Count Alucard (read his name backwards) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.
Lon Chaney Jr.,
Wolf von Frankenstein returns to the Baronial manor from the United States with his wife Elsa and son Peter. He not made welcome by the locals who are still terrified of his father's works and the monster he created. The local Burgomaster gives him a sealed briefcase left by his father and inside, Wolf finds his father's scientific notes. At the manor house he meets his father's assistant Igor who has a surprise for him: the monster his father created is still alive, though in some sort of coma. Wolf's initial attempts to re-animate the creature seem to fail but when Peter says he saw a giant in the woods, it appears he's met success. When people are mysteriously killed in the village there is little doubt that the monster is responsible. Written by
This film marks the final time Boris Karloff would play the "Monster" - at least in a feature film. In August of 1940 he appeared as the Monster in a celebrity baseball game, with Jack P. Pierce in attendance (Pierce was a coach for an amateur baseball team, and played semi-pro when he was younger). In the next Frankenstein film in which Karloff appeared, House of Frankenstein (1944), he played Dr. Gustav Niemann. Originally the Samuel Goldwyn film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) was to have had a fantasy sequence in which Mitty (Danny Kaye) confronted the Monster, played again by Karloff (who played the villain in "Mitty.") Goldwyn sought and received authorization from Universal to use the image of the Monster, and Pierce re-created the make-up. Stills exist of the film's director, Karloff, Pierce, and Evelyn Karloff, but it has not been verified that scenes were actually filmed. In the Allied Artists film Frankenstein - 1970 (1958) Boris was an elderly Baron Frankenstein - but the twist ending was the revelation that the Baron had recreated the Monster's face in his own image (i.e., the face of Karloff). The last time Karloff donned the Jack Pierce-style monster makeup was in "Lizards Leg and Owlet Wing," a 1962 Halloween special for the TV series Route 66 (1960). Thus, he played the "Monster" six times in his career (or 6 1/2, if you count "Walter Mitty."). See more »
Although the culture is Germanic, Police Inspector Krogh refers to his men as "gendarmes" - which is French. See more »
They hanged me once Frankenstein. They broke my neck. They said I was dead. Then they cut me down. They threw me in here, long ago. They wouldn't bury me in holy place like churchyard. Because I stole bodies, eh they said. So, Ygor is dead! So, Dr. Frankenstein. Nobody can mend Ygor's neck. It's alright.
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The last Boris Karloff Frankenstein. The Baron's son Wolf (Basil Rathbone) comes to move to his late father's estate--a big beautiful castle. Inside he meets Ygor (Bela Lugosi) a crippled madman who wants to revive the Monster (Karloff). Naturally everything goes wrong.
Elaborate sequel to the series--the last really good one that Universal spent money on. The sets are huge and incredibly bizarre (note the huge wooden stairs going to the second floor). Also they're shot using weird camera angles and making very good use of light and darkness. There's ALWAYS something to look at in this movie. The script is intelligent and literate with almost uniformly good performances. Basil Rathbone chews the scenery as Wolf. Josephine Hutchinson is given nothing to do as his wife--but she does it beautifully. Lionel Atwill (already typecast as a policeman) is good and very amusing with his wooden hand. Lugosi is really creepy as Ygor. Best of all is Karloff--he uses pantomime throughout the whole picture (even though in the previous "Bride of..." he had learned to speak) and gets every meaning across. He doesn't even really start going until an hour in but he makes up for it!
The only debit is Frankenstein's son played by an annoying child actor named Donnie Dunagan. His acting is laughable (even for a child) and he speaks with a distinct Southern accent!!! Then again he WAS from Texas.
Still, a really good, spooky, elaborate horror film. Highly recommended.
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