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|Index||88 reviews in total|
Count Dracula (John Carradine) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr) seek a
cure for their afflictions; meanwhile, a hunchbacked woman (Jane
Adams), a mad scientist and Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange) have
their own troubles.
Somebody at Universal thought it would be a good idea to combine Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein's monster, a hunchback and basically a knockoff of Jekyll and Hyde. In theory, this sounds great -- why not pack the screen with monsters? More monsters, more fun. But actually doing it within the 67 minutes allotted and having a coherent plot... well, that is another matter entirely.
If you are watching the films in Universal's Dracula Legacy collection, this film comes after "Son of Dracula". It actually comes after "House of Frankenstein", but you would not know that from the way it is bundled. And it seems weird that Chaney shows up looking exactly like he did for his Dracula / Alucard role, only to return as Larry Talbot again. Mixing monsters and switching actors is confusing!
Then there is Dracula. Now, either you have Dracula wanting to be cured of his vampirism, which makes absolutely no sense, or the character is not actually Dracula but a baron as he claims in the beginning. If that is the case, it seems that the nobility are especially susceptible to becoming the undead. A pity.
To recap, if you want a variety of monsters running around a lab going crazy, this is a pretty good story. But if you actually want a film that makes sense, this probably is not the one for you -- it is just too packed with monsters to really develop a story. Overall, really fun but no depth. The story was probably written in 15 minutes.
Universal was known for strong production values on their products,
even for their "B" pics. This entry, the last serious film in the
talkie horror cycle had those elements, but they were rushed. The
action was rushed. The music was rushed. Even though the score was
stock music from several of the predecessor films, the themes were
played way too fast this time. This is most evident during the chase
scene where the whole village pursues Dr. Edelman through the cemetery
back to his castle. The violinists must have had severe cramps after
The last 5 minutes were even worse than the average serial chapter. Erle Kenton usually did much better as he did with House of F and Ghost in previous attempts. This was a bad imitation of Ford Beebe. It was just a collision of story and budget that was done on the cheap.
It seems like Universal was in a great hurry to get out of the horror business. This could have been a much better film with slowing down the pace (and music) to allow some of the flow to make sense.
There were some good scenes, for example when Baron Latos was seducing Nurse Morrell, the piano changing from Beethoven to Satan's music was well done. Carradine's overall performance as Dracula was quite good. It deserved to be in a better film.
House of Frankenstein was a much better film than House of Dracula simply for having a better pace. I wonder if anyone in the horror unit looked back at this last chapter with regret.
That said, the horror cycle was a pretty good ride. No other studio put out a similar product on a consistent basis, with the possible exception of SOME of the Lewton films at RKO. I still watch House of Dracula even with its shortcomings. It's like an old friend that comes over for a visit; even if he's not your BEST friend, you understand him and are comfortable with him. That's still not a bad thing.
The last of the sequels,not counting Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein which was more or less a spoof.this time count Dracula (John Carridine)takes center stage seeking a cure for his vampirism from a kindly doc(Onslow Stevens).well good ole Larry Talbot(Lon Chaney Jr)shows up also seeking a cure.the good doc succeeds in curing Larry's werewolfism,but Dracula tricks the doc and ends up contaminating his blood and makes the good doc a crazed lunatic.oh and all this time big Franky(Glenn strange)lies on a table awaiting his electricity fix so he can wreak some havoc.this was kind of a short movie,around 70 minutes and some change,but the action is there,and the great actors are there as well.Lionel atwill turns up as a police inspector,heres some trivia,Lionel atwill appeared in son of Frankenstein,ghost of Frankenstein,Frankenstein meets the wolf-man,and house of Frankenstein. and then this one.if there was another in the series they May have added the creature from the black lagoon to the line up,I'm giving house of Dracula 8 out of 10.
I liked House of Dracula much more than house of Frankenstein. Carradine is much more passable & his acting isn't as ridiculous & overboard as in HOF. The actors deliver solid enough performances. The subplots (eg the monster, the village mobsters, the village idiot, the hunchback nurse etc ) are mixed in well, so that none becomes an odd splinter as in HOF. Better run than the stitched-together HOF. The hunchback nurse is as likable as the hunchback in HOF. The doctor is very good. As well, Lon Chaney adds a classy touch with his wolfman. Worth watching twice. A classic universal horror with that typical 1940's, long lost flair. Especially good is the doctor's performance before/after his blood had been contaminated with Dracula's.
"House of Dracula" (Universal, 1945), directed by Erle C. Kenton, an
immediate sequel to HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1944), rejoins the Universal
monsters of The Wolf Man, Count Dracula and The Frankenstein Monster in
another attempt for a cure of the eternal curse. But in spite of the
title that would indicate a Dracula thriller, the house in question
happens to be the residence of a scientist named Edelmann.
In the previous horror fest, Count Dracula (John Carradine) meets his doom after facing the rising sun; Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) is shot and killed by a silver bullet; and the Monster (Glenn Strange), who carries the wounded mad scientist, Doctor Niemann (Boris Karloff), each come to their ends when pursued by torch-wielding villagers, forced into the forest and walking into and sinking slowly beneath a pool of quicksand. A fine climax, however, with this sequel, the story begins with a vampire bat changing into the form of Count Dracula coming to the residence of Doctor Franz Edelmann (Onslow Stevens) seeking a cure for his vampiric condition. That same night, a second visitor, Lawrence Talbot, appears (this time sporting a mustache), hoping also for a cure. With Dracula and Talbot alive and well, the screenwriters of this production have obviously exhausted themselves in obtaining an original story, thus, repeating themselves with some slight alterations as well as the lack of an explanation as to how these two victims of eternal doom have survived their demise. It is interesting that someone didn't think about adding Klaris, the living mummy, into this roaster, but since Lon Chaney Jr. was doing that, it would be impossible for him to perform as two monster characters into the same film. As with HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, the Monster, whose preserved body has been found along with the skeleton remains of Doctor Niemann, is the least important of the three monsters, and once again, he is given very limited screen time. Like Niemann, Doctor Edelmann has a hunchback assistant, this time in the form of a woman, a nurse named Nina (Jane Adams). Edelman comes upon the logical reason for Dracula's undeath being more medical than supernatural, as well as theorizing Talbot's affliction being more physiology rather than the curse of a gypsy. While Edelmann is experimenting with the Monster, Dracula finds himself a new victim in Miliza Morelle (Martha O'Driscoll). After destroying Dracula by opening his casket during the sunrise, Edelmann, who had earlier received contaminated blood transformation from Dracula, gradually becomes insane in the manner of Jekyll and Hyde, committing a series of murders by night, and being his simple self by day.
Unlike the horror thrillers made by Universal in the 1930s, HOUSE OF Dracula plays more like a kiddie matinée, this being the least of the combined monster cycle that began with FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943). Not that HOUSE OF Dracula is a bad movie, in fact, it's not very good either. It lacks originality, especially with its final minutes that appears to be rushed, along with the climax of the Monster's umpteenth demise lifted from the fadeout of THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942). In spite of these clichés, HOUSE OF Dracula does contain some memorable moments, including the scene where Lawrence Talbot is placed in a Visaria jail where he awaits the rising of the full moon, and transforms into the wolf man and runs rapidly around his locked jail cell before he retreats in exhaustion, as witnessed by Edelmann and Inspector Holtz (Lionel Atwill). Another key scene later finds Talbot, out of desperation trying to avoid another horror in changing into a wolf man during the upcoming full moon, hurries to the edge of a cliff and leaps into the sea where the waves push him into a cave below lies the Frankenstein monster. John Carradine in his second go-round as Count Dracula, sporting top hat and mustache as in the previous film, makes do with his eerie performance. Onslow Stevens, who is not quite a household name in horror films as Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi, does fine work with his latter transformation in the story from good to evil doctor. Lionel Atwill, who had appeared in every "Frankenstein" sequel since 1939, all in different screen characters, makes his final performance in the series.
Seen in the supporting cast are Ludwig Stossel as Zigfried, one of the murder victims; Skelton Knaggs as Steinmuhl, Zigfried's brother; and Joseph E. Bernard as Brahams. Knaggs plays an interesting interpretation as one of the crazed villagers, a role that could have been excellently played by Dwight Frye (Renfield in Dracula; Fritz in FRANKENSTEIN) had he not died in 1943. Besides the actors and special effects, HOUSE OF Dracula includes many dark scenes to give this particularly segment a "film noir" feel.
While "House of Dracula" was reportedly supposed to have ended the Universal monster horror cycle, Drac, Wolfie and Franky returned for one more encore in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948).
HOUSE OF Dracula, which runs at 67 minutes, is available for viewing on video cassette. It not only enjoyed frequent television revivals on commercial channels after the midnight hours during the 1960s and '70s, but had played on cable television's Sci-Fi Channe, American Movie Classics (2000-2002) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere, October 3, 2012). Recommended viewing for campy horror film buffs. (*1/2)
Thrown together as a late attempt to cash in on Universal's monster portfolio, the plotting is haphazard. Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein's monster do battle (sort of) at a scientist's house-on-a-cliff. The film treats vampirism and lycanthropy as diseases, more so than supernatural afflictions, and this relatively unusual component makes the it worth a look.
Sort of a Betty Ford Clinic for the classic Universal monsters, notably in the case of Larry Talbot, who finally gets cured by the mad doctor of the piece, Dr.Edelman (Onslow Stevens). A very, very entertaining B-film written by the fine Curt Sidmak (who really was put through the wringer in devising these sequels - starting with FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN, comparing food like herring is good and other dinner is good, but try and put them together.... well...). Anyhow, the Wolfman (Lon Chaney, Jr) is cured - something Universal just chose to forget when a couple years later they made ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN. Beautiful black-and-white photography, and not an ounce of footage wasted.
This is a fine old-fashioned Horror-B-Movie and has Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster in one movie. John Carradine is excellent as Dracula and has inspired Christopher Lee later in the british Dracula-movies. The great Lon Chaney jr. plays again Talbot who turns into the Wolfman. Unfortunately the Doctor, played by Onslow Stevens, who operates him to become normal, turns also into a monster.
Count Dracula and Larry Talbot (the Wolfman) turn up at Doctor
Edelman's house asking for a cure. But they have to get in line behind
hunchback nurse. Edelman has found a new sort of fungus with potential
cure possibilities and the best place to grow it is in an old cave
beneath the house. This just happens to be where the quicksand has
deposited Frankenstein's monster. You just know that this is not going
to end well.
There's a decent amount of drama but little action and no scares. Once again it is set in no place in particular with English and American accents all over the place (said 'place' is a village straight out the European dark ages)).
Worth watching only for nostalgic value.
Dracula (John Carradine) visits Dr. Edelman (Onslow Stevens) who
believes everything can be cured by science. He wants Edelamn to cure
his vampirism--Edelman agrees. Then Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.)
pops up looking for a cure for his turning into a werewolf. The
Frankenstein monster is discovered too but doesn't really do anything.
Very ambitious plot for a Universal horror film from the 1940s. Trying to cure the monsters by science is actually an interesting idea. Also this movie has beautiful sets (LOVE the castle to doctor lives in), tons of atmosphere, is very well-directed (great use of shadows) and has pretty good special effects.
The acting is all good except for Carradine--he tries but I could never accept him as Dracula. Also Lionel Atwill pops in playing (as always) the chief of police. This is pretty much forgotten and derided as a stupid film but I think it's very good. It's also to last time the Universal monsters were done seriously--the next film was in 1948 in "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein". It's a great film but the accent is more on comedy.
The only real flaw here is there's a LOT of plot for 67 minutes and some gaps in logic: Why does Dracula try to bite lovely Miliza (Martha O'Driscoll) when he's being cured? And why (and how) does the doctor get Frankenstin into his castle? Still these are small complaints. Recommended.
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