Halloween Endurance Test: House of Dracula (1945)

We learn a lot of things in Universal’s House of… (Dracula, Frankenstein, et all) series. Kittens can detect evil, including but not limited to vampires. Throwing all your tired old monsters into one hodgepodge of a story isn’t the best way to rebuild your audience. And, in House of Dracula, which, by the by, occurs in a castle that does not belong to Dracula, the most interesting villain is the mad scientist/doctor. Not any of the monsters. Especially the horrid Wolf Man.

Much like Dracula’s Daughter, this film could have been more accurately titled, The Wolf-Man Vs. Dr. Edelman. The good doctor is the go-to man for all ailing monsters: Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf-Man all seek his aid. All at the exact same time. (The hunchback shows up too. As a female nurse in his employ!)

Same as with his daughter, Dracula wants a cure for vampirism. Until the cure takes longer than 20 minutes, at which point he starts hitting on/hypnotizing the doctor’s nurses. The good doctor will have none of that patient/provider fraternizing , and rushes to give Dracula a final blood transfusion to purge his system of vampirism. Instead the doctor collapses, Dracula gives him an infectious dose of his vampire blood, then flees to his coffin (in the doctor’s basement!) where he’s found and destroyed.

At which point the movie becomes Dr. Edelman and Mr. Hyde as that’s the story that transpires. Dracula’s blood makes the doctor do crazy things such as reanimate Frankenstein’s monster (who rampages for five minutes, punches a cop, and then has the castle collapse on him), cures the Wolf-Man (but murders the Wolf-Man’s best friend), and throws a book at the kitty in my introduction.

Sound like a mess? It is. Universal’s final monster cash-grab doesn’t so much tell a story so much as it takes the cliches from all their respective franchises to parade them off one-by-one. A movie so bad Universal didn’t even include true credits. Instead they list all the actors’ names in the beginning, but, damningly, there’s no list at the end breaking it down role-by-role.

Not nearly as fun as (the upcoming) House of Frankenstein which also relies heavily on worn-out cliches, but at least has the good sense to keep our favorite monsters evil while doing it.

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2 Responses to “Halloween Endurance Test: House of Dracula (1945)”

  1. That’s pretty crazy! 😛 lol I enjoyed it.

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