Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

The townspeople have had enough! With the burgomaster's approval, the Castle Frankenstein is finally destroyed for good, but the explosions free The Monster from the sulfur pits below! Ygor has also miraculously survived, and the two escape to the small town of Vasaria, which is home to Dr. Henry Frankenstein's second son Ludwig. Using a treatment of his own design, the younger Frankenstein hopes to replace The Monster's defective brain with a healthy one, but Ygor seems to have other plans! GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN revisits similar themes to the previous production, with Sir Cedric Hardwicke assuming the role of Ludwig Frankenstein this time around. Unfortunately, The Monster not only receives less screen time, but he is reduced even further into a lumbering oaf. Boris Karloff is greatly missed, and Lon Chaney Jr.'s zombified performance lacks personality. It is Bela Lugosi who comes through once again with another playful performance as the conspiring Ygor. GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN would be one of the first films to show the downward decline of the Universal monster movies, but series crossovers would give The Monster a few more jolts of energy.

Rating: 7/10.

9 comments:

  1. You're almost to the one where Universal pissed off Lugosi and created the cliche of the lumbering Adam monster.

    This one is only notable for Lugosi's great performance and the series symbolically going in a different direction.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never knew Lugosi was even in the Frankenstein series until I got to SON this round, he really steals the show as Ygor, love it! Planning on hitting the other monsters and topping it all off with ABBOTT AND CONSTELLO soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The reputation of GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN is entirely justified I'm afraid. You're 7/10 is very generous Carl. Perhaps the greatest crime of the film is the boredom that rapidly sets in.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Shaun, did Hammer borrow from the idea of the second brain transplant in the monster from this film, or is that purely coincidence?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Carl....7/10 is right on....as far as the hugely biased frog queen is concerned :) Love this one on several levels.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd say Hammer probably borrowed it from this source Carl, a number of elements from the Universal Frankenstein films crop up throughout Hammer's own efforts in exploring the experiments of Herr Baron.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Although it's hard to defend, I agree with the 7/10 consensus. GHOST is not great, but Lugosi is. This one has always had a place in my heart since I was a kid and saw it on a late-night monster movie show.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've been sitting on these Frank flicks for a long, long time now. I haven't seen these since I was a kid. They used to come on television regularly early Saturday mornings.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Its time to refresh my friend, I am going to make a run through all of the Universal films if possible, DRACULA will likely be coming up next, with ABBOTT AND COSTELLO concluding the run.

    ReplyDelete