Frankenstein 1970
theatrical release poster
Directed byHoward W. Koch
Screenplay byRichard H. Landau
George Worthing Yates
Story byAubrey Schenck
Charles A. Moses
Based onFrankenstein
characters inn 1818 novel
by Mary Shelley
Produced byAubrey Schenck
StarringBoris Karloff
CinematographyCarl E. Guthrie
Edited byJohn A. Bushelman
Music byPaul Dunlap
Aubrey Schenck Productions
Distributed byAllied Artists Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • July 20, 1958 (1958-07-20)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States

Frankenstein 1970 is a 1958 science fiction/horror film, shot in black and white CinemaScope, starring Boris Karloff and featuring Don "Red" Barry. The independent film was directed by Howard W. Koch, written by Richard Landau and George Worthing Yates, and produced by Aubrey Schenck. It was released theatrically in some markets on a double feature with Queen of Outer Space.


Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) has suffered torture and disfigurement at the hands of the Nazis as punishment for not cooperating with them during World War II. He nevertheless continues his work as a scientist. Needing funds to support his experiments, the Baron allows a television crew to shoot a horror film about his monster-making family at his castle in Germany.[3]

This arrangement gives the Baron enough money to buy an atomic reactor, which he uses to create a living being, modeled after his own likeness before he had been tortured. When the Baron runs out of body parts for his work, he proceeds to kill off members of the crew, and even his faithful butler, for more spare parts. Finally, the Monster turns on the Baron, and they are both killed in a blast of radioactive steam from the reactor. After the reactor is shut down and the radiation falls to safe levels, the Monster's bandages are removed, and an audio tape is played back in which the Baron reveals that he had intended for the Monster to be a perpetuation of himself because he was the last of the Frankenstein family line.[4]



Producer Aubrey Schenck had a three-picture deal with Boris Karloff.[5]

The movie was shot at the Warner Bros. studio in a mere eight days on a modest budget. The main set was borrowed from Too Much, Too Soon (1958).[1]

The title Frankenstein 1970 was intended to add a futuristic touch. During preproduction, alternative titles included Frankenstein's Castle, Frankenstein 1960, and Frankenstein 2000.

Allied Artists released the film, after purchasing it for $250,000.[1]

Home media

For years, the only home video release available of Frankenstein 1970 was a pan and scan version on VHS. In October 2009, Warner Bros. included the film on the DVD Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics, along with three other movies. This release of Frankenstein 1970 features an audio commentary track by co-star Charlotte Austin and fan historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns. Frankenstein 1970 was released in 2019 on Blu-ray as part of the Warner Archive Collection.[6]

Howard Stern talked about the movie on his Sirius XM radio show. His father, Ben Stern would watch it on television and would call Howard "Schutter".


  1. ^ a b c Jacobs, Steven. (2011) Boris Karloff: More Than A Monster. Tomahawk Press. p. 418
  2. ^ Weaver, Tom. (2000) It Came from Horrorwood: Interviews with Moviemakers in the SF and Horror Tradition. McFarland & Company. p.279
  3. ^ "Frankenstein--1970". Retrieved 2023-06-12.
  4. ^ "Frankenstein--1970". Retrieved 2023-06-12.
  5. ^ Weaver, Tom. (2004) Aubrey Schenck: It Came from Horrorwood. McFarland & Company. p. 279.
  6. ^ "Frankenstein 1970 Blu-ray (Warner Archive Collection)".