Bela Lugosi looks positively geriatric as Frankenstein’s monster in this Universal horror not-so-classic.
Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.) is still trying to find a way to die and escape the monthly nightmare of his transformation into the Wolf Man. He locates gypsy woman Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya). She says Dr. Frankenstein had the secrets of both life and death. He awakens the monster (Legosi) from its entombment in an ice block while trying to find the scientist’s records.
In the meantime, the Wolf Man has already killed. Dr. Frank Mannering is on his trail. He locates Talbot in the quaint Tyrolean village near the castle, where Frankenstein’s grandniece Elsa (Ilona Massey) is enjoying some folk dancing. The monster makes an appearance. Mannering and Elsa agree to help Talbot. They find Frankenstein’s diary which explains how the undead can be made to die. But the villagers aren’t waiting for science to take a hand in destroying the monster and there is something about that laboratory that drives men mad … With Lionel Atwill as the mayor and Dwight Frye as a villager.
This has all the great production values of the classic Universal horror films of the ’30’s. Chaney Jr. is actually better in this than he was in The Wolf Man, probably because we are not asked to believe that he is the son of an English lord. Poor Lugosi totters around pathetically and the climactic fight is necessarily truncated by another disaster, bringing the movie to an abrupt halt.