Tag Archive for frankenstein

Serial Thriller: Horror of Dracula

'Horror of Dracula'

Though it followed in the footsteps of the trailblazing The Curse of Frankenstein, this second film in Hammer Studios long-lived love affair with horror virtually invented traditional gothic atmosphere with its quiet, windswept countryside, cozy village inn and brooding, spooky castle. Christopher Lee puts on a tall, dignified air until his dark side comes out, at which point his towering height and unsettling snarl become truly menacing.

Special Screaming: Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis in 'Halloween'

For those of us disenchanted with the new films that have plagued theatres this year, the good news is there are a good many classic film revivals lighting up screens in the third quarter of 2012. Perhaps the imminent end of the worldis triggering a bout of movie nostalgia.

Serial Thriller: House of Dracula

Martha O'Driscoll as the hunchback in 'House of Dracula'

Four years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and four months after the bombing of Hiroshima, the Universal monster movies gasped their last as literary monsters gave way to monsters of the atomic age. The plot itself is a Frankenstein creation, cobbled together from bits and pieces of previous Universal monster movies for one last cash grab. That doesn’t mean it lacks any kind of enjoyable charm.

Serial Thriller: House of Frankenstein

"Then Madge told I was soaking in Palmolive dishwashing liquid..."

A bizarre revenge tale mixed with elements of horror tragedy. Universal went all out to bill this as an extreme monster mash-up, deliberately creating the archetypes that have become so familiar, reaching as far back as The Hunchback of Notre Dame to label the simpering Daniel (J. Carrol Naish) as the Quasimodo-ish assistant.

Serial Thriller: Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

'Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man'

Arguably the best of the monster mash-ups. It begins with the awakening of presumed-dead wolf man, Larry Talbot, and follows him to a London asylum, from whence he then travels across Europe to the fictional town of Vasalia (which has inexplicably become Frankenstein’s home) to find a cure for his lycanthropy.

Serial Thriller: The Ghost of Frankenstein

'The Ghost of Frankenstein'

After a strong and memorable performance as the now iconic Ygor in the previous Frankenstein film, Bela Lugosi returns to wreak havoc once more, this time coaxing his new best friend, the monster, from the village of Frankenstein to the neighboring village of Vasaria, where yet another son of Frankenstein lives.

Serial Thriller: The Wolf Man

Caption

This is a more direct monster movie than Frankenstein. What it lacks in complexity, however, it makes up for in performances, especially Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, Maria Ouspenskaya, and no less than Dracula himself, chameleon Bela Lugosi as Bela, the cursed gypsy fortune teller who passes his burden onto Lon Chaney, Jr.’s Lawrence Talbot.

Serial Thriller: Son of Frankenstein

'Son of Frankenstein'

After Bride of Frankenstein, the series delved into equally campy territory, with a slightly straighter face, for this second sequel. Basil Rathbone is perfect as the disdainful Wolf von Frankenstein, unwelcome heir of the now completely redesigned Castle Frankenstein.

Serial Thriller: Bride of Frankenstein

'Bride of Frankenstein'

Nowhere near as good as its reputation and certainly nothing to compete with its predecessor. James Whale, returning to the director’s chair four years after the brilliant original, made the sophomore mistake of trying to turn his film into a comedy… and not a very good one at that.