Night Monster (1942)
Director: Ford Beebe
Main Stars: Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Leif Erickson, Ralph Morgan, Irene Hervey
Storyline: A rich recluse invites doctors to come to his mansion located in the swamp to meet their deaths.
Review (Spoils): Crippled Kurt Ingston (Ralph Morgan) lives in the swamp with his daughter Margaret. Her sanity is being checked as she is acting strange but seems healthy. All the doctors that have been assigned to her and her father are invited to the lonely mansion located in the swamps. During the visit one of the doctors end up murdered and they must track down the killer before more die.
I personally started off this film picturing this to be a monster film staring Bela Lugosi, wow was I wrong. He is barely in the film and plays a secondary part in the film as a spooky butler. Instead the film becomes a murder mystery surrounding around the mysterious Ingston family and the medical professionals that were involved with them. The film is dark and has lots of fog as that is what you get when you live in the swamp. The sound effects in the film also play a nice game as when the murders happen the sound goes blank.
Rating: The film is actually not bad for something that I thought would have a monster movie. But yet again it is a more of murder mystery than a horror film even though the energy of the film is very dark. The plot and aspect of the film did not make sense what’s so ever but the characters were well acted and written so it can be forgiven.
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)
Director: Michael Curtiz
Main Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell
Storyline: Bodies are disappearing and it all points to a famous wax museum
Review (Spoils): Ivan Igor (Lionel Atwill) gets into a financial fight with his business collaborate Worth and he burns down the building along with Igor. Time passes and the museum re-opens under new ownership. At this time, period bodies start to disappear and the frisky Florence (Glenda Farrell) is snooping for the hot story for the newspaper on it.
This nice little who did it thriller, no blood, no gore but just creepiness. The movie is based mostly on plot and the creepiness of the wax sculptures themselves and the melting of them and possibility of bodies hidden underneath. For example the Joan of Arc one is a classic scene and really gothic.
Rating: The movie is actually fast paced and mostly sticks to the story of Florence racing around getting him big story with the help of the police. The movie moves around that mostly and has the scenery of the wax sculptures and strange characters as Igor grows in a love interest with his assistant’s girlfriend Fay Wray). Seeing this film was done in 1933 and you can tell by the script as some of characters had hard talking and heavy shaking dialogue.
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!