|Page 1 of 10:||         |
|Index||92 reviews in total|
I grew up in the 60s, and my dad introduced me to the Universal Horror movies through TV reruns. Among the attractions: the mysterious atmosphere, the B&W photography, the convincing and committed performances, the occasional wit and humor. These films never fail to please me and put me in a good mood, and this one is one of my favorites. Lots of fun with the monsters, moods and music. Call me old-fashioned, but I'd rather watch just one of these old chestnuts than a year's worth of Freddies, Jasons, etc.
In 1943 Universal teamed up Frankenstein and the Wolfman and made a
fortune. So the theory was if the public loved 2 monsters, let's toss five
at them!!Strangely enough this works.
The mad doctor Niemann(Boris Karloff) and his hunchback assistant are locked in prison. Seems the old doc was doing some rather frowned upon experiments. A convenient lightning bolt destroys the prison walls and the doctor and his hunchback escape.
They are picked up by Lampini's travelling sideshow.The hunchback kills the owner and the doctor takes his place. They head to the town that vilified the mad doctor years before.
Without giving too much away the doctor stumbles upon Dracula(John Carradine),Wolfman (Lon Chaney) & the Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange).They all figure into his plot of revenge against the men who sent him to prison.
This movie has a wonderful sense of lunacy to it.Boris gives a fine performance as Niemann.Carradine gives his first portrayal of Dracula. (Always found him to be extremely hammy).Chaney of course gives a tortured air to Larry Talbot, the Wolfman.
Many critics felt that too many monsters spoiled the brew.But Dracula & the Monster are really nothing more than extended cameos.If you sit back and just enjoy the ride the movie accomplishes what it set out to do and that is just entertain. Gets an 8.
This is the first time Universal Studios tried a Monster Mash by
incorporating three of their most popular creatures into one film:
Dracula, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster. The results are quite
good, mostly due to the performers chosen for their parts. This is not
supposed to be sophisticated film-making or storytelling; just a fun
ghoulish romp, perfectly suited for a Halloween Night. And it succeeds
Boris Karloff returned to the Frankenstein Series with this installment, and it's an asset to the picture to have him. Some fans have accused him of walking through his part as a mad scientist here, but I've always found this to be a very understated kind of calculated evil, and he's very good here. He portrays the mad Dr. Niemann, who once dared to follow in the footsteps of the original Frankenstein, and as a result was jailed for his unethical experiments along with his hunchbacked assistant, Daniel. When a severe thunderstorm destroys the foundation of the prison he's housed in, Niemann manages an escape and attempts to locate the original diary of Dr. Frankenstein, running into Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Frankenstein Monster along the way.
J. Carrol Naish scores high points with his portrayal of the sympathetic hunchbacked assistant to Karloff, and manages to stir up our emotions as he pines away for cute gypsy girl Elena Verdugo. Lon Chaney plays The Wolf Man for a third time here, and though he's saddled with some silly dialogue ("why have you freed me from the ice that imprisoned the beast that lived within me?") he has now made the tragic character of Larry Talbot the werewolf all his own. He is desperate to aid Dr. Niemann however he can, in the hopes that the scientist may be able to return the favor by curing him of his curse.
John Carradine is exceptional as Dracula, playing the part differently than Bela Lugosi had. What Carradine lacked in the creepy "otherworldliness" of Bela, he made up for with aristocratic evil. His physical look is actually much closer to how Bram Stoker described the character in his novel, "Dracula". Glenn Strange takes on the role of the hulking and imposing Frankenstein Monster for the first time, and is the next best to Karloff's interpretation of the creature, in terms of appearance. Hans J. Salter again provides a wonderfully haunting music score. Director Erle C. Kenton accentuates the proceedings with gloomy sets, dark nights and the customary thunder and lightning.
This monster fest is light and breezy, packing much into its brief 70 minute running time. If there is any quibble to be made for HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, it would be with regard to the episodic way in which its three monsters are worked into the plot. Dracula has an early segment all his own, and then the second half switches to the Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster. None of the creatures cross paths with another, and their screen time as ghouls is limited (especially the case for the Monster). But this is just a technicality; for those who don't go into it expecting High Art, there is still much fun to be had within the House of Frankenstein. *** out of ****
House of Frankenstein was the first of the monster free for alls with all three Universal monster legends, the Frankenstein monster, the wolfman, and Dracula. It is not the most coherent story around, but you won't care because the film has a brisk pace, imaginative scenes, creative sets, and some first-rate acting. Boris Karloff plays a doctor in the Dr. Frankenstein tradition trying to resurrect the Monster and appease the wolfman by finding him a path to death. He is the epitome of evil and has no moral compass whatsoever. Karloff does a fine job in his role, and Lon Chaney, as ever saddened at his lunar plight, does a wonderful job again as Larry Talbot(his third time in the role). Glenn Strange plays the monster..and plays him well although really has little to do in the film till the last five minutes. Dracula is played by John Carradine. The shining stars of the cast, however, are J. Carroll Naish playing a poor murdering hunchback with low self-esteem, and the bubbly and beautiful Elena Verdugo as a gypsy girl. Naish gives a very poignant portrayal. Look for cameos by Lionel Atwill and George Zucco(wish his part had been larger). House of Frankenstein is a great film in the Universal tradition of its monsters and mayhem. One of its other outstanding virtues is its famous score.
"House of Frankenstein" is salvaged by a great cast of seasoned performers
who make this movie better than it should be, given it's split "B" movie
story. In a move to re-generate interest in its fading horror series,
Universal gives us Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, the Wolf Man, the
Hunchback and the Mad Doctor all in the same film. But where's the Mummy? It
is essentially divided into two parts.
We begin with the notorious Dr. Gustav Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunchback assistant Daniel (J. Carroll Naish) escaping from the prison in which they have been held for the past 15 years. They come upon a traveling Chamber of Horrors that supposedly includes the remains of the infamous Count Dracula, run by a Professor Lampini (George Zucco). Neimann wants to return to his home and resume his work of creating life from dead bodies and take revenge upon his accusers. The unfortunate Professor is quickly dispatched and Neimann takes his place.
It turns out that the remains of Dracula are genuine and Neimann brings him back to life in the form of John Carradine. Neimann plans to use Dracula as the instrument of his revenge. He is sent to murder the local Burgomeister (Sig Ruman) and is attracted to his grand daughter Rita (Anne Gwynne). When Rita is abducted by Dracula, her husband (Peter Coe) and the local police Inspector (Lionel Atwill) give chase and .....
Meanwhile Neimann plans to go to the ruins of Frankenstein's castle to seek out the scientist's notes on the creation of his creature. Along the way they stop at a gypsy camp and Daniel becomes infatuated with a gypsy girl Ilonka (Elena Verdugo). At the castle Daniel falls into a frozen cave where they find the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.) and the Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange). The Wolf Man changes back into Lawrence Talbot and pleads with Neimann to help rid him of his werewolf curse.
Neimann takes them both back to his laboratory but becomes pre-occupied with restoring the monster rather than helping Talbot. Ilonka begins to fall in love with Talbot but is warned of Talbot's curse. The full moon comes up and you know what happens next. Daniel attacks Neimann because of his broken promises to him. The monster suddenly awakens and.....
The teaming of Karloff and Chaney makes this film work. Karloff is great as the mad doctor and Chaney brings pathos and sympathy to his portrayal of the doomed Talbot. Carradine makes a surprisingly good Dracula in an all too brief appearance. Naish almost steals the film as the tragic Daniel whose love for the gypsy girl is doomed from the start. Cowboy actor and former stuntman Glenn Strange takes over as the monster but has little to do until the last reel. Atwill and Zucco sadly, make only brief appearances in minor roles.
Followed by "House of Dracula" (1945) a similar but inferior film.
Okay, let's get this straight right off the slab - not the best Universal monster movie ever made, but tons of fun! Gets an extra star due to sheer number of monsters in the film; Boris Karloff as the mad scientist, Lon Chaney Jr. as the wolfman, J. Carol Naish as the hunchback, Glen Strange as the monster, and John Carradine as Dracula! Whew! And they manage to pull it all off convincingly. What more could one ask for? This is a fun, fast paced, monster rally. Check it out - if you enjoy the Universal monster movies, you'll love this one.
The movie begins with evil Dr. Gustav Niemann and his sidekick, Daniel
roaming the countryside doing evil and making a few bucks on the side.
It's a simple life traveling the countryside and creating mayhem, but
somebody's gotta do it, right?! Well, the maniacal doctor has a lot of
unforeseen luck, as he stumbles first upon the skeleton of Dracula (who
he wisely decides to revive). For some odd reason, the long-dead
Dracula comes back not as Bela Lugosi but John Carradine. While a
decent enough villain, it just made no sense why Lugosi didn't reprise
the role. Anyway, they later discover the Frankenstein monster and the
Wolfman frozen in a cave (since their last film) and spend much of
their time trying to revive them--so they can kick butt and spread
terror. Well, they did not foresee that the Wolfman, when in the form
of nice-guy Larry Talbot, didn't want to spread terror and death
(shucks). Well, the plan is shot and evil is thwarted. Cool.
Strengths of the film are the evil doctor--he's a really nasty menace, having three monsters instead of the usual one and the fact that it is a Universal horror film with all its campy fun. The weaknesses are that the series is getting a little old, the pathos concerning Daniel falling for the gypsy girl is a tad annoying, and John Carradine just isn't and never could be Dracula!
Mad scientist Boris Karloff escapes from prison with hunchbacked assistant Daniel (J. Carrol Naish). He plans revenge against the men who put him there and wants to revive the Frankenstein monster. Along the way they revive Dracula (John Carradine) and Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) pops up as the Wolf Man. Silly but enjoyable all-star monster mash. Naish, Karloff, Carradine are all very good as is Elena Verdugo as a gypsy who falls in love with Talbot. Chaney Jr. just walks through his role. No great shakes (or scares) but there's tons of atmosphere, beautiful sets, pretty good special effects and it moves quickly. Worth seeing.
This has some of the best vintage sequences in the series, great George
Robinson photography, eerie sets and a nice score from Hans J Salter that
expands on the previous entries. And everyone does their professional best
to spout the inane dialogue they're saddled with. What's wrong is the silly
story that surrounds the events. A movie that promises a Monster Mash
results in a collection of Monster cameos.
This is a semi remake of 'Son of Frankenstein', where broken-neck Ygor used the Monster to exact his revenge. This time around, it's mad scientist Karloff (with hunchback Naish) doing the same on those who imprisoned him. But the only 'monsters' used as his proxy for revenge are Dracula and Daniel. The Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster show up just long enough to do their snarls before being dispatched. A nice touch was the triangle love between Talbot, the gypsy Ilonka and Daniel. And like 'Ghost of Frankenstein', there's a difference of opinion on who should be the recipient of whose brain.
But this movie is still fun, probably because it's based more on my nostalgic memories from the first time I saw it as a kid rather than my harsh adult perception. (A & C Meet Frankenstein I saw 1st, at 5 yrs old...another movie with all these monsters in it??...too cool! [just my silly 6 yr old opinion].
This one has the best 'Wolf Man' make-up and man-to-beast transformation (the footprints & the mirror sequence). Carradine's turn as Dracula is very good, but you can't help but wonder if only Lugosi had been allowed to reprise his most famous role. And for his limited input, Strange does just fine as the Monster (better than what Chaney and Lugosi did with the role in the last two) helped by Karloff's coaching on how the monster moved and walked. And it's complete with gypsies, a castle, fog forests and an angry mob (again).
So just grab some popcorn; and double up with Universal's 'House of Dracula' for a fun double feature. Just don't swallow too hard.
A nostalgic 6 out of 10!
Boris Karloff has a fine time playing the evil Dr. Niemann who escapes from
prison with his hunchback assistant (J. Carrol Naish) and seeks revenge on
those who sent him there. The plot involves three of the Universal
monsters--Dracula (John Carradine), Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange) and
the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.)
It's all done in the usual atmospheric style with some impressive sets and photography. Good support from Anne Gwynne, Elena Verdugo and Lionel Atwill. Verdugo is a gypsy girl loved by the hunchback assistant, Naish, who plays his role extremely well. She, in turn, has a yen for the self-pitying Wolf Man.
Despite the presence of three monsters, it is Boris Karloff who dominates the film from the start. As soon as he overtakes the director of a traveling chamber of horrors, the film gets off to a brisk start and never fails to entertain. A good entry in the horror cycle.
|Page 1 of 10:||         |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|