MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: Frozen Alive (1964)

Bernard Knowles shot five of Hitchcock’s early movies before becoming a director himself. He’s probably best known for The Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour, but he also directed this movie which concerns freezing chimpanzees and then thawing them out for space travel because hey, it’s 1964 and  we were spending apes to the moon.

World Health Organisation’s Low Temperature Unit doctors Dr. Frank Overton (Mark Stevens) and Dr. Helen Wieland (Marianne Koch, who was an internal medicine specialist after she finished her acting career) have not only frozen these monkees for months, they’ve also fallen in love. The problem? Frank is still married to Joan (Delphi Lawrence), a fashion journalist who is also schtupping crime reporter Tony Stein (Joachim Hansen).

Frank gets $25,000 for his work and offers to buy a house in the country for Joan where they can have children. She argues with him about Helen, basically shoving him into her embrace. As she goes off to argue with her other man, Helen and Frank go against God and freeze him, but not before Joan threatens them with a gun and later shoots herself.

That said, in his book The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema, Mark C. Glassy wrote that the science was pretty much correct: “The level of accuracy in the science throughout this film was refreshingly high, and I have nothing but praise for Elizabeth Frazer, the writer of the film. She did a marvelous job and certainly did her homework.”

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