Sunday, October 5, 2014

House of Dracula (1945)
House of Dracula (1945) Poster

*** out of 5

strange that a film called "House of Dracula" would kill off the title character before the half-way point of the picture. But then this mishmash, hodge-podge film leave a lot to be desired, and it's no wonder that it was the last of the classic universal horror monsters film cycle. Even the music is largely pastiche of themes from the earlier films in the cycle. One or two interesting variations to the stories are attempted, but nothing notable is really done with any of them. We have the Wolfman, who is cured by a mad scientist, who accidentally becomes injected with Dracula's blood during a transfusion intended to cure the vampire of his curse (his own request, in what may be the wimpiest-written version of the classic character). The effect of the blood on the scientist turns him into a semi-Jekyll-and-Hyde, and the finale has him chased through the streets by crowds of angry villagers, a scenario that had already become a cliche horror film image. He kills his female(!) hunchback assistant, and brings to life the Frankenstein monster he found in the caverns under his castle, but by then, it's too late in the picture for that character to do much more than trash the room, and go down in flames, just like the movie itself, which has no real conclusion, but just kind of ends with that fiery inferno, with no attempt at denouement.

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