October 3, 2016

Son of Frankenstein.

Review #844: Son of Frankenstein.

Basil Rathbone (Baron Wolf von Frankenstein), Boris Karloff (The Monster), Bela Lugosi (Ygor), Lionel Atwill (Inspector Krogh), Josephine Hutchinson (Elsa von Frankenstein), Donnie Dunagan (Peter von Frankenstein), Emma Dunn (Amelia), Edgar Norton (Thomas Benson), and Perry Ivins (Fritz) Directed by Rowland V. Lee.

After three years (or around 1214 days), I finally got around to seeing the third Frankenstein movie released by Universal. The previous one (#394 - Bride of Frankenstein) was an excellent follow up to the first film, with an excellent climax to boot, though the monster movie craze for Universal had declined by 1936. On August 5, 1938, the Regina-Wilshire Theatre showcased a double feature of Dracula and Frankenstein (with some also reporting that Son of Kong was also shown), which was a success. The successes from other theaters inspired Universal to rush this movie into production by late 1938, though without Colin Clive (who had died in 1937) and James Whale, with the focus now on the son of Dr. Frankenstein. I do wonder about how long this is set after though, since Atwill's character relates about having his arm ripped out of him when he was a young boy, or where Lugosi's Ygor was during any of those events since he didn't seem to be there before...but the movie is entertaining enough even with some quirks like that. Rathbone is excellent as ever, clearly getting into this role with enough believably. Karloff (in the last time playing the Monster for Universal) is fine, even if this time he doesn't have much to say, save for occasional growls. It is strange to see him in a fur vest, too. Lugosi is excellent as Ygor, having a haunting creepiness about him (particularly when revealing his neck wound from being hanged) that works in the movie's advantage. The effects and camera shots are also pretty wonderful to look at as well. On the whole, it's not as good as the other two films, but it is a serviceable monster movie that works well enough at 99 minutes.

Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

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