Doctor to the Monsters
House of Dracula (1945) is the cash-in sequel to House of Frankenstein (1944). Sadly, Co-op of The Creature and Duplex of the Damned never got off the drawing board. Dang it all to heck.
In HoD, Dracula (aka, Baron Latos) is fed up with being a vampire and seeks the medical acumen of castle-dwelling Dr. Franz Edelmann. No word on whether or not Dracula got a referral from his primary care physician.
Doc Edelmann, aided by two nurse assistants (one is a supermodel, the other a hunchback who looked like she just had her bra on backward), tells Dracula that he’s been experimenting with clavaria formosa, a plant whose spores have the ability to reshape bone. (Sorry skeletons; doesn’t work on you.) And with a series of blood transfusions, he can cure the quitter vampire. (P.S. The blood comes from Edelmann himself. Put that up there in the Top 5 malpractices suits of all time.)
The doc must’ve left his “walk-ins welcome” sign on because Larry Talbot – the Wolf Man – also shows up, begging the doc to find a cure for his lycanthropy. (Geez, who’s next – the Mummy needing his Band-Aids™ changed?)
As we all know, Talbot hates being a werewolf because of all that primal need to kill stuff. The doc theorizes that Larry’s wolf-y upgrade is not due to the moon’s influence, but there’s pressure on his brain that, with a little open head surgery and some science mold spores from the same plant, he can cure the fur.
Of course, all of this goes to heck in a hand basket. During the transfusion, Dracula punks the doc and Nurse Hunchback by hypnotizing them and reversing the blood flow, thereby infecting Edelmann with Type-Oh No Negative. Now the doc’s a vampire that runs around town making work for the coroner.
Somehow they wedge Frankenstein’s monster into the mix. Why not? In for a penny, in for a pound. While F’s monster doesn’t really do anything except lumber around like it was last call, it’s the now evil doc who needs to taste the wrath of torches and rakes wielded by hangman jury-esque villagers.
Dracula, wearing a top hat indoors (how rude), is hammy and seems to be phoning it in. Larry Talbot sports a mustache (like he freakin’ needs more hair on his face). The doc – in both care giver and care taker form – gets most of the screen time (and will no doubt bill you for it). The hunchback nurse is killed and her body tossed in a cave hole. (I had a hunch that would happen. Heh.) And Frankenstein’s monster, who locked it up with Larry in Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943), gets the raw end of the electrode YET AGAIN, and goes up in flames with the rest of the castle in the movie’s rushed climax/ending. He’ll be back.
P.S. Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s M were reunited in 2009’s House of the Wolf Man. Those two just can’t seem to get along. Maybe they should try regular therapy instead of shock therapy.