Paula the ape woman (Acquanetta) is alive and well, and running around a creepy old sanitarium run by the kindly Dr. Fletcher (J. Carrol Naish), also reverting to her true gorilla form ... See full summary »
Ygor resurrects Frankenstein's monster and brings him to the original doctor's son, Ludwig, for help. Ludwig, obsessed with the idea of restoring the monster to full power, is unaware that his various associates all have different ideas about whose brain is to be transplanted into the monster's skull. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
Lon Chaney was known for his hard-drinking ways. During production of this film, Chaney became inebriated while in full costume and got "lost" in the intricate mazes that were part of the laboratory sets. It took several minutes for him to find his way free. A similar incident occurred many years later when Chaney played the Frankenstein Monster on an episode of Tales of Tomorrow. Once again, Chaney became intoxicated and mistakenly believed that the show's live telecast was actually the final dress rehearsal. For much of the performance, Chaney stumbled about, picking up breakaway props he was supposed to destroy and then setting them back down. See more »
The dramatic shadow cast by the monster's hand when first discovered by Ygor in the sulfur pit comes from a light source completely at odds with the overhead light shining down into the sulfur pit in which we see the monster encased. See more »
"The Ghost of Frankenstein" is one of the better entries in the series.
Trying to rid themselves of the curse, villagers destroy Frankenstein's Castle, where Ygor, (Bela Lugosi) still lives. They accomplish the task, while Ygor finds the still-living Monster, (Lon Chaney Jr.) inside the sulfur pit and takes it to safety. Traveling to find Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein, (Cedric Hardwicke) the second son who also specializes in brain surgery. Getting themselves arrested upon entering the village, they are immediately questioned by Erik, (Ralph Bellamy) town constable and the fiancée of Dr. Frankenstein's daughter Elsa, (Evelyn Ankers) and are released into their custody to make The Monster better. Forced to reveal their existence to his daughter, his attempts to kill it instead become of a mission to transplant his criminal brain out and replace it so it doesn't become a monster of destruction. Successfully performing the operation, the villagers want answers and charge the house to demand answers, putting everyone at risk.
The Good News: This here manages a lot of good stuff. The best part is perhaps the fact that the monster gets a lot of screen-time here, allowing for its personality to shine through much more. There's the fact that it's allowed to be completely sympathetic with the fabulous scene where it helps a village girl out in front of a horrified group of adults yet the creature does nothing harmful until it's confronted by others. The later scene where it visits her in her home and gently takes her away without being even slightly violent. When it later becomes violent and destructive, there's a real reason why rather than a coincidental one. That it also features more time of it being gentle and more sedate makes it striking when something happens to it to provoke violence. The fact that this is also book-ended by fantastic action pieces also doesn't hurt the film. The opening destruction of the castle high atop the mountain is a pyrotechnic delight, taking a huge amount of firepower to take it down, and the spectacle of seeing the large buildings come down in a huge flame makes it all the grander. The ending rampage is quite exciting, taking out a large number of lives in addition to the high amount of electrical equipment destroyed through the monster's actions. These are greatly done, looking highly explosive and very flammable, which is always a good thing in these types. The sight of the huge building on fire is a superb visual and manages to make it look at the grander for what it should be. The film also has quite a nicely spaced out pace to it, never for once seeming like it's slowing down but rather moving forward for most of the film. Overall, this here is a pretty entertaining entry in the series.
The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot here that doesn't work, and most of it won't be of any importance anyway. The biggest one is the fact that the film doesn't really make it seem important for the creature and Ygor to seem like imposing figures for the townspeople. They wander up through the streets in broad daylight, engage many of them in conversation and openly declare their association with the infamous family and their intentions there. At first the villagers seem afraid but willing if it gets them on their way, then it doesn't bother them at all until the final third of the film, when the monster gets loose and starts rampaging. That's what spurs them into action, and many times often ignore the fact that they're out there, despite the fact the creature openly escaped custody in a nice courthouse jailbreak sequence, yet after they're chased off, nothing is given about their feelings until the monster goes into action. It's pretty inconsistent, as well as the fact that at one moment they seem to know everything that happened with the previous family that had performed the operation, yet there are times where they seem to have no clue who they were. Some may not pick up on these facts, but it's the little things that make or break the big films. The silly tone in here, where the monster isn't really all that much of a threat until forced into action might make it seem less serious than the others, it's not a huge detriment to it in any way.
The Final Verdict: With some minor flaws that might not seem all that noticeable for some, this is still an overall very satisfying entry in the series. There's enough connections and action to keep them interested, while those that want it a little more seriously might be better off with the earlier installments.
Today's Rating-PG: Mild Violence
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?