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Addressing the Geek Nation......
Shocktober 2020 31. Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein (1948)
Shocktober 2020 30. The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
Shocktober 2020 29. Revenge of the Creature (1955)
Shocktober 2020 28. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Shocktober 2020 26. The Mummy's Curse (1944)
Shocktober 2020 25. House of Frankenstein (1944)
Shocktober 2020 24. The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
Shocktober 2020 23. Son of Dracula (1943)
Shocktober 2020 22. Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Shocktober 2020 21. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)
Shocktober 2020 20. The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
Shocktober 2020 19. The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
Shocktober 2020 18. The Wolfman (1941)
Shocktober 2020 17. Black Friday (1940)
Shocktober 2020 16. The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Shocktober 2020 15. The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
Shocktober 2020 14. Tower of London (1939)
Shocktober 2020 13. Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Shocktober 2020 12. Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Shocktober 2020 11. The Invisible Ray (1936)
Shocktober 2020 10. Werewolf of London (1935)
Shocktober 2020 09. The Raven (1935)
Shocktober 2020 08. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Shocktober 2020 07. The Black Cat (1934)
Shocktober 2020 06. The Invisible Man (1933)
Shocktober 2020 05. The Mummy (1932)
Shocktober 2020 04. The Old Dark House (1932)
Shocktober 2020 03. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
Shocktober 2020 02. Frankenstein (1931)
Shocktober 2020 01. Dracula (1931)
Shocktober 2019 01. The Sentinel (1977)
Shocktober 2019 02. Tales from the Darkside (1990)
Shocktober 2019 03. Dracula (1979)
Shocktober 2019 04. High Spirits (1988)
Shocktober 2019 05. From Beyond the Grave (1974)
Shocktober 2019 06. Pet Sematary (1989)
Shocktober 2019 07. Ringu (1998)
Shocktober 2019 08. The Blob (1958)
Shocktober 2019 09. Zombieland (2009)
Shocktober 2019 10. Apt Pupil (1998)
Shocktober 2019 11. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Shocktober 2019 12. Body Bags (1993)
Shocktober 2019 13. The Craft (1996)
Shocktober 2020 27. House of Dracula (1945)

“Do you doubt the supernatural?” – Count Dracula

House of Frankenstein (1944) & House of Dracula (1945) | Persistence of  Vision

It was 1945 And with WW2 over, perhaps audiences had seen enough horror. Universal brought their continuing series of gothic monster movies to an end with another crossover featuring the Trinity of Terror who had all come together in the previous year’s House of Frankenstein.

This has everything thrown into the mix. But not everything is picked up quite the same as we had left it at the end of the prior movie. At the clifftop castle home and laboratory of Dr Franz Edelmann (Onslow Stevens), an unexpected guest arrives in the early hours of the morning, calling himself Baron Latos – in reality Count Dracula (John Carradine) inexplicably back from the dead – again.

Dracula wants to be cured of his vampiric affliction and seeks the help of Edelmann, who agrees to a series of blood transfusions. (Uh oh)

Also in the area is the ever morose and pouty Laurence Talbot (Lon Chaney) who has inexplicably survived the silver bullet from last time. He too wants a cure from Edelmann. Seeing him in police custody transforming in to the Wolf Man, Edelmann theorises that the transformation isn’t triggered by the full moon, but by cranial pressure. Luckily, Edelmann has just the thing – a flower whose spores can be used to soften bone, which means Talbot might be cured without surgery – but he doesn’t have anywhere near enough of the plants to affect a cure.

Talbot throws himself off the cliff in a fit of despair, but doesn’t die – he’s carried by the sea into a cave under the castle and when Edelmann goes to look for him, he and Talbot find the body of the Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange), perfectly preserved and alive, having been carried there by the quicksand. But in an amazing discovery, it’s found that the cave is the perfect temperature for growing the bone softening spores. So, good news – right?

Kim Newman on Twitter: "More from Your Daily Dracula - John Carradine,  House of Dracula (1945).… "

The bad news is that Dracula is busy seducing one of Edelmann’s nurses with the intention of turning her into a vampire. Edelmann insists upon another transfusion, but Dracula switches the flow, so the kindly doctor gets a full dose of Transylvanian red. When he wakes up, Edelmann exposes Dracula to the rays of the morning sun, turning the Count to dust. Out for the Count, you might say.

House of Dracula (Universal 1945) - Classic Monsters

But the transfusion has had the effect of turning the kindly old Edelmann into a Jekyll and Hyde character who becomes obsessed with the idea of reviving the Frankenstein Monster and with him as his muscle, ruling the world. (Again, uh-oh).

Good Edelmann carries out the procedure on Talbot, while bad Edelmann starts killing people and charging up the Monster. The villagers angry at Edelmann’s murder of one of their own whip up into a frenzy and storm the castle, as the moon rises and we see Talbot IS finally cured. As they reach the castle, the recharged Monster breaks free and clumsily pushes over a table of chemicals which spontaneously ignite. Talbot saves the day by shooting the evil version of Edelmann and ushering out the villagers while the Monster and Edelmann burn to death.

There really wasn’t anywhere to go after this film.  The Monsters are bit part players only with the exception of Talbot who was cured, thus bringing his arc to an end. Dracula’s only there to move the plot along so Edelmann can become evil and the Frankenstein Monster isn’t even revived until three minutes before the end of the film, so he’s just a prop – a means of setting fire to the lab and finishing the film off. He has literally nothing else to do and serves no other purpose.

But at least Larry Talbot got to watch the moon rise and didn’t get growly and hirsute.

The Gothic age of Universal Monsters had come to an abrupt end. The world was changing, and was barely recognisable from the one in which Bela Lugosi had menaced Dwight Frye in the steps of Castle Dracula in 1931.

The atomic age was upon us, but the studio wasn’t done with monsters just yet…

Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's Monster in Abbott... | Raiders of the Lost  Tumblr | Classic monster movies, Abbott and costello, Horror movie art


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