Dr. Frankenstein's plans to replace the brain of his monster are hijacked by his scheming and malevolent assistant Ygor.Dr. Frankenstein's plans to replace the brain of his monster are hijacked by his scheming and malevolent assistant Ygor.Dr. Frankenstein's plans to replace the brain of his monster are hijacked by his scheming and malevolent assistant Ygor.
The problem with the Frankenstein movies is that they all follow the same pattern: monster on the loose, angry mob with torches, evil science that is an affront to nature. We all know the drill. The first movies were great but I wish the later movies had either tried to break out of the mold or put the monster to rest. GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN finds yet another relative of the original mad scientist being brought into the mix. He is, of course, a talented scientist in the field of neuroscience, having removed a brain for surgery and replaced it successfully back in the skull. This is too good an opportunity for the devious Ygor, portrayed by Bela Lugosi. Lugosi is the best part of this movie as the evil hunchback. He is conniving and simple-minded, desperate to protect his only "friend", the monster. All he wants is to be forever unified with his friend and, if he happens to become immortal and all-powerful in the process, all the better. Lugosi is the only stand out performance in the movie. Cedric Hardwicke is nothing special as the tortured Ludwig, forced into a position where he must resort to extreme measures. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but why he would agree to save the monster from dissection (the only means of truly killing it) is beyond me. Even more baffling is the motivation behind the less-then-noble Doctor Bohmer (Lionel Atwell). Ygor offers him power, wealth, and the respect of his field if he agrees to sneak Ygor's brain into the surgery, but why would Bohmer, an intelligent man in his own right, believe the empty promises of an evil man such as Ygor? I don't know. He just does. Roll with it.
It's all good though. I'm not worried about some poor character decisions. It all works within the scope of the movie. It's a classic creature feature with all the usual tropes we've come to expect. It doesn't rise to the level as the original, and certainly not as high as BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. It's still an entertaining film, even if it feels a tad generic at this point. Lugosi is great, and Lon Chaney Jr. stands in well enough since Boris Karloff had left his iconic role at this point. If you're a fan of the classics, you can't go wrong with this fun little time-waster. As far as I'm concerned, even the weakest Frankenstein movie is still a more enjoyable tale than a lot of modern films.
- Oct 2, 2012