The Skinny on “House of Dracula”- Tonight!

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It’s a slim, trim Count Dracula who makes the scene, only to rub elbows (or is it wings? ) with the Wolf Man (rub wings and paws?)and the Frankenstein Monster (wings, paws, and…electrodes? This is getting silly!), as John Carradine takes on the role of the Transylvanian count who turns a doctor’s laboratory sanctuary into the “House of Dracula” tonight on ME-TV! That kind-hearted doctor is working on a way to help the malformed, based on a certain type of rare plant- and, when he perfects his cure, he hopes to relieve his loyal nurse of her hunchbacked condition. Then, in the middle of a dark night- he receives a strange visitor- one Baron Latos- who has a strange affliction that he feels the doctor may be able to cure- a strange blood condition-the likes of which the doctor has never seen! He feels he might be able to help the baron, not realizing that this new patient is, in reality, Count Dracula- king of the vampires! Another prospective patient shows up- an impatient lad named Larry Talbot, who worries that, if the doctor can’t help him immediately, the upcoming full moon may cause terrible damage to those around him! When the doctor can’t see him, he storms out- but, later, the police ask the doctor to come help them deal with a madman- who turns out to be Talbot- and, as the full moon rises- he becomes the dreaded Wolf Man! The doctor pledges to help Talbot, using his amazing plant serum to reshape his skull, which may help offset the changes the full moon brings to his brain that turn him into a werewolf. Things don’t go as planned, as the Count –or Baron- sets his sights on a beautiful assistant to the doctor, intent on making her one of his brides- while Talbot, who’s unwilling to endure another night as the Wolf Man, discovers - the Frankenstein Monster in a cave near the waterline- as well as more of the rare plant that could be used to cure Talbot and the nurse! Count Dracula still has his agenda, though- and his dastardly plans affect the doctor in a sinister way- leading to the rejuvenation of the Monster- and even more evil! This film, which is considered a sequel to “House of Frankenstein”- was actually the final of the Universal classic monster series- until “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” years later. Along with Carradine as the slender Count Dracula, still sophisticated like Bela Lugosi, but somehow without a foreign accent to emphasize his Transylvanian roots, Lon Chaney Jr. again plays his definitive role of Larry Talbot- and big Glenn Strange assumes the role of the once-again rejuvenated Frankenstein Monster. It’s a worthy wind-up to the original run of the Universal classic monsters-with only one played by its original actor (Chaney, of course)-and there’s plenty of Sven shtick to keep things moving! “House of Dracula” hits our Me-TV network at 10 pm eastern/9 pm central/ 1 am on KOFY (and please check YOUR local listings for our start time)- meanwhile, for our local Chicago viewers, we’ve got the hilarious Don Knotts in “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” at 11 am on WCIU- the U-and, at 3 pm on U Too, we bring back “Lady Frankenstein”! Spend the final Saturday of July with a streamlined bloodsucker (hey-it’s a cinch that isn’t referring to ME!) tonight on Me-TV!!!