Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

HOUSE OF DRACULA


HOUSE OF DRACULA (1945). Director: Erle C. Kenton.

Sequel to House of Frankenstein ignores the fact that both Dracula and The Wolf Man seemingly died at the end of that film and has both Larry Talbot(Lon Chaney Jr.) and Count Dracula (improbably) asking decent Dr. Edelman (Onslow Stevens) to cure them of their respective curses. Conveniently, Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange) is found in the caverns below Edelman's sanitarium, along with the skeleton of Dr. Niemann from House of Frankenstein. Before long Dracula (John Carradine) is up to his old tricks, infecting Edelman (who becomes a sort of vampire without dying) with his evil -- Talked out of reviving the monster by his kindly hunchbacked assistant Nina (Jane Adams), he now decides to bring the creature back to life in the climax. Strangely compelling horror film plays fast and loose with supernatural legends, but offers a kind of scientific explanation for both vampirism (parasites in the blood) and lycanthropy (something to do with self-hypnosis, overactive hormones, and pressure in the cranial cavity). Lionel Atwill is back as another police inspector. The Wolf Man and Dracula are in the same room only for a few seconds. They would interact more -- and Dracula would actually meet The Monster -- in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Verdict: Great fun! ***.

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