Film (1976). Cine Artists. Directed by Ralph Nelson. Written by Anita Doohan, Jack W Thomas, based on a story by Thomas. Cast includes Barbara Carrera, Rock Hudson, Diane Ladd and Roddy McDowall. 105 minutes. Colour.
In this variation on the Frankenstein theme, an overreaching Scientist (Hudson), while experimenting on a premature foetus with a growth hormone, creates in weeks a fully developed 25-year-old woman (Carrera). She has a virtually blank mind, and the scientist, like Pygmalion, moulds her personality and introduces her into society. The result is an intelligent but morally crippled creature whom he ultimately destroys. Despite its modern hardware, the film is really a reworking of the old Gothic theme – as in the German silent films Homunculus (1916) and Alraune (1928) – about the basic evil of beings who are created by unnatural means and are therefore without souls. It is not a good film. The novelization is Embryo (1976) by Louis Charbonneau. [JB/PN]
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