Frankenstein 1970 is a 1958 science fiction horror film, shot in black and white CinemaScope, starring Boris Karloff and Don "Red" Barry. This independent film was directed by Howard W. Koch; its alternative titles during pre-production included Frankenstein's Castle, Frankenstein 1960, and Frankenstein 1975. Shot in a mere eight days on a modest budget, the film was finally titled Frankenstein 1970 for an appropriately futuristic touch. The film was released through Allied Artists.
For several years, only a pan and scan VHS tape of the film was available. In October 2009, Warner Brothers released the DVD "Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics," which includes Frankenstein 1970 as one of the four films, and features an audio commentary by one the film's co-star, Charlotte Austin, and fan historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns.
Boris Karloff plays the role of Baron Victor von Frankenstein, who suffered at the hands of the Nazis as punishment for not cooperating with them during World War II. Horribly disfigured, he nevertheless continues his work as a scientist. Needing funds to support his experiments, the Baron allows a television crew to shoot a made-for-television horror film about his monster-making family at his castle in Germany.
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 by the Nazis. When the Baron runs out of body parts for his work, however, he proceeds to kill off members of the crew, and even his faithful butler, for more spare parts. Finally, however, 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, revealing the Baron's own face prior to his being disfigured by the Nazis, 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, as he was the last of the Frankenstein family line.
Boris Karloff – Baron Victor von Frankenstein
Tom Duggan – Mike Shaw
Jana Lund – Carolyn Hayes
Donald Barry – Douglas Row
Charlotte Austin – Judy Stevens
Irwin Berke – Inspector Raab
Rudolph Anders – Wilhelm Gottfried
Norbert Schiller – Schutter, Frankenstein's butler
John Dennis – Morgan Haley
Mike Lane – Hans Himmler / The Monster
The film's main set was borrowed from the movie Too Much, Too Soon (1958).
The film was sold to Allied Artists for $250,000.