'Twas 3 weeks before Christmas- and all through the house- several creatures are stirring- plus Karloff , that louse! The villagers nestle in their homes, in fear- that the Monster or Wolf Man might suddenly appear! Add Dracula in, and a hunchbacked killer- and you have tonight's "House of Frankenstein" chiller!
Cheap seasonal poem ripoff aside, we are delighted to bring you another of those often-requested classic "monster rally" films- with three of the top Universal monsters, plus the King of Universal Horror, Boris Karloff! In this 1944 follow-up to "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man"- we find Karloff as the evil Dr. Neimann in prison, thanks to his scientific experiments that were considered a crime against nature. Nature itself allows him and his cellmate, the hunchback Daniel, to escape from confinement- and they begin a deadly journey of revenge and, hopefully, discovery of the lost secrets of Dr. Frankenstein for creating life! The doctor and his assistant take on the guise of purveyors of a traveling "house of horrors"- which just happens to contain the remains of one Count Dracula, who has the bad habit of not staying dead!
Along the way to the ruins of the laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein- another passenger joins the group- a lovely gypsy girl whom Daniel finds all too alluring. More alluring to Neimann is the investigation of the ruins- which yield a startling find- the frozen bodies of both the Wolf Man- and the actual Frankenstein Monster! Both are thawed out, with the Wolf Man reverting to his human form of Larry Talbot- and the mad doctor encouraged to restore the Monster to full life, while taking a few other lives- and doing some mix-and-match brain surgery. Things get more complicated, as the gypsy girl only had eyes for the brooding Talbot; Neimann's promises to both Daniel and Talbot conflict; and the villagers are not taking kindly to any of this!
This film was really the first of the so-called "monster mash" films sporting a roster of top monsters (actually, the original plan would have added a few more, including the Mummy) and marks a few more firsts the first appearance of John Carradine as the slim Dracula (who would headline the next film in the series,"House of Dracula"), and Glenn Strange's first outing as the Monster. We also get Lon Chaney Jr, of course, as Talbot- and we'll tell you more about the other cast members during the show. Along with all the usual Sven shtick, you'll also get a behind-the-scenes look at a radio show I guested on with my good friend, WGN radio's Nick Digilio.
The "House of Frankenstein" house party starts tonight on MeTV at 10 pm eastern/pacific, 9 pm central, or check listings in your area for when you can see us. In the Chicago viewing area, fans can get a second look at Herman and family in "Munster Go Home" (good thing they didn't accidentally go to the House of Frankenstein!) at 11 am on our sister station, WCIU, the U. (When I post that information on the Sven fan page on Facebook, invariably someone who didn't carefully read what I wrote will ask "why does Chicago get a different movie than the rest of the country?" The Sat. night MeTV movie is the same everywhere- it's just that Chicago gets an extra run the following week of that same movie, earlier in the day on a different one of our stations...) MeTV also invites you to live-Tweet during the show on Twitter, using the hashtag #svengoolie.
Just want to add-I'm very happy that we are finally able to bring you the Sven t shirts in larger sizes- we have gotten so many requests for that, and , as I promised, I kept after management to make it so! I'm also happy that the Sven hoodies are finally available- that was the new clothing item I had hoped we'd have for you LAST year, but, after a long procedure of getting certain factors in line- they are finally here. I'm hoping this is just the beginning of more Sven merchandise that we can offer to all you faithful fans!
Hope you'll be "in the house" for tonight's Frankenstein feature!