Tonight on our Me-TV network, it’s the classic conclusion of the Karloff Frankenstein trilogy- as Boris plays the Monster for the final time; Bela brings Ygor the malevolent hunchback to life; and Basil Rathbone decides he must continue his father’s work as the “Son of Frankenstein”!
This outstanding 1939 entry has Basil- as Wolf Frankenstein, son of the notorious Dr. Henry, returning to his father’s home town, named “Frankenstein” in this film, along with his young wife and little son – in order to claim his inheritance. However, they are met with disdain and hatred by the townspeople, who feel that Wolf’s father unleashed misery and death upon the town with his unholy creations.
When Wolf checks out the dilapidated laboratory of his father- he confronts an interloper- the hunchbacked Ygor, who was condemned to death and hanged for his crimes- but somehow survived, broken neck and all! Wolf wants him to leave, but- when Ygor learns he is a Frankenstein, he brings him down to a family tomb area, where Wolf is astounded to find-the Frankenstein Monster! Long thought dead, it is still alive- but “sick”, as Ygor describes him. He also describes the Monster as his “friend- he…does things for me…” Wolf is struck by what an amazing feat his father had pulled off- to create this living being from dead tissue- and vows to clear his father’s name- proclaiming him a maker of men, not monsters!
Wolf tries various experiments , but is convinced that he cannot sustain life in the Monster… but soon, the surviving members of the jury that sentenced Ygor to death are mysteriously murdered- bringing the one-armed police Inspector Krogh to the Frankenstein estate- suspicious that the Monster may still live. Wolf learns that he has indeed succeeded in bring the Monster back- and that Ygor has the powerful creature under his control-putting the village – and Wolf and his family- in grave danger!
This follow-up to “Bride of Frankenstein” is memorable for not only Karloff’s final movie performance as the Monster, but for the great portrayal of Ygor by Bela Lugosi- creating a character that is just as impressive as his Dracula. Also impressive is Lionel Atwill as the wooden-armed police inspector, spoofed so well in “Young Frankenstein”. Basil Rathbone is his usual distinguished character- until driven to frantic heights by the revival of the Monster and his fear and hatred of Ygor and the police inspector. We’ll let you decide if Wolf’s son- played by Donnie Dunagan- who we’ll tell you more about- is adorable or totally annoying!
We’ll fill you in on lots of behind-the-scenes info, including why the script was rewritten to expand Bela’s role as Ygor-and bring you a classic song as well- while trying to bring you as much of this, the longest English-language movie in the Universal monster library, as possible.(The longest of all was the Spanish version of “Dracula”- shot at night on the same sets as the English version!) We’ve done our best to keep the editing judicious and to a minimum, since the movie itself is longer than our allotted program time (minus commercials).
“Son of Frankenstein” plays tonight, all over the country, at 9 pm central time on the Me-TV network. You can also catch “Incredible Shrinking Man” at noon on WCIU- and we advise you to do so- especially if you missed the Cee Lo Green parody song that our viewers told us they enjoyed so much in last week’s Me-TV showing! Of course, at 3 pm on U Too- you can enjoy the incredible Stuart Gordon “From Beyond”! It’s another full slate of Sven excitement this weekend- so, make sure you check it out!