Monster Day 11: “Let’s Swap Soul”
Now would be a great time to tie in one of the original influences to Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” and the Hammer Films. Earlier in this series I mentioned that there is in fact a real life Castle Frankenstein and a real life mad scientist (alchemist) lived there. His name was Johann Conrad Dippel. He was born and raised in Castle Frankenstein. In the 1700s Dippel challenged the ultra conservative church with his studies in Theology and Alchemy. Dippel was known for his experiments with something called Soul-Transference, cadavers lined parts of the Castle with Johann trying to move the soul from one corpse to another. Dippel also claimed to discover the Elixir of Life and a way to Exorcise Demons after numerous experiments with animals.
The 3rd sequel (out of six) to Hammer’s “The Curse of Frankenstein” focused on this exact idea in the film “Frankenstein Created Woman” (1967). A complete departure from the original Universal film “The Bride of Frankenstein” this film has the Doctor dabble in Dippel’s Soul-Transference. Without giving away too much of the story, Frankenstein’s assistant is executed for murder. The assistant’s love interest, a severely disfigured woman, commits suicide. Their bodies are soon to be in the lab where Frankenstein transfers the soul of his beheaded assistant to the newly reconstructed body of the woman he loved. “Frankenstein Created Woman” is a strange and unique take on the Frankenstein realm and even a very taboo topic for the time – 1967.