Sunday, January 20, 2019

Don't You Come Into this Village on that BS!

So, here we go, Week One of The Frankenstein portion of the blog!

The DVD I’m pulling this from is Frankenstein: The Complete Legacy Collection which features eight of the Boris Karloff Frankenstein movies. Now, since this whole project only covers movies that I have not seen, I won’t be covering all the movies in this selection as I’ve, for sure, seen four of them. For the sake of those of you who have never seen the old school Frankenstein movies, I highly recommend them. Old school horror is the foundation for the new school, after all.

Speaking of foundations, after watching this week’s movie, I have a sneaking suspicion that Mel Brooks might’ve seen this one too at some point.

You know, just a wild guess.

Son of Frankenstein starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwell, Edgar Norton, Lawrence Grant, Josephine Hutchinson, and Donnie Dunagan.

Okay, so this one takes place after the events of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. Word has gotten out in the village that Baron Wolf von Frankenstein(Rathbone) is coming to town and nobody is happy about it. In fact, the villagers hold a meeting so that they can plan on telling Frankenstein not to come in here with that BS.

Meanwhile, Frank Jr. is on a train with his wife, Elsa (Hutchinson) and his son Peter (Dunagan). He spends the time complaining about the bad reputation that his family name now has because of his father. “They even think the monster is named Frankenstein!”

Hey, fun fact. The monster is not Frankenstein. If you didn’t know that before now:

So, as soon as they get there, the whole town shows up and the Burgomaster—

No, Not Burgermeister. Burgomaster. At least, according to IMDB.

Burgomaster(Grant) tells him: “Here’s a box your dad left you and we would appreciate it if you did not come into this town on that BS.”

Frank Jr. gets offended but takes the box anyway. Back at the castle, they get to know their staff, including Frank Jr.’s childhood butler, Benson.

Heh, just kidding. Not that Benson.

Frank Jr. also gets acquainted with the local police inspector, Krogh (Atwill) who has a fake arm that was torn out when he was attacked as a child by the Frankenstein monster. He delivers my first favorite line in this movie. “One doesn't easily forget, Herr Baron, an arm torn out by the roots.”

So, Frank is trying to live his best life with his wife and his kid when he becomes suspicious that someone else might be in the castle. He goes to investigate and comes across Ygor(Lugosi), the former assistant to his father. Ygor explains to him that after the whole thing with his dad went down, the villagers tried and convicted him. He was hung in the town square, but he survived.

Ygor tells him that he’s got a secret to show him. He leads him down into an old crypt. Lo and behold:

Yup. Frank Jr’s dad’s monster(Karloff) is sleeping in the crypt. Ygor tells him that he and the monster have been hanging out all this time, even though the monster has pretty much been kind of dead since his father died.

And that’s around the time that Frank Jr. decides to come up in the village with that BS.

Frank Jr. and Ygor take the monster up to his father’s old lab (which is right next to a giant sulfur…pit) and start working on bringing the monster back to life. He brings in Benson to help and, like an old carburetor, they managed to get him working again. Can’t really walk yet, but:

Pretty soon, people start dying in the village. Inspector Krogh pays them a visit to tell them about the mysterious deaths and how similar they are to the deaths that the monster used to do back in the day. He asks Frank Jr. if he’s on his father’s BS and Frank Jr.s all:

Okay, so then, Junior Jr. comes walking in and tells his father he can’t sleep because a man came into his room. A big man. Wearing a fur shirt. With a flat head. And bolts in his neck.

Frank Jr. excuses himself and runs back to the lab, only to find the monster gone. He wrecks his lab in anger. Oh, wait, by the way, Benson has gone missing. Frank Jr.’s wife keeps commenting on how strange it is, but Frank Jr. brushes it off for the most part.

So, people keep dying, Benson’s missing, and Inspector Krogh starts getting closer and closer to discovering that the monster is on the loose. Frank Jr. eventually finds Ygor and confronts him about the monster. Ygor tells him that yeah, he’s been using the monster. He was using the monster to take revenge on the men who convicted him in the first place. Angry that Ygor brought his own BS to his party, he shoots Ygor and kills him.

The monster finds dead Ygor and decides to kidnap Junior Jr. out of revenge. Inspect Krogh and Frank Jr. find and corner the monster with Junior Jr. They shoot the monster and it falls into the sulfur pit, never to be seen again…I imagine until we review Ghost of Frankenstein next week anyway.

And so, with the monster gone, Baron Wolf von Frankenstein and his family hop and train and get out of town.

Okay, so what did I think? Well, what do you think I thought? Yes, of course, it gets a jewel for the culture, but more than that, this was actually a pretty good movie. The sets were gothic works of art – all angles and shadows and wide spaces. Rathbone was pretty spot on that he actually reminded me of the original Dr. Frankenstein in spots. And Little Peter Frankenstein was pretty darned cute.

All right, so next week’s movie? The Ghost of Frankenstein! See you next time!


No comments:

Post a Comment