House of Frankenstein ★★★

To be honest, I like the idea of House of Frankenstein more than I necessarily like the film itself. The basic concept of being a sort of Monster All-Star Game has its appeal. Part of the problem is that the film was originally conceived as featuring other Universal Monsters but budgetary concerns led to it being stripped down to just Count Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and The Wolf Man. That wouldn't necessarily be a problem, except that by picking up where Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man left off, those two characters were already set to share their part of the story. That leaves Count Dracula shoehorned into the opening as a sort of teaser that isn't really incorporated into the rest of the film.

Karloff's presence carries the film, though, in large part because he actually under-plays it. Nearly any other actor in the role of Dr. Neimann would have really hammed it up, but Karloff knows this territory well enough to let the fantastic elements speak for themselves. Lon Chaney, Jr. wasn't given anything new to do that he hadn't already done in the role of Larry Talbot, unfortunately, but at least it's something he did well. He didn't have a love interest in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, so at least there's that love triangle with the gypsy dancer and the hunchback, Daniel. (Of course, Larry isn't much of a participant in that triangle.)

House of Frankenstein Re-Ranked on My Flickchart (#683/1584)

House of Frankenstein < The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad --> #793
I want to like House of Frankenstein more than I actually do. This one goes to The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

House of Frankenstein > Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 ½th Century --> #793
Flawed though House of Frankenstein is, it's still more entertaining than the forgettable Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 ½th Century.

House of Frankenstein > Army of Darkness --> #793
Army of Darkness makes more sense and has more focus, but it doesn't have Karloff and that costs it here.

House of Frankenstein < Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon --> #892
Karloff vs. Rathbone! Watching Holmes pitch in on the war effort is ultimately more entertaining and interesting than the contrivance of the monster mash-up.

House of Frankenstein > Confessions of a Porn Addict --> #892
Could go either way depending on my mood. Right now, I favor House of Frankenstein.

House of Frankenstein > Frantic --> #892
Neither really engaged me nearly as much as I wanted them to, but I like enough about House of Frankenstein to pick it here.

House of Frankenstein > Critters --> #892
Critters is the better film, but I get enough of a kick out of Karloff as the reserved villain Dr. Neimann to go with House of Frankenstein.

House of Frankenstein > Histoire d'O [The Story of O] --> #892
Two disappointments here. My pro-Universal Monsters bias tips the scale in favor of House of Frankenstein.

House of Frankenstein > The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910) --> #892
I admire the ambition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but otherwise it really just isn't all that thrilling. Neither is House of Frankenstein, but it's got Karloff and that's enough for the win here.

House of Frankenstein < Green Lantern: First Flight --> #894
House of Frankenstein could have been a lot more than it is, whereas Green Lantern: First Flight is really the movie that Green Lantern should have been. GL > Monsters this time.

House of Frankenstein was re-ranked on my Flickchart to #894/1584