• Unrated, 1 hr. 11 min.
  • Classics, Horror
  • Directed By:
    Erle C. Kenton
    In Theaters:
    Jan 1, 1944 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 29, 2005
  • Realart Pictures Inc.

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House of Frankenstein Reviews

Page 1 of 7
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
Gathering together the universal monsters to get revenge on your enemies sounds like a good plan, but if you think about it for a while you will realize that that's just stupid. The writers of this movie didn't think that long about it unfortunately.
MissMorganLeee
MissMorganLeee

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2008
ive noticed in these old movies that have more than one moster they deal with them one at a time indstead of combining the problems to make it more indepth.
Chris G

Super Reviewer

November 15, 2008
Frankenstein died with a whimper in this piece of garbage. Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) escapes from prison and has a run in with Dracula (who's in the film for 10 minutes in a stupid sub-plot), stumbles onto the Wolfman who wants help, and attempts to revitalize Frankenstein.

Crap, crap, crap. The only reason this thing gets one whole star is because Karloff is in it. Otherwise it's pure trash. Not as bad as House of Dracula, but it still sucks.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2007
This is the first time Universal Studios tried a Monster Mash by incorporating three of their most popular creatures into one film: Dracula, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster. The results are quite good, mostly due to the performers chosen for their parts. This is not supposed to be sophisticated film-making or storytelling; just a fun ghoulish romp, perfectly suited for a Halloween Night. And it succeeds admirably.

Boris Karloff returned to the Frankenstein Series with this installment, and it's an asset to the picture to have him. Some fans have accused him of walking through his part as a mad scientist here, but I've always found this to be a very understated kind of calculated evil, and he's very good here. He portrays the mad Dr. Niemann, who once dared to follow in the footsteps of the original Frankenstein, and as a result was jailed for his unethical experiments along with his hunchbacked assistant, Daniel. When a severe thunderstorm destroys the foundation of the prison he's housed in, Niemann manages an escape and attempts to locate the original diary of Dr. Frankenstein, running into Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Frankenstein Monster along the way.

J. Carrol Naish scores high points with his portrayal of the sympathetic hunchbacked assistant to Karloff, and manages to stir up our emotions as he pines away for cute gypsy girl Elena Verdugo. Lon Chaney plays The Wolf Man for a third time here, and though he's saddled with some silly dialogue ("why have you freed me from the ice that imprisoned the beast that lived within me?") he has now made the tragic character of Larry Talbot the werewolf all his own. He is desperate to aid Dr. Niemann however he can, in the hopes that the scientist may be able to return the favor by curing him of his curse.

John Carradine is exceptional as Dracula, playing the part differently than Bela Lugosi had. What Carradine lacked in the creepy "otherworldliness" of Bela, he made up for with aristocratic evil. His physical look is actually much closer to how Bram Stoker described the character in his novel, "Dracula". Glenn Strange takes on the role of the hulking and imposing Frankenstein Monster for the first time, and is the next best to Karloff's interpretation of the creature, in terms of appearance. Hans J. Salter again provides a wonderfully haunting music score. Director Erle C. Kenton accentuates the proceedings with gloomy sets, dark nights and the customary thunder and lightning.

This monster fest is light and breezy, packing much into its brief 70 minute running time. If there is any quibble to be made for HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, it would be with regard to the episodic way in which its three monsters are worked into the plot. Dracula has an early segment all his own, and then the second half switches to the Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster. None of the creatures cross paths with another, and their screen time as ghouls is limited (especially the case for the Monster). But this is just a technicality; for those who don't go into it expecting High Art, there is still much fun to be had within the House of Frankenstein.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2006
Not that great. Fun from a novelty standpoint but you can tell it was the sequel to an American remake of a horror movie of its day.
Dann M

Super Reviewer

October 31, 2012
Universal brings all their classic monsters together for the extravaganza House of Frankenstein. The story follows an escaped mad scientist who runs across the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man (among others) while looking for Dr. Henry Frankenstein's scientific journals. Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. lead the cast and deliver excellent performances. However, the writing is rather weak and seems a bit gimmicky and contrived in how it brings together the Universal Monsters. Still, House of Frankenstein delivers what it promises as Dracula, the Hunchback, the Wolf Man, and the Frankenstein Monster are brought together for an epic adventure.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2008
Not as bad as House of Dracula. Boris Karloff as a Dr. Niemann and J. Carrol Naish as a humpback named Daniel are both very good in their roles. They begin as prisoners in a dungeon in adjoining cells. Dr. Niemann wants to carry on Dr. Frankenstein's experiments and get revenge, and he promises to transplant Daniel's brain into a better looking body in exchange for his loyalty, which includes murder. A freak earthquake allows them to escape. A passing carnival show carriage owned by Prof. Lampini allows them transportation and a cover. The Hussmans, young couple Rita (Gwynne) and Karl (Coe) as well as her father the Burgomaster (Ruman), and an Inspecor (Atwill) head to the carnival. Dr. Niemann in disguise as Prof. Lampini has possession of Count Dracula's casket and skeleton. The doctor brings Dracula (Carradine) back to life. To life? Well, Niemann puts flesh back on his bones and inexplicably turns the tables on the Count by forcing him to carrying out part of Niemann's revenge plot against the Burgomaster. Carradine plays a gentlemanly Dracula, or Baron Latos, who seems closer to Stoker's discription. Dracula tries to steal the young Miss Hussman away and a fairly exciting chase ensues. With Count Dracula facing the sun, act one is over and it is as if we move on to a different movie.

Dr. Niemann and Daniel travel on to the town where Frankenstein's castle is located. Gypsies are camping in the area and Daniel, the humpback, falls for his own dancing Esmeralda. In this movie she is named Ilonka (Verdugo). Niemann and Daniel find the Wolf Man/Lawrence Talbot (Chaney Jr.) and the Frankenstein's Monster (first time by Glenn Strange) frozen under the castle ruins. The gypsy girl falls for Talbot instead, but he still wants his life to end so the beast within him will stop being a curse. They all somehow pack up the monster and travel to Niemann's laboratory. The mad doctor makes promises left and right, but plans his own twisted scheme that leaves none of his cohorts happy. Gypsy and Wolf Man fight. Humpback and Mad Scientist fight. Humpback and Frankenstein's Monster fight. Angry Mob and Frankenstein's Monster fight. And finally at the end of burning torches in a quicksand pit Boris Karloff's face as Dr. Niemann is the last one we see disappearing from sight.
Dracula787
Dracula787

Super Reviewer

October 31, 2008
And thus, the Frankenstein franchise comes to an end with a whimper. The monster would actually return in House of Dracula (which is even worse if I recall right), but this is certainly the last Universal monster movie with the word ?Frankenstein? in the title, and it?s pretty half-assed. It?s pretty obvious that they just wanted to bring together all their monsters (except The Mummy? and The Invisible man) together in one movie, or rather one poster, and that?s about as much thought as they put into this thing. I didn?t really pay very close attention to it, it just blows.
Henrik S

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2007
I must say, I am a big fan of monster movies. But this Mash-Up really is too much salt in the soup.

The problem that a movie faces, containing a few of the most profilic monsters in literature and cinema history, is obvious. You cannot possibly cast well-known or good actors for all of the creatures. Only Lon Chaney Jr. reprises his role of the Wolfman, while the Frankenstein monster and Dracula are portrayed by other, stinking actors. A fact that clearly sucks down the quality of this flick.

The strongest part of the movie is of course Boris Karloff, who oddly enough does not play the monster itself, but Dr. Gustav Nieman, a mad scientiest who, after having escaped from prison, treks through the country to A) Find Victor Frankenstein's records and B) Return to his lab and continue his experiments.

On his way he and his hunchback (besides kidnapping a gypsy woman) revive none other than Dracula, the Wolfman and the Frankenstein monster.
Of course, these abnormal beings cannot possibly get along and despise each other, partly over a colliding love interest with the gypsy woman.

It is a pity that not in ONE scene the three classic monsters fight against each other, which is a really a major stupid decision if you've already decided to throw them all into the same bowl alright.

How could a final fight between Dracula, Wolfman and The Monster had been a highlight in creature cinema.

Another basic rule of classic horror was not applied. You cannot have a strong antagonist without an equal protagonist and vice versa. I missed Van Helsing or a hard-boiled police constable.

All in all, compared to classic movies of the early Universal or later Hammer era, this nugget really does not shine. It is a chuckling laugh at most.


"I'm going to give that brain of yours a new home in the skull of the Frankenstein monster. As for you, I'm going to give you the brain of the wolfman so that all your waking hours will be spent in untold agony awaiting the full of the moon... which will change you into a werewolf."
kenscheck
September 11, 2011
These monster collection showcases aren't nearly as fun as you'd like. They have little plot, and while the fun showcase part of it is having the monsters meet each other, only Lon Chaney, Jr. actually reprises his role as the Wolf Man. What is fun about seeing someone other than Lugosi be Dracula and someone else be Frankenstein's monster? Granted Glenn Strange is a much better Monster than Lugosi had been in. I can also give a little credit that Karloff is in the movie as a mad scientist, which is something...even if he was done putting on the bolts. The Dracula bits are completely random in the first half, then he is completely missing as the plot shifts into a sequel to "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man"...weird. The movie may be fun when that time of year is upon us, but there are several better Universal Classics to pop in in lieu of this.
shawndeeds
July 19, 2010
After the success of pairing The Wolf Man with the Frankenstein Monster in Universal Studio's 1943 monster mash, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, they tried their luck again with 1944's House Of Frankenstein. But instead of merely doing the same flick again, they added to it and seriously amped up the cast and scares. House follows its predecessor by picking up exactly where it left off. After The Wolf Man and the Monster are washed away by a river of water, the townsfolk have begun to rest easy. But during a severe thunderstorm, the old jail cell holding Dr. Gustav Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunchback friend Daniel (J. Carrol Naish), crumbles apart. Seeing their chance to escape, the two flee during the storm. Niemann's tells Daniel about his older brother, and how he spent his life assisting the original Dr. Henry Frankenstein and learned his secrets of creating life. With the secrets he now possesses, the actual notes Henry took while creating the Monster, and Count Dracula on his side, Niemann is now ready to extract revenge on those who put him in prison. After Dracula is only able to kill the town's former Burgomaster before being killed himself, Niemann and Daniel travel to the small town outside of Castle Frankenstein in hopes to find some of Henry's old equipment. Once there though, they discover the bodies of The Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster incased in large chunks of ice. He quickly thaws and frees them. The Wolf Man, in human form as Lawrence Talbot, is furious with Niemann for releasing him. He begs him to kill him, but Niemann promises he can cure Talbot's disease. Soon, his intentions of curing Talbot are taken over by his desire to reanimate the sleeping Monster to help rid him of the other two men who imprisoned him. Riding the popularity of Universal's previous monster movie, director Erle C. Kenton helped develop the monster rally film that would continue for the next two Universal Monster movies, House Of Dracula and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. This film is famous for featuring five of the most villainous and vile creatures of all-time; the mad scientist, the hunchback, Count Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and The Wolf Man! Unfortunately for the fans, Bela Lugosi was not chosen to return as the fang-toothed vampire, leaving John Carradine to fill the void. I do believe he did a better than average job, appearing far more sinister and scary, instead of romantic and elegant. He would reprise his roll with the sequel, appearing as a far more important character than he was here. J. Carrol Naish appeared as Daniel, the unsightly hunchback assistant, replacing the widely popular Dwight Fry, who appeared as hunchbacks in both, Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein. Lon Chaney Jr. did return however, making The Wolf Man the only Universal Monster to be portrayed by one and only one very talented actor (until the 2009 remake). Future western star, Glenn Strange stepped into the large boots and greasepaint of the Monster for the first of three times, taking over for the legendary Boris Karloff. Boris was now well into his 50's as of filming and was not physically able to handle all the extra weight. But he didn't just fade away, he become far more evil, using his ominous voice and weathered face to lend an incredible vision of terror to the mad scientist, Dr. Gustav Niemann. Although I personally loved him as the Monster, I think I enjoyed his performance and voice as Niemann just a little bit more, and that helped propel House Of Frankenstein to be my all-time favorite Universal Monster movie. With all this amazing genre talent in one movie, how could anybody resist all of these thrills and chills? Ok, so the thrills and chills might not be anywhere as scary as they once were, but I promise you will definitely enjoy seeing what a real monster movie is all about!
holmennnguy
July 30, 2008
Probably the most entertaining of all Frankenstein movies, House Of Frankenstein stars Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, and Lionel Atwill. For the first time Frankenstein's Monster, The Wolf Man, and Count Dracula are all together on screen! It's an explosion for 30s/40s horror fans. This movie is almost split into two acts, the first dealing with Count Dracula; the second involving Frankenstein's Monster and The Wolf Man. A very good horror movie.
MovieGuruDude72
April 29, 2008
One of the worst Frankenstein movies ever done. Not even that creepy SOB Boris Karloff could save this mess
November 30, 2007
it wasnt bad!! i also kinda liked this one. karloff's actually kinda cute w/o the frankie makeup :). it was so sad at the end when larry talbot died along with elenka. but he got what he wanted-death. im sorry to say this, but universal's frankenstein movies have such crappy endings!! the monster and karlof sinking into teh quicksand at the end was so cheesy!! its like the director was like 'ok, this movie's too long-end it quickly'. as for the dracula, he was good on his part. funny thing is he looked like a dracula should-scrawny and sallow :). pretty good overall
July 29, 2007
One of the best of the Universal classic monster sequels brings virtually all of their roster together in one film, plus Karloff as the mad doctor this time and not the monster!
insekt69
May 10, 2007
The least of the Universal Frankenstien films. John Carradine makes a terrible Dracula. But it does have Karloff. He does't play the monster though.
wizardoftacoma
January 13, 2007
the mad Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) Karloff is great as a mad scientist, and Count Dracula (John Carradine), the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.) and the Frankenste, Frankenste in monster (Glenn Strange)
flynnparadox
December 19, 2006
Pretty good "monster mash" from Universal. They're all here: Frank's monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man. It seems a bit disjointed at times: Dracula is revived and then reduced to dust before the half hour mark and the young couple who you think are going to be the romantic leads disappear from the film at around the same time. And this is *before* Frank's monster and the Wolf Man show up! But, you know what? I kind of like that about this film. It's a bit unpredictable. Any film willing to kill off Dracula thirty minutes in is at least worth seeing for its audaciousness alone. But there are other good things: Karloff is great as a scheming mad scientist, Chaney develops the Larry Talbot character further, the atmosphere is cool, the gypsey woman is cherubic and engaging and the whole thing ends in a tragic but somehow fitting climax. All in all, a good monster romp with a lot of interesting moments.
December 29, 2013
Is Baron Latos drinking wine, Dracula never drinks wine... Doesn't he know it will shorten his stake pinned skeleton? A large gypsy girl understands Chaney torment enough to dispatch him. and GLENN STRANGE becomes the largest actor to wear electrodes as he easily puts Naish through a window.
October 27, 2013
All-star Universal monster mash; highly entertaining.
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