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1942 - 67m.

Lon Chaney Jr. takes up the mantle of the Monster in the first non-Karloff Frankenstein movie, and does an admirable job considering the shoes he had to fill (no pun intended). Unfortunately, much like Son Of Frankenstein, Ghost seems rehashed and never really gets involving enough to take your interest.

Even the great cast can't salvage what is obviously a retread (nearly literally) of Son Of Frankenstein. Aside from some character names this is basically the same story of one of Frankenstein's sons being prodded into helping the monster by Lugosi's Ygor. Again Lugosi steals what show there is with his manic performance of the sick hunchback, this time out even adding a sad "my friend" angle to the character. Aside from this though, there's not much to recommend this on.

Obviously a family that doesn't keep in touch, Ludwig Frankenstein seems to have no idea that Ygor is completely insane and wants to control the world using the monster, only this time by placing his brain in the Monster's body. He coerces Dr. Bohmer (Lionel Atwill) into switching the brains and soon enough he's in control of the "giant". It's worth mentioning that it's explained here why the monster is blind in Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, seems with the mix of blood types the Monster's sensory organs stopped functioning. Might have been an idea to include that in the vastly superior Frank/Wolfman movie, but that's an argument for sixty years ago.

Anyway, it's quite sad to see what this series becomes by this point. It lacks the polish and interesting environments of the previous entries, dumbs the monster down further, and wastes a great cast. Even at the mere 67 minute runtime it seems drug out and altogether unnecessary.

On a side note, one has to wonder how the series would have turned out had Whale's sympathetic and intelligent monster been placed in these movies. Would he have fallen in with the demented Ygor or sought out his creator's children, or would he have continued his tortured existence alone? How different could these last two films have been had that idea been continued? There's an idea in there somewhere, maybe someday it'll come to light.

Either way, avoid Ghost Of Frankenstein, and if possible, remember only the first two films.

Followed by Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman. (Red, 6/28/04)

Directed By: Erle C. Kenton.
Written By: Scott Darling.

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Lionel Atwill.