Monday, April 26, 2010

Ghost Of Frankenstein, The - 2/5

It was bound to happen. Every franchise starts to falter at some time and Ghost of Frankenstein marks the first major step down the monster ladder in Universal's Frankenstein series. This however does not mean it is horrible. I actually found this fourth entry into the series enjoyable just with many flaws.

Right from the start the film suffers from sequeldom. Ygor (again played by Bela Lugosi), who obviously died in the last entry, remarkably survives and so does...gasp...Frankenstein's monster who was preserved in the sulfur pit he was pushed into (modern horror monsters like Jason Voorhees owe Frankenstein a great deal of debt when it comes to surviving for a sequel). Ygor takes the monster to Frankenstein's other son (A bad alternative title for this film could be "Another Son of Frankenstein") to have his mind fixed and for some damn reason he agrees. For intelligent men, these sons sure do succumb to helping the beast far too easily! Of course the monster causes some havoc along the way which causes another mob in this connect-the-dots sequel.

The first major difference in this film compared to the other films is that Lon Chaney Jr. replaces Boris Karloff in the monster role. Cheney has a massive figure and does adequate in the part but his portrayal lacks the emotional confusion that Karloff was so brilliantly able to portray in the last entries.

Overall I thought this sequel was just going through the motions offering the same material over again with nothing really new. It also seems that the writers weren't able to come up with enough plot as the film barely runs over an hour long, the shortest of the series (there is even an extended sequence using flashback footage of the first film as padding).

I find that Ghost of Frankenstein marks the start of Universal Pictures making B-Monster Movies as opposed to A-Movies. Again this does not make them horrible as they are still very enjoyable but they lack the magic of their original counterparts. Viewers looking for good popcorn entertainment will enjoy but for fans expecting greatness like the first three entries will be sorely disappointed.

Written By: Eric Reifschneider

1 comment:

  1. I'll go on record and say if Chaney had been able to emote more as the monster, this movie would move ahead of Son of Frankenstein in the series. Chaney acquits himself well, but plays the role as written (and directed). This leaves his monster interesting, but not emotionally involving as in earlier entries.