House of Dracula (1945)

Article #566 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-2-2002
Posting date: 2-25-2003

A doctor finds himself treating both Dracula and the Wolf Man for their respective illnesses, and also encounters the Frankenstein monster.

I’ll openly admit that I blow hot and cold on this movie; on some days, I can’t help but admire the way it experiments with some of the concepts, even going so far as to posit that Dracula’s vampirism may be a disease rather than a supernatural manifestation (though it doesn’t explain his ability to transform into a bat, but I will say this movie handles those transformations very well indeed). The story certainly takes some interesting twists, and Onslow Stevens gives a strong performance in what is essentially the main role in the movie. Other days, the movie simply bores me; for all its interesting ideas, the story never really gels into a whole and seems to randomly wander its way to the ending, and the first half of the movie is very dull. The ads trumpeted that it had five monsters, but you really can’t count Jane Adams (playing the most beautiful hunchback in cinema history); she never becomes evil in any sense of the word. The Frankenstein monster is just along for the ride, really; he revives only long enough for the big ending. One monster has a happy ending; notice how they make sure he never attacks anyone during the course of the movie. This would be the last stop for the classic Universal monsters before their encounter with Bud and Lou.


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