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DVD Review

Son of Frankenstein (1939)


Starring: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Béla Lugosi and Lionel Atwill
Universal Classic Cinema
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: PG
Available 05 May 2008

Wolf Frankenstein arrives in a small village with his wife and young child, to receive his inheritance of the castle. Needless to say, the locals are unkind in their reception of the son of 'The Maker of Monsters', despite his best intentions. Intrigued by the large, damaged laboratory, Wolf's curiosity gets the better of him and, whilst exploring the ruins, his is confronted by Ygor - his deceased father's twisted assistant. Ygor shows him a hidden chamber where the monster lies inert. Wolf is soon corrupted by his father's diaries; he attempts to revive the creature during a thunderstorm, without success, but he soon learns of a few vicious killings and begins to have his doubts...

This is by far the best of the bunch of Universal horror classics I've reviewed recently. It's aided by a simple but logical script, and lifted again by a strong ensemble of actors.

Basil Rathbone, the greatest film or TV Sherlock Holmes, is great as Wolf Frankenstein. Boris Karloff reprises his original role as the monster, and even Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Ygor is suitably less eccentric than it is in The Ghost of Frankenstein.

The only thing that grates a little is the presence of a loud and stuck-up kid (Wolf's son), who sounds a lot like Shirley Temple - even though he's a boy.


Ty Power

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