tek's rating: ½

Son of Frankenstein
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This is the third movie in the Frankenstein franchise. It came out in 1939, eight years after the original and four years after "Bride of Frankenstein". It's clearly set longer than that after the earlier movies, and while I don't recall any mention of the timeframe in the movie itself, I've seen a few places on the internet that say it's 25 years later. Several things about the earlier movies have been altered in this one, including the name of the village where it takes place: it's now called Frankenstein, which seems really odd, considering how much the villagers hate that name. The son of Henry Frankenstein comes from America to inherit his father's castle and fortune, but in this movie the late doctor's name was changed from Henry to Heinrich. His son's name is Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), and he moves to the village of Frankenstein with his wife Elsa and their young son, Peter. Wolf soon meets Ygor (an unrecognizable Bela Lugosi), who wasn't in either of the earlier movies, but in this one his backstory is that he had stolen dead bodies for Heinrich, which I guess means he's taking the place of Fritz in the story. Ygor takes Wolf to see Frankenstein's creature, who is in a coma after being struck by lightning some time ago. He wants Wolf to make the creature well again, and Wolf tries to do so, but seemingly fails. Of course it later turns out he'd succeeded, after all. It just took the creature awhile to wake up. Also, it turns out Ygor can control the creature, and has him kill the eight jurors who had previously condemned Ygor to be hanged. (The hanging failed to kill him, even though it broke his neck.) And unlike the second movie, the creature is back to being unable to speak at all. And he seems to have no compunctions about killing.

Well, there are a few other characters in the movie, including servants of the Frankensteins, as well as a police inspector named Krogh, who at first wants to protect the baron and his family from angry villagers, but later becomes suspicious of Wolf having continued his father's work. I don't really want to say any more about the plot, but I will say I liked the fact that it was mentioned a couple of times that in the years since the creature was brought to life, people had started calling it Frankenstein, which appeared to annoy Wolf, early on. I just find it amusing considering how many people in real life make the same mistake. (Though I suppose a case could be made that this movie makes it less of a mistake, ironically enough.) And I don't know what else to tell you.

Frankenstein * Bride of Frankenstein * Son of Frankenstein * Ghost of Frankenstein * Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man * House of Frankenstein

classic horror index

Novel: Frankenstein
(The following is a list of things I've seen or want to see. There have been countless other things that have adapted or parodied the novel.)

Adaptations: Frankenstein (1931) * The Curse of Frankenstein * Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Loose adaptations: Young Frankenstein * I, Frankenstein * Victor Frankenstein
Parodies: The Rocky Horror Picture Show * Frankenweenie (1984) * Transylvania 6-5000 * Mary Shelley's Frankenhole * Frankenweenie (2012)
Ensembles: The Munsters * Drak Pack * The Monster Squad * Van Helsing * Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl * Hotel Transylvania * Once Upon a Time * Penny Dreadful