House of Dracula

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House of Dracula
HouseOfDracTC.jpg
House of Dracula original movie poster
Directed by Erle C. Kenton
Produced by Paul Malvern
Joseph Gershenson
(executive producer)
Written by Edward T. Lowe Jr.
Starring Lon Chaney, Jr.
John Carradine
Martha O'Driscoll
Lionel Atwill
Onslow Stevens
Music by William Lava
Edgar Fairchild
(musical director)
Cinematography George Robinson
Edited by Russell F. Schoengarth
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release dates
  • December 7, 1945 (1945-12-07)
Running time 67 min
Country United States
Language English

House of Dracula is an American horror film released by Universal Pictures Company in 1945. It was a direct sequel to House of Frankenstein and continued the theme of combining Universal's three most popular monsters: Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange), Count Dracula (John Carradine) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.). The film was a commercial success, but would also be one of the last Universal movies featuring Frankenstein's monster, vampires and werewolves.

Synopsis[edit]

A mysterious bat circles a cliffside castle in Visaria and turns into Count Dracula (John Carradine). He greets the castle's owner, Dr. Franz Edelmann (Onslow Stevens). The Count, who introduces himself as "Baron Latos", explains that he has come to Visaria to find a cure for his vampirism. Dr. Edelmann agrees to help. Together with his assistants, Milizia (Martha O'Driscoll) and the hunchbacked Nina (Poni Adams), he has been working on a mysterious plant, the clavaria formosa, whose juices have the ability to reshape bone. Edelmann explains that he thinks vampirism can be cured by a series of blood transfusions. Dracula agrees to this, and Edelmann uses his own blood for the transfusions.

That night, Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.) arrives at the castle. He demands to see Dr. Edelmann about a cure for his lycanthropy. Talbot is asked to wait. Knowing that the moon is rising, Talbot has himself incarcerated by the police. A crowd of curious villagers gathers outside the police station, led by the suspicious Steinmuhl (Skelton Knaggs). Inspector Holtz (Lionel Atwill) asks Edelmann to see Talbot, and as the full moon rises, they both witness his transformation into the Wolfman. Edelmann and Milizia have him transferred to the castle the next morning. Edelmann tells him that he believes that Talbot's transformations are not triggered by the moonlight, but by pressure on the brain. He believes he can relieve the pressure, but Talbot must wait for him to gather more juice from his flowers. Unable to consider another night as a beast, Talbot throws himself off the cliffs.

Edelmann searches for him and finds that Talbot survived the fall but has turned into the Wolfman. The Wolfman attacks, but suddenly returns to his human form. In a cave, they find the catatonic Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange), still clutching the skeleton of Dr. Niemann. Humidity in the cave is perfect for propagating the clavaria formosa, and a natural tunnel in the cave connects to a basement of the castle. Dr. Edelmann takes the monster back to his lab, but considers it too dangerous to revive him.

The Count tries to seduce Milizia and make her a vampire, but Milizia wards him off with a cross. Edelmann interrupts to explain that he has found strange antibodies in the Count's blood, requiring another transfusion. Nina begins shadowing Milizia, who is weakened by Dracula's presence; Nina notices that the Count casts no reflection in a mirror. She warns Edelmann of the vampire's danger to Milizia. Edelmann prepares a transfusion that will destroy the vampire. During the procedure, Dracula uses his hypnotic powers to put Edelmann and Nina to sleep; he then reverses the flow of the transfusion, sending his own blood into the Doctor's veins. When they awake, Dracula is carrying Milizia away. They revive Talbot and force Dracula away with a cross. Dracula returns to his coffin as the sun is beginning to rise. Edelmann follows him and drags the open coffin into the sunlight, destroying Dracula.

Edelmann begins to react to Dracula's blood, and becomes evil. He no longer casts a reflection in a mirror. Falling unconscious, he sees strange visions of himself performing unspeakable acts. When he awakens, his face has changed to reflect his evil nature just like in his vision, then he returns to his normal self.

Edelmann performs the operation on Talbot. Afterwards, he transforms again into his evil self and brutally murders his gardener. When the townspeople discover the body, they chase Edelmann, believing him to be Talbot. They follow him to the castle, where Holtz and Steinmuhl interrogate Talbot and Edelmann. Steinmuhl is convinced that Edelmann is the murderer, and assembles a mob to execute him.

Talbot is cured by the operation, but Edelmann again turns into his evil self. He revives the Frankenstein monster, but the monster is very weak. Nina is horrified by Edelmann's transformation, and Edelmann breaks her neck and tosses her body into the cave. Holtz and Talbot lead the townspeople to the castle. The police attack the Frankenstein monster, but the monster subdues them. Edelmann kills Holtz via accidental electrocution. Talbot shoots Edelmann dead. Talbot traps the Frankenstein monster under fallen shelving. A fire breaks out, and the townspeople flee the burning castle. The burning roof collapses on the Frankenstein monster.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Also appearing in the film is Jane Adams, whose character, Nina, is a hunchback and was thus billed as one of the monsters in the film. In fact, her character is portrayed sympathetically and the use of an attractive actress to play an otherwise misshapen individual is notable for the time.

Although Glenn Strange appears as the Monster in most of the film, footage of Chaney as the Monster from The Ghost of Frankenstein and Boris Karloff from Bride of Frankenstein was recycled; Karloff appears in a dream sequence.

External links[edit]