In this 4th film in the Frankenstein series, Ygor (Bela Lugosi) takes the wounded Monster (Lon Chaney Jr.) to yet another Doctor Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke) who decides that a brain transplant will return the good reputation of his family. Ygor enlists the aid of Doctor Bohmer (Lionel Atwill) to alter the Monster’s operation to fit his desires.
Well, Lugosi is still good as Ygor, all the bit-players fit the bill, and it is a ’40s Universal monster movie. That’s about all I can come up with in support of this poorly plotted, laughable fourth entry in the Frankenstein series (following Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939)). All the style is missing that was in the last film, and all the meaning is gone from the first two. All that’s left is a lumbering monster and a re-used plot. Just what is wrong with the Frankenstein family? Give them a body and they just need to charge it with electricity.
Lon Chaney Jr., excellent as the Wolf Man, can’t manage the Monster. He barely changes his expression. Cedric Hardwicke is a fine character actor, but is far too dry for the lead (it’s not all his fault; he isn’t given enough to develop the character). Still, this old Universal film is mildly entertaining and worth your time should it pop up on late night TV.
It was followed by Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945).