House of Frankenstein Review


The House of Frankenstein is a big crossover with Dracula, The Werewolf, and Frankenstein’s monster. Once again I found myself impressed at the continuity here with the same settings reappearing and the movie actively acknowledging previous ones. It’s definitely a fun film and really my only issue here is that none of the 3 monsters get to interact at all which is a shame. Dracula shows up in the first act, the Wolfman makes his move in the second, then Frankenstein acts in the climax. Seeing them all duke it out would have really been a blast but the story is strong enough where you don’t need the monster action to have a good time. With good writing and solid characters, the movie was in a good spot from the start.

The movie starts off with Niemann finally getting out of prison along with his loyal sidekick Daniel. (The guard looked awful in the first scene when he got close enough to the door to be choked though. Doesn’t even seem like this was the first time that happened and the scientist is surprisingly strong to do that considering he doesn’t look like he has lifted weights for a day) The villains want to find Frankenstein’s journal for different reasons. Doctor Niemann so that he can finish the research and do some body swapping and Daniel so he can shed his hunchback form and look like a normal person. They murder the guy who got Dracula’s body and head off to the caste where the monster and wolfman were last seen.

Now you have to give the scientist Niemann a lot of credit here. He is extremely well informed to the point where he knows the wolfman’s whole life story. This guy knows the plot of the last film and what the wolfman was doing at the castle. Furthermore, he is able to threaten/blackmail Dracula himself. Now Dracula fans won’t be thrilled at his appearance here because he looks utterly disgraceful. I would go as far as to say at the worst a Dracula has ever looked in a movie, even worse than his slipping and falling off a cliff in an earlier film.

This Dracula is terrified of Niemann and doesn’t have enough strength to overpower him either. What happens is Niemann awakens Dracula by taking the stake out and then threatens to put it back in of Dracula doesn’t obey his every move. It seems like Dracula considers trying to overpower Niemann but then realizes this would not work. Niemann sweetens the deal by saying he will guard the coffin and Dracula is very quick to swear his undying allegiance. You’ll probably be dying laughing instead at how this guy has fallen. It’s even worse when you see how quickly he is dispatched.

One of the strengths of the film though is how each villain brings his own cast in. For the Dracula part of the film we get to meet a group of characters who even seem like they would be the leads. You have the main heroine who is ready for a good adventure, the skeptic who doesn’t believe in vampires and such, the police chief who thinks something fishy is going on, and the heroine’s husband who is cracking lots of jokes. Once Dracula is gone these guys are quickly written out to the point where we never know exactly how their situation ended up. You will have to imagine how all of the reactions were.

Once we get to the Wolfman, Larry Talbot then we are at the emotional part of the story. Larry is still cursed with being a werewolf so he’s hoping to die at this point which is a really dark plot for such an old film. The problem is this is very difficult since it’s like the Hulk where the werewolf has some regen and can’t die easily. The only way is with a silver bullet from someone who loves him. Larry agrees to work with Niemann since the guy promises to give him a new body. Of course that guy is more interested in running other experiments so he takes his time with him. I really question Niemann’s decision making though since each full moon runs the risk of Larry murdering him. I feel like Niemann never even considered that possibility though which is odd.

I always liked the Wolfman so it’s cool to see him appear here. He is certainly the most heroic of the monster group although I suppose that really isn’t saying a whole lot. He is just cursed to transform against his will which is really a rough fate. As for Frankenstein, there isn’t much to say about him because he’s pretty much a mindless monster. He does true to protect Niemann so perhaps he sees the guy as his creator. Either way he still has his weakness to fire though which is always tricky. It was satisfying to see him take down Daniel really quick though since that guy was the new super strong monster and I was rooting for the original to take that round.

Daniel is a character with an emotional backstory too of course. He can’t find anyone who loves him with the hunchback appearance so he follows Niemann in the hope that the guy will cure him at some point. At the end of the day he is still a villain who will murder anyone in his way though. There is a brief romance plot with Ilonka who goes around leading on Daniel and then crushing on Larry. It’s safe to say that this plot was never going to have a happy ending in this monster film. Particularly as she only helped to put Daniel on the darker path a lot sooner than he would have otherwise.

The ending of the film is actually pretty funny. While the film is taken seriously the whole time and I can only assume this is for the ending as well, it’s just the way that it all happens will make you chuckle. Niemann certainly had quite the ending, that’s for sure. In fact, you could say that each of the villains really paved the way to their own demise without the heroes having to do a whole lot.

Overall, this was a really fun film. I still think it loses some energy by not having any of the 3 monsters interact though to the point where the Dracula part feels like a completely different movie with different supporting characters. The pacing is solid though and the film goes by in a flash. Also, I do like the fact that Niemann is quite strong both verbally and physically despite being an old scientist. Choking out the guard was still incredibly impressive and then of course threatening/blackmailing Dracula has to put you up there as well. I would go as far as to say this might be the best evil scientist in these creature features. If you like seeing these supernatural monsters then this is a film that you can’t miss!

Overall 7/10

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man Review


Crossovers are always a lot of fun. It’s just neat to see characters from two different series interact. There’s a lot of ways you can handle this. Have it just be the leads of two different series around, bring in one or two supporting characters from each verse, or just go all out with everyone showing up. It could be that characters from one universe fall into another one or the classic twist where they’ve been on the same planet all along. There are just so many variations. This one’s a pretty old school crossover and yet it does have a pretty grand feel to it. In this case it’s really a Wolf Man film guest starring the Frankenstein monster so it’s not an even split but a crossover that works really well all the same.

The movie starts with a pair of tomb robbers deciding to mess with the grave of the Wolf Man. (Not that they could have known this) This results in Larry reviving from his death and murdering one of them. He wakes up in a hospital the next day and has a feeling that he’s the guilty party but nobody believes him. He decides to go over to Maleva to seek her help since at least she knows about the Werewolf curse. She suggests visiting Dr. Frankenstein who may be their last chance. Unfortunately the town saw to it that he no longer exists and even the Frankenstein monster was seemingly destroyed. Can that really be true? The monster was incredibly powerful after all and wouldn’t go down so easily. Larry intends to get to the bottom of this mystery…even if it’s the last thing he does.

Right away you can see elements from the previous Wolfman film coming into play. You’ve got the old gypsy Maleva who gets a sizable role here. She’s quite hesitant to help but in the end she does support Larry as best she can so I’ll give her credit for that. Lesser characters would have just abandoned him right then and there. Then of course on Frankenstein’s side you’ve got the townsfolk who always want to burn everything to the ground. You can never tell one member from another to they may as well all be the same guys from the solo installments. Of course you’re really here for the two lead franchise characters but I do feel like having a the supporting characters show up is huge in making this feel like a big crossover.

Even though Frankenstein takes a while to appear you can’t help but get hyped as Larry heads into the town. You know that things are slowly ramping up and will lead to an inevitable clash at some point. Larry’s also just a pretty fun character so he works as a great lead. He doesn’t want to actually hurt anybody but isn’t able to control his transformations. His plot’s actually a bit on the dark side as he’s trying to find a way to end his life with how the curse has brought him so much pain at this point. Still, at his core he is still a hero and in the end he fights to protect his friends. He’s definitely a hero that you want to have in your corner.

As for Frankenstein himself, I’m still not a fan. He’s pretty much mindless as he walks around and wrecks havoc on the town. I do consider him to be a lot more powerful than the Wolf Man though. He may not be fast but once you’re within range of his fists then it’s basically over. You just aren’t going to be able to escape that grasp. At this point the monster seems to not even have any real goals. I suppose he wants to destroy any humans he sees but doesn’t exactly seek them out either. So I don’t know exactly what his deal is here but the film needs an antagonist so it’s good to have him around.

For the supporting characters we’ve got two main ones. Elsa who is the daughter of Doctor Frankenstein and Mannering who is the doctor in charge of Larry. Mannering started out pretty well as he did his best to protect Larry and even tracked him down a few cities away from where he was. The guy’s an extremely dedicated professional who has real connections. He also seemed prepared to fight with Larry if necessary when the lead made it clear that he wouldn’t go back. Unfortunately he quickly cracked near the end of the film as the mysteries of science were too much for him. The ending was so sudden though as the guy cracks for pretty much no reason. One second he’s sane and the next he isn’t.

Meanwhile Elsa is a much better character. She’s not exactly thrilled about getting roped back into the crazy experiments but she does her best to help out. She even warns Mannering a few times not that the guy would actually listen to anyone at that point. The Frankenstein half of the crossover needed at least one other character beyond the monster so she did a good job of representing her world. As expected the film’s writing is on point so all of the characters look pretty good here. The film even avoids some of the usual negatives you would expect like animal violence. It feels like the Wolf Man films tend to include that around so this one managing to avoid that was crucial. Frankenstein didn’t get to murder any kids either which was good because that’s another kind of scene you’re better off without.

Overall, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man is definitely a solid crossover that I would recommend checking out. It’s just so surreal to see the two monsters actually get to meet up like this. I think there’s probably a lot more potential having a crossover with two other series like Dracula and the Wolf Man just because they can actually talk and hash things out. At the end of the day Frankenstein is mindless so it’s not like there is a whole lot he can do to explain his position. Regardless, that’s probably why they have Larry as the main focus here and he holds up his end of the bargain rather well. With solid writing and just a grand sense that something cool is happening before you eyes, you can’t say you’ve completed your monster collection without this one.

Overall 7/10