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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 15- The Ghost of Frankenstein (1940)

 Today is the final film in the Frankenstein franchise (excluding the "monster mash" films of the 1940s). Lon Chaney Jr replaces Boris Karloff as the monster and Bela Lugosi reprises his role as the demented Ygor. 

The movie starts with the villagers of Frankenstein speaking of rumors that Ygor is still alive and that he is trying to revive the monster. Th
is rumor turns out to be true, and the villagers agree to demolish Castle Frankenstein to prevent the monster from returning. Little do they realize, but the explosions that are destroying the castle have released the monster from his sulfur tomb that had preserved him since the end of Son of Frankenstein. Ygor takes the Monster to Vasaria, where the second son of Henry Frankenstein, Ludwig Frankenstein (played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke) has a successful medical practice, along with his assistants, Dr. Kettering (played by Barton Yarborough) and Dr. Theodore Bohmer (Lionel Atwill).

What transpires is a series of events that leads to the monster being revived again and again causing problems for the residents of Frankenstein village and the Frankenstein family. A key event that convinced Ludwig Frankenstein to revive the monster was seeing the ghost of his father Henry Frankenstein (also played by Hardwicke), who tells Ludwig to "perfect his creation by fixing its brain." 

After being revived, the monster is prepped for surgery to replace his brain. Originally, the plan was to transplant Kettering's brain into the monster, but it got switched with Ygor's brain, and when the "Ygor-Monster" is brought to life, he starts terrorizing the lab. Soon after being revived, however, the monster goes blind, and it is explained that Ygor's blood type doesn't match the monster's like Dr. Kettering's would have, so the nervous system isn't receiving the nutrients needed for it to function. With the monster blind, the house is set on fire and the monster is trapped inside.

This was a very forgettable movie in the series for me. I'm not sure if it's because someone else is playing the monster besides Karloff or not, but the movie does seem vastly inferior to the others in the series. Overall, not bad, but not my favorite. 3 out of 5.

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