HOUSE OF DRACULA (director: Erle C. Kenton; screenwriter: Edward T. Lowe; cinematographer: George Robinson/John P. Fulton; editor: Russell Schoengarth; music: Edgar Fairchild; cast: Lon Chaney (Larry Talbot ), John Carradine (Count Dracula), Martha O’Driscoll (Miliza Morrelle), Lionel Atwill (Holtz), Glenn Strange (Monster), Jane Adams (Nina), Onslow Stevens (Dr. Edelman); Runtime: 67; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paul Malvern; Universal; 1945)
“Lively and entertaining.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Erle C. Kenton(“The Public Menace”/”Melody for Three”/”Frisco Lil”) directs this sequel to his “House of Frankenstein.” It features some of Universal’s monsters kvetching about their ailments and acting serious about seeking treatment for their problems. It relates their monster attributes as diseases that are not necessarily super-natural. Wolf Man (Lon Chaney), diagnosed as ill by exerting too much pressure on the brain, and Dracula (John Carradine), diagnosed with parasites in his blood, are treated by the prestigious good guy doctor played by Onslow Stevens in his castle lab. Doc is referred to as an expert in curing monsters of their afflictions. In the end Wolf Man is cured, but Dracula isn’t.
Stevens is eventually infected by Dracula’s parasite and thereby turns into a vampire killer, and thereby revives the Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange). Lionel Atwill is the police inspector, who hears Stevens’ confession before he dies and therefore doesn’t arrest Wolf Man for the murder of a villager,
Stevens’ doomed pretty nurse, Jane Adams, is a hunchback, who must wait her turn as Doc first treats his monsters before he will try treating her with a fungus cure to soften her bones.
Martha O’Driscoll is saved by Stevens from a Dracula blood attack by waving a cross in front of him.
What awaits the monsters is a fiery ending to their miserable lives. The only happy ending is for Wolf Man, who becomes normal.
The messy pic is silly and goofy. But it’s lively and entertaining.
REVIEWED ON 9/20/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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