And now a movie review that I hope you will find almost as fun as watching the thing on late night TV! (Like in the old days.)
It’s Part One of the review of The House of Frankenstein! 🙂
The action opens on a dark and stormy night, when we see a prison. Inside the prison, we see a guard who nearly gets strangled by a prisoner who reaches through the bars of his cell. So, we know two things: the guard is an idiot and the prison is badly built.
The prisoner is Dr. Gustav Niemann (played by Boris Karloff) who shares incarceration space with his hunchbacked assistant, Daniel. And, after nearly killing the guard, Dr. Niemann gives Daniel a TED talk on the intricacies of creating the Frankenstein Monster, using only chalk and the wall of his cell. Beats Power Point.
But then, lightning crashes and the prison shakes down to its foundations. This causes the walls to collapse in places and a giant hole in Niemann/Daniel’s cell to open up beneath them. This shows once again why the contracts for prison construction shouldn’t always go to the lowest bidder.
Niemann and Daniel escape by way of the convenient hole in the floor and end up at a traveling horror show run by Professor Lampini. They make quick work of knocking him off. Niemann assumes Lampini’s identity and, with Daniel by his side, he goes off in search of a certain Burgermeister, who sent him to The Big House.
For reasons that are somewhat unclear, Niemann/Lampini removes the stake from the desiccated remains of Count Dracula, allowing him to transform into John Carradine.
Carradine gets off easy in this film. With the help of a shadow puppet, he changes into a bat, then kills the Burgermeister.
With his googly eyes, he hypnotizes the Burgermeister’s daughter and places a magic ring on her finger. So, for a (really short) while, she’s under his spell.
But then a chase scene ensues. And while Niemann//Lampini and Daniel flee in one buggy, Dracula/Carradine beats feet in another. He veers off the road, stumbles toward his own coffin (and God only knows how that got there), then is reduced to a skeleton again by the dawn’s rays of sunlight. Carradine expires, managing through the sheer force of his family connections to snag a credit for what seems an unusually lengthy cameo role.
And here’s a preview/review of the film! 🙂
That concludes Part One of this week’s B-movie review! More to come!