Cast of horror greats help breathe some life into Universal’s waning monster series with this all-star monster bash. Upon busting out of prison with the help of a conveniently placed storm, the evil Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunchback assistant/killer (J. Carrol Naish) exact revenge on the poor bastards who put them there with the help of some Universal Monsters. As can be expected, nothing goes as planned.
Sequel to FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943), this was the first film to include all three of Universal’s most famous beasties, adding Dracula (John Carradine) to the mix. Though nowhere near as charismatic and haunting as Bela Lugosi was in the role, Carradine’s smooth interpretation of the Count was good enough for him to land the role again in the following year’s HOUSE OF DRACULA. Lon Chaney Jr. reprises his role for the third time as the doomed Lawrence “The Wolf Man” Talbot, again giving a sympathetic performance in the role he always described as his baby. Only poor Glenn Strange, debuting as the Frankenstein Monster, doesn’t get to stretch the acting chops, negated to spending most of his screen time strapped to a table. With Lionel Atwill and George Zucco rounding out the cast, this truly was the who’s who of golden era horror flicks.
Originally titled ‘THE DEVILS BROOD’, the screenplay was based on a Curt Siodmak story. It’s a shame they didn’t stick with that cooler title, as there never is a visit to a house of Frankenstein. Genre director Erle C. Kenton (ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932)) directed.
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