So it begins. As part of my 999 Challenge, I selected to do nine Universal Classics. I could count the ones I have already reviewed for this month, but where would the fun be in that? It gives me the excuse to watch eight more instead of five, or six, more. Any excuse to watch more movies is a good thing. One of the first things I did when I got home from shopping, was pop in House Of Dracula (1945), which now closes out that set of movies for me. It has only taken me almost two weeks, I think, to watch it. But it worked out for me, since I can count it as one of my nine in this category. As someone on TV used to say, "Don't you love it when a plan comes together?" Not that I planned this, just saying.
House Of Dracula starts off with Dracula (John Carradine) showing up at Dr. Edlemann's (Onslow Stevens) castle, and asking for some help. Calling himself Count Latos at first, Dracula reveals himself to Edlemann, and asks if he will help cure him. It seems Dracula is tired of being a vampire, and is hoping that Edlemann can come up with a cure. Edlemann agrees, since he thinks it would be a scientific break through if he could do this. Before Edlemann can really get going on finding this cure though, Larry Talbot/The Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.) also shows up looking to be cured. Edlemann has ideas on how to cure both men, but before he can, Dracula decides that he wants to make Miliza (Martha O'Driscoll), one of the nurses that helps Edlemann, his undead bride. The Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange) eventually shows up, and we get the hunchbacked nurse (Jane Adams), who was also billed as one of the monsters.
House Of Dracula picks things up where House Of Frankenstein leaves off, more or less. This was the last movie in the monster mash trilogy, of which Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man was also part. I understand the appeal of these movies, since we get to see all the monsters in one film. In past movies, we got to see a battle, or two, between the monsters. Even if they were kind of lame, to me anyway, it was still nice to see. It seems that Larry, yet again, gets most of the story in House Of Dracula. As much as I like the character, lets get the others in the spotlight as well. It was nice to have the three main monsters on the same screen, but it would have been a lot better if they had actually shared some screen time together. Actually they do, but more in passing than anything else. The Frankenstien Monster feels more like an after thought, than anything else.
The effects are pretty good in this one. The transformation from bat to Dracula wasn't as good, as it was in Son Of Dracula though. At least the bat looked a little more realistic, even if you could see the strings clearly every time. The Frankenstien Monster and Wolf Man looked good as always, from what little we see of them. Not sure how well I liked the Wolf Man's transformation though. The makeup that I enjoyed the most, which was also probably the easiest, was Edlemann's crazy look. As much as I liked all the other actors, it was Onslow Stevens that I liked best in House Of Dracula. I didn't really care for the character all that much, until he went a bit crazy. Many people seem to like John Carradine as Dracula. I thought he did a fine job in the role, but it wasn't anything that really stood out to me.
I was rather disappointed with House Of Dracula. I didn't really expect much, since the one before it didn't impress me much either. I think these films would have been better if they had given all of the monsters the same story line. Have them ban together and kill a bunch of people, or something like that. One thing I didn't get, is why Edlemann didn't become a vampire out right. It was established that Dracula had people drink his blood in order to turn them into vampires. It is something that shows up in vampire movies from time to time. While Edlemann didn't drink Dracula's blood, he might as well have. House Of Dracula was a film that people were happy to see in this set, since it had not been released to DVD prior to this. Too bad it had to be the weakest on the set.
2 out of 5 Vampires, werewolves, monsters...oh my
2 days ago