House of Frankenstein (1944)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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In many ways the most endearing of Universal's B-grade "monster rallies" of the 1940s, House of Frankenstein manages within its 70-minute time span to make room for Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange), Dracula (John Carradine) the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.), and a couple of new recruits, mad scientist Boris Karloff and demented hunchback J. Carroll Naish. Escaping from prison, Karloff vows to continue his diabolical efforts to emulate Dr. Frankenstein's "eternal life" experiments; he also swears vengeance on the three men (Sig Ruman, Frank Reicher and Michael Mark) who were responsible for sending him to prison. With the help of fellow escapee Naish, Karloff murders a travelling-carnival impresario (George Zucco) and assumes his identity. He travels first to the village where Ruman is burgomaster. Since his carnival is a "chamber of horrors", Karloff utilizes one of those horrors--Count Dracula--to settle his account with Ruman. Dracula does so, but dies when the first rays of sunlight stream across his body. En route to the next village, Naish gives shelter to runaway gypsy girl Elena Verdugo, who joins the caravan (though she remains incredibly naive concerning Karloff's intentions!) Coming to the village when the Frankenstein monster and the Wolfman were presumably drowned at the end of Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1944), Karloff revives the latter, who when he's not baying at the moon is the comparatively good-looking Lawrence Talbot. Karloff secures Talbot's cooperation by promising to perform some brain surgery that will relieve him of his lycanthropy. Later on, Karloff kidnaps and kills his other enemies Mark and Reicher, intending to use their brains to cure Talbot and to reactivate the Frankenstein monster. Jealous of Verdugo's attentions towards Talbot, Naish rebels against Karloff, and is killed for his troubles. Talbot turns into the Wolfman, whereupon Verdugo kills him before expiring herself. And Karloff, rendered immobile by the requisite attack of angry villagers, is dragged by the lumbering Monster into a pit of quicksand. Thus House of Frankenstein has something in common with Hamlet: No one is left alive at fade-out time. It's to scenarist Robert Siodmak's credit that he was able to fashion a coherent screenplay out of the crazy-quilt of copyrighted horror characters handed to him by Universal Pictures.
Classics , Horror
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Realart Pictures Inc.

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Boris Karloff
as Dr. Gustav Niemann
Lon Chaney Jr
as Lawrence Talbot
John Carradine
as Dracula
Glenn Strange
as Frankenstein Monster
Anne Gwynne
as Rita Hussman
Peter Coe
as Carl Hussman
Lionel Atwill
as Inspector Arnz
George Zucco
as Prof. Bruno Lampini
Elena Verdugo
as Ilonka
Sig Rumann
as Burgomaster Russman
Charles Miller
as Toberman
Philip Van Zandt
as Inspector Muller
George Lynn
as Gerlach
Michael Mark
as Frederick Strauss
Olaf Hytten
as Hoffman
Frank Reicher
as Ullman
Brandon Hurst
as Dr. Geissler
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Critic Reviews for House of Frankenstein

All Critics (11)

Calling all monsters! Universal trots most of them out for this sequel to "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man." And, the results were slightly better than the 1943 effort. Boris Karloff plays a mad scientist bent on revenge.

Full Review… | October 26, 2014
Movie Chambers

71 incomprehensible minutes of the very worst Universal had to offer.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Antagony & Ecstasy

This one is just bad.

Full Review… | February 27, 2005
Goatdog's Movies

Creepy, fun Universal programmer featuring a bevy of beasties

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

The horror story makes absolutely no sense, but it is so nutty that it makes for a diverting watch.

Full Review… | February 28, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

House of Frankenstein -- choppy though it is -- has its pleasures.

Full Review… | February 11, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for House of Frankenstein


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.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


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.

Morgan Salem
Morgan Salem

Super Reviewer

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.

Chris Garman
Chris Garman

Super Reviewer

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