October 14, 2016

House of Frankenstein.

Review #847: House of Frankenstein.

Boris Karloff (Dr. Gustav Niemann), Lon Chaney Jr. (Lawrence "Larry" Talbot/The Wolf Man), John Carradine (Count Dracula), J. Carrol Naish (Daniel), Elena Verdugo (Ilonka), Anne Gwynne (Rita Hussman), Peter Coe (Karl Hussman), Lionel Atwill (Inspector Arnz), George Zucco (Bruno Lampini), Sig Ruman (Bürgermeister Hussman), William Edmunds (Fejos), Charles F. Miller (Tobermann), Philip Van Zandt (Müller), Julius Tannen (Hertz), Hans Herbert (Meier), and Glenn Strange (The Monster) Directed by Erle C. Kenton (#845 - The Ghost of Frankenstein)

Released one year after Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein not only brings in Dracula and a hunchback to the monster mix, but it also has Boris Karloff, now starring in a main role who gets more time on screen than the monster he had originally played less than a decade before. This time around, Glenn Strange (the fourth actor to play him) plays the Monster for a very brief amount of time, which I guess makes sense considering how much we've seen of the character in the past few films, only being in the climax. Karloff and Naish do go well together, having some fine banter along with seeming right for the roles. Chaney is good as ever, just like the effects. If you're looking for a Dracula meet up with Frankenstein's monster, you will be sorely dissappointed, as Dracula is killed off less than an hour into the film. It is funny that he was brought back to life only because Karloff's character removed the stake from his heart. Carradine is fairly decent, but he doesn't really seem to evoke any creepy charisma that Lugosi had in the role. Verdugo is not as interesting to watch, although her calling Naish's character "mean and ugly" (the whole exchange is pretty strange itself) is somewhat enjoyable cheesy. The characters aren't really anything too special, but it is fun at least to see the ways that everything tries to be set in place, even if it comes off as cheesy, though that can work for most. At least it isn't the Wolf Man fighting Frankenstein's monster again, though there really isn't a full on monster mash. At 71 minutes, it works okay enough to pass for at least somebody. I find it to not be as good as the previous film, but it is marginally entertaining.

Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.

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