All too soon, Monstrous May is coming to an end on our show- and, since we had one more run available of this entry in the Universal Frankenstein series, we’ve brought it back to conclude this Franken-month. It features the reprise of Bela Lugosi’s gripping portrayal of Ygor- out to help his massive “friend” return to full power – and possibly help himself to said power- in "Ghost of Frankenstein"!
Outraged citizens of the village that Dr. Frankenstein called home feel their homeland is cursed-poverty and anguish seem to hang over them like a dismal cloud. The long list of tragedies that the Frankenstein family has inflicted on them seems to be the reason for their condition- so they decide to destroy what's left of the Frankenstein castle, in hopes it will lift the curse. They storm the castle, ready to level the evil place- and be rid of the wily Ygor, who still resides among the wreckage. As they advance with their attack, Ygor realizes he must escape, and heads down to the castle's catacombs- where he discovers the Monster, hidden and preserved in sulfur (after his fall into the sulfur pit in "Son of Frankenstein"). Since it cannot be killed- the Monster is still alive- but devastatingly weakened. Ygor helps the Monster sneak away from the mob destroying the castle, stumbling out into a thunderstorm- where a freak lightning strike helps to re- energize the undying creature! Ygor is clever enough to realize that there may be a way to restore the Monster to his old powerful self- but who might have the right knowledge? The answer is obvious- another Frankenstein – and the lone Frankenstein offspring he knows of is surviving son Ludwig Frankenstein.
The fiendish Odd Couple wend their way to Vasaria , where Ludwig’s practice has met great acclaim. His remarkable work has brought about a major breakthrough in brain surgery- being able to remove a damaged brain- repair it- and then put it BACK in the patient's skull - totally cured! At his side to assist him are two colleagues- Dr Kettering, and Dr. Bohmer- who was originally his teacher, but was disgraced after a surgical error. Bohmer is grateful for Ludwig’s standing by him regardless- but still, he is bitter and jealous of his protégé’s achievements.
The burg of Vasaria is treated to Ygor and the Monster making a scene when the Monster innocently tries to help a young girl retrieve her ball. The townspeople, remembering what the Monster has done with another small girl ( you remember , as well-the one he thought would float like a flower?) think the massive brute has grabbed the child with evil intent! It takes many men to take the still powerful Monster into custody! Ygor hides from the crowd, dismayed by their capture of his “friend”. He realizes that only Dr Frankenstein might be able to save his father's creation. By coincidence, the town authorities also feel that perhaps the doctor can help them deal with the huge silent brute they have restrained. Ygor drops by the doctor’s clinic, and , in no uncertain terms, tells the doctor that he will reveal to all Ludwig’s familial ties to the hulking menace- unless he steps in to help the Monster.
Ludwig visits town to help the authorities with their powerful captive- who, upon seeing the doctor, smiles as if in recognition of some family resemblance. As usual, his treatment enrages the Monster, who breaks free and escapes from the police with the help of Ygor. The fugitives take refuge in a hidden part of Ludwig’s clinic, but soon the doctor's lovely daughter finds out the truth about her father's family; and Ludwig finds himself at odds with destroying the monster through dissection- or restoring him to his previous power, as he is urged to do by- his father's ghost! (Yes, that’s where the title of this movie comes from!) Bohmer's jealousy and yearning to have his genius recognized and his standing in the scientific community restored leads to some double-crossing as he aligns himself with Ygor -to pull off a dastardly plan that can only make the Monster even more deadly!
This 1942 film falls in the Frankenstein series between 'Son of Frankenstein" and "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man". It gives us the final performance by Bela Lugosi as Ygor- with Lon Chaney Jr. taking on the role of the Monster. Sir Cedric Hardwicke is Ludwig, Lionel Atwill is his aide Bohmer, and stock Universal player Evelyn Ankers is Ludwig’s daughter Elsa. We'll talk about the cast and the production, and provide some new special segments, including a visit with the funny ,fabulous and adorable Dana Delorenzo of the late great “Ash VS Evil Dead" TV show ( who worked with someone we’re looking forward to meeting at the Flashback Weekend convention this August in Rosemont, IL)- and another look at the fun of last year’s “Nightmare on Chicago Street” celebration in Elgin, IL. One more time, the whole movie is framed around Sven's "brother" Fraido taking over the show- out to settle the argument of who is more of a dummy – himself or Sven!
"Ghost of Frankenstein" hits your screen on MeTV tonight at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7 central – if necessary, check local listings or at www.metv.com for time and channel in your area. Once again- if you’re setting your DVR to record- double check what they are listing our show as- it could be the show title Svengoolie or the movie title. MeTV invites you to join the scores of Sven fans who live-Tweet during the show on Twitter, keeping our program trending right at the top of the list across the nation- just make sure to use the hashtag #svengoolie . Chicago area viewers can enjoy the beloved horror-comedy that brought us big ratings last Saturday night- “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”- at 11 am on WCIU, the U !
Keep checking back with us here at the blog, in our store, and under the “appearances” tab on our website- some long- awaited news will be revealed soon !
Join us tonight as Ygor conjures the “Ghost of Frankenstein” on MeTV!