway as a defense mechanism, to protect herself while not in her more powerful Gorgon-form.

    If that’s the case, then Namaroff and Paul may not have fallen in love with her of their own free will. All of this would explain why Namaroff didn’t lock Carla up during the full moon to stop the killings, because Magaera didn’t want to be locked up and she didn’t want to stop killing, and she, whether consciously or unconsciously, was ultimately calling the shots.

  6. Excellent episode, Franklins! I really enjoyed this show even though I haven’t seen this movie or read the comic. Both of you consistently make great episodes and you make me want to seek out these movies. I better get crackin’! It’s October already! Keep up the great work!

  7. While the Universal Monsters will always be my favorite “take” on these characters, I think Hammer outdid them when it came to the second or third tier monster movies. Universal came up with crap like Captive Wild Woman, while Hammer put its A listers in movies like The Gorgon. I’ve never seen this, but it looks like fun.

    Re: Hawkman–IIRC this whole run of Hawkman comics was retconned out of continuity by Tony Isabella in a letter column for SHADOW WAR OF HAWKMAN because the stories were so out of character and ridiculous. That was still a novel concept in 1985, I remember laughing at it at the time. Supposedly in a later issue by Haney Hawkman starts a hurricane by flapping his wings?

    This HOFs continue to be so much fun. I know how labor intensive they are and it shows in the final product!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *