Director: Erle C. Kenton
Main Stars: Lon Chaney Jr, Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Bellamy, Bela Lugosi, Evelyn Ankers, Lionel Atwill
Storyline: Right after the public destroyed Ygor and Frankenstein monster they both reemerge from the ruin castle. They fee to the second of Dr. Frankenstein to hide themselves away.
Review (Spoils): This is forth in the Universal Frankenstein series and this time Ygor (Bela Lugosi ) returns and resurrects the monster (Lon Chaney Jr). They head to the second son of Dr. Frankenstein Ludwig (Cedric Hardwicke) and look for some shelter to hide from the torch barring public. Before the meet the doctor the Frankenstein monster meets with a young girl and helps her get her ball from a high area in the town square the people read his intentions wrong and he gets arrested and goes to court. The monster is chained to the chair while the question him which is useless. Ludwig decides to take the monster in his care as it was his father’s creation. All through it all Ludwig gets visited by his father’s ghost telling him resurrect the monster after changing its brain with a smart brain. In this confusion Ludwig’s assistants gets talked into by Ygor to use his brain instead without telling Ludwig. This is done without the doctors knowledge till the voice of Ygor goes out of the monsters mouth. In the finally battle again the monster is in a crumbling building that is in flames.
The cast does a great job in this film and I was actually impressed with Lon Chaney Jr playing the monster. (I was worried with this) Bela Lugosi steals the show again as playing the creeping Ygor. Evelyn Ankers might not have a huge part in the storyline but she was very entertaining but once again a real charmer of the film. The low part of the film is the ghost itself which was very lame and it did not look like Colin Clive at all, very dumb scene.
Rating: For being the fourth in the series this was not too bad. Sure it can be a little repetitive with the doctors, the assistants and ending in a burning building but Lon Chaney Jr did a great job playing the monster. Grabs some beers and have a final toast to Ygor!
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Director: Rowland V. Lee
Main Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone
Storyline: The son of Dr. Frankenstein fines his father’s creation and revives him. What he did not know is that Ygor is the one controlling him.
Review (Spoils): Following up from The Bride of Frankenstein Wolf Von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone) returns to the manor with his wife and son and they are not overly welcomed by the residents due to his father’s past. Igor (Bela Lugosi) is living in the basement as he was his father’s last assistant but he has a surprise for him as the monster (Boris Karloff) is here but in a coma. The monster gets revived and loses all speech and starts from scratch. The film is all star when it comes to cast we have Boris Karloff playing the monster for the last time in his sheep wool vest and leather and Bela Lugosi plays the classic Igor the strange broken neck assistant of the late Dr. Frankenstein. Yes Basil Rathbone is not as strong as the past doctor character of the past two films but still memorable as it ends this great trilogy from Universal. The settings of the scenery are breath taking and being a third film of the series the movie has not lost its charm. The castle alone is worth the viewing in this film. Rowland V. Lee continues what James Whale started.
Rating: This movie is a great third part of the Universal series. We have some of the most classic horror characters with Frankenstein monster and Igor steals the show as it is Bela Lugosi at one of his best (next to Dracula of course). Yes the son Billy can be annoying and just does not fit in the film but this is one of favorites of the Universal films.
The Wolfman (1941)
Director: George Waggner
Main Stars: Lon Chaney Jr, Claude Rains, Bela Lugosi, Evelyn Ankers
Storyline: Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) goes back to Wales and stays with a group of gypsies. During this stay a werewolf (Bela Lugosi) attacks the group and Larry gets bite during the battle. Larry Talbot becomes the Wolfman and haunts the nearby forest as he battles his inner curse.
Review: Another great Universal Film of horror. We have Lon Chaney’s son playing the cursed Wolfman to become one of the most classic horror characters of its time. This film has a very solid storyline and the haunting wood is done very well. This is one of my favorites of this time period and the make-up is very well done for its time. Yes the film editing can be lame when the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr) does the transformation but hey its 1941!
Rating: We have Lon Chaney Jr and Bela Lugosi together what can go wrong? Great storyline and I love the added touch of the pentagram. Crack out the pints as this werewolf howls a good time!
Director: Tod Browning
Main Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, John Harker
Storyline: The Count Dracula goes to London England to haunt the area and capture the young Mina to become one of his female spawn. The battle between Van Helsing and Dracula begins.
Review: I have seen this film so many times but lately I watched this on the big screen as it was playing due to the Halloween season. I love this movie even more now! Universal films bring us the story of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) who ventures from Transylvania to England to torment a young woman.This is the first film of Bela Lugosi playing the Count and he does and amazing job with the classic accent (which has been stolen many times over).
Tod Browning focuses on the eyes of Bela Lugosi to show the power that Dracula has with his intense gaze.The castle is huge and beautiful and the scene where Dracula walks through the cobwebs on the long high staircase leads you to the mystery of the dark vampire. The lighting for this black and white film brings the undead to life on the screen.
Mina (Helen Chandler ) the leading female of the film is innocent and beautiful and fits the role perfect to become Dracula’s leading victim. She plays the character up to become something more full of life after dark after her nasty encounter with Dracula. She did a very good job.
But the leading star of this film is the Renfield (Dwight Frye) character. The crazy and madman spawn that helped Dracula get to London. Dwight Frye steals the show with his acting and plays the looney who loves to eat spiders, flies and maybe even hurt little children (if you read into the hints in the lines he presents). Renfield is even scarier than Dracula himself.
Rating: This was at one time one of the Universal films that I want sigh sure whatever but after seeing it more and more I notice that I love it. Open a pint (of blood if you may) for the first main Dracula appearance on film and enjoy this classic horror film.