14 October 2002 | jbirtel
Sum Parts Add Up Better Than the Whole!
This has some of the best vintage sequences in the series, great George Robinson photography, eerie sets and a nice score from Hans J Salter that expands on the previous entries. And everyone does their professional best to spout the inane dialogue they're saddled with. What's wrong is the silly story that surrounds the events. A movie that promises a Monster Mash results in a collection of Monster cameos.
This is a semi remake of 'Son of Frankenstein', where broken-neck Ygor used the Monster to exact his revenge. This time around, it's mad scientist Karloff (with hunchback Naish) doing the same on those who imprisoned him. But the only 'monsters' used as his proxy for revenge are Dracula and Daniel. The Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster show up just long enough to do their snarls before being dispatched. A nice touch was the triangle love between Talbot, the gypsy Ilonka and Daniel. And like 'Ghost of Frankenstein', there's a difference of opinion on who should be the recipient of whose brain.
But this movie is still fun, probably because it's based more on my nostalgic memories from the first time I saw it as a kid rather than my harsh adult perception. (A & C Meet Frankenstein I saw 1st, at 5 yrs old...another movie with all these monsters in it??...too cool! [just my silly 6 yr old opinion].
This one has the best 'Wolf Man' make-up and man-to-beast transformation (the footprints & the mirror sequence). Carradine's turn as Dracula is very good, but you can't help but wonder if only Lugosi had been allowed to reprise his most famous role. And for his limited input, Strange does just fine as the Monster (better than what Chaney and Lugosi did with the role in the last two) helped by Karloff's coaching on how the monster moved and walked. And it's complete with gypsies, a castle, fog forests and an angry mob (again).
So just grab some popcorn; and double up with Universal's 'House of Dracula' for a fun double feature. Just don't swallow too hard.
A nostalgic 6 out of 10!