Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.

Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.

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The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Your thoughts on THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN? e-mail your comments!

While I was at the Steel City Covention through the weekend, I was still able to sit still long enough on Saturday night to spin this chestnut on DVD.

THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN is a wonderful flick, full of action, the monster and a powerful presence by Lon Chaney Jr. as that creature. Often maligned by critics, I take this for what it was...a power-packed monster show from Universal. It wasn't trying to be something more, as with James Whales first two films in the series or the in-between SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. On it's own merits as an entertaining monster picture, THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN is a rocker-shocker.

You have Bela back as ol' Ygor (after some dental work) and recovery from multiple bullets in his torso (but, we're all glad), and the impressive monster rising from the sulphur-rock. The lighting storm doing a direct hit and super-charging the creature. Wow. Plus, how can you not think that ending was a mind-blower back in 1942.

Always enjoyable from the start. I love it when Ygor just keeps kicking stones from the castle at the beginning down at the fist-shaking villagers. And Chaney? Go, Lonster, go!

-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA

Hey Bash Synchers! For many years this film eluded me, I grew up with repeated viewings of Frankenstein, Son of, ...Meets The Wolfman, House of..., but this one never popped up on Project Terror or Creature Features. It was just a few years ago when it was released with the Frankenstein Legacy DVDs that I was able to see it for the first time. This was only my second viewing, and I loved it!

It is fast paced and fun, with a florid, melodramatic score. I thought the creatures relationship with the little girl was interesting. The idea of having her brain in his head as he wanted makes me want to see a "What If..." movie. I was especially impressed with Bela's portrayal of Ygor. He really hides himself in the role, it is hard to believe it is the same guy who played the suave, sophisticated Dracula. Lon does an admirable job as the creature, in the first non-Karloff appearance.

It was great to see the big four supporting actors (Bellamy, Hardwicke, Atwill and Ankers) together. All in all, an entertaining night of Monster Bashing! Looking to one of my favorites...swashbuckling vampires! Captain Kronos!

-Ken, San Luis, Mexico

Malcolm didn't get a chance to watch this past weekend, but still wanted to put in these comments:

Hi Ron, Sadly I didn't get a chance to watch this over the weekend, what with the Toy Fair...but I do want to say a few things about GOF. And that being Lon Chaneys performance. This is one of those films where he gets knocked around for his acting or he was miscast. Well I think he does a fine job and he plays the part as written and how he was directed..Just think how hard it was to follow Karloff..couldn't have been easy..theres alot of good things in this movie from Bela Lugosi to Evelyn Ankers..and Universals last solo monster movie. All in all much fun!!

-Malcolm Gittins, Pittsburgh, PA

Ghost of Frankenstein, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

This is seriously my favorite of the classic Universals. It's partly
nostalgic, as I'm guessing is the basis of many monster kid's love for
various films. I remember seeing it on the afternoon movie on channel 10
in Altoona and that image of the lightning striking the monster was
forever etched into my brain. Beyond that I think it's the classic
example of tight story telling with an eye towards what the audience wants
to see. Villagers with pitchforks and torches before the five minute
mark! You gotta love that. I'm not sure what some of the Universal
experts would have to say, but I think of this as the first "franchise
movie" of the horror cycle, but I could also see how Son of Frankenstein
could claim that role. By that, I mean it's a film that's created soley
to take advantage of the characters and is not an original story put to
film as was the case of the first two Frankestein films and Dracula. You
might call it an exploitation film, after all it's exploiting our desire
to see the monster in action.

This film also begins the "monster myths" -
that the creature is immortal, has the strength of one hundred men etc.
You can see them laying the ground work for bringing back the monster in
future films. Unlike the "House" movies that follow, the monster moves
around quite a bit here, he gets to have the gentle interaction with
children as well as the smashing of doors and handles each excellently. I
was struck this time by how well Chaney copied some of the hand gestures
that Karloff had originated in the first movies, this adds to his
believable performance. I love how they protray the monster as much
bigger, taking advantage of Lon Chaney's larger frame.


The story moves
along at a fast pace, there's no wasted moments and yet it still evolves
organically and doesn't seemed rushed. After all it's a pretty simple
plot, and one that would be resurrected several times, doctor meets
monster, can't help reviving him or keeping him alive,and pays for it in
the end. This is the first one that moves the action into a more modern
setting. I know that the earlier films had modern elements, but here the
labs are much more 20th century, no more windmills or crumbling old towers
to work in here. True, Karloff was gone, but Lon Chaney is excellent as
the monster and you still have Lugosi's Ygor. I think of this film in
relation to one of my other great loves - music. In popular music you have
your Pet Sounds or Sgt. Peppers but there's a place for the well crafted
and recorded pop song too. I would submit that the artistry of one
creating a perfect slice of pop music (cue Walking on Sunshine or whatever
your favorite pop classic might be) or a perfectly executed film that
isn't trying to be anything other than fun is equal to the "masterpieces."

-Kevin Slick, Louisville, CO

Hi Ron:
Here's my opinon of the film:
"The Ghost of Frankenstein" was the first B Frankenstein film and the last one to feature the monster solo.  While it doesn't compare to the first three, it holds it's own as an entertaining, enjoyable film.

The opening sequence in the village of Frankenstein has all the mood and feeling of the first three films. The scenes of Ygor throwing stones at the villagers is a highlight of the film. It's nice to see Dwight Frye even if he only has one line. The monster's resurrection by lightning is powerful - one of the best in the entire series.
I always felt that when Ygor and the monster go to Varsaria, the fim falls into the perdictable pattern of all the Universal  monster films of the 40's.

Chaney makes a teriffic monster. He infuses his monster with brute strength. You can feel that the monster is ready to go beserk at any moment.

The only problem I had with Chaney is that he's silent. Some powerful growls would have enhanced his performance. 
The two questions I always had with this film is where did Ygor go to get his hair cut and his teeth fixed and while Ludwig Frankenstein, his daughter and the police chief  wear modern clothes, why do the townspeople dress like 19th century German peasants?
"The Ghost of Frankenstein" is a solid addition to the series and well worth watching again and again.
Bruce Tinkel
Edison, NJ

Back in the day, FM would show stills of the Lonster covered in that sulphur-rock stuff and
I thought that the monster had actually turned into a ghost (hence the title of the movie)!
Hey, it made sense when I was ten years old.
-Steven Thornton, Michigan

Hey Steven, me too! -Ron

Get the filmm on DVD here at Creepy Classics in the Complete DVD Catalog!

Ron and Steve:

I too felt the idea that the "ghost" in GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN was that 
of the Monster coming back from "the dead," which, in a way, he did - 
when I read that FAMOUS MONSTERS 'Filmbook." I think Forry or somebody 
recycled that material because of its popularity, because I remember 
reading it in the early '70s. If I remember right, even the Realart 
re-release ads had a picture of a skull with a scar on it, giving you 
the idea that the "ghost" WAS the Monster and not the ghost of Henry 
Frankenstein (now balding and strangely looking more like Sir Cedric 
Hardwicke than Colin Clive!).

Lon Chaney, Jr. surely did get raked over the coals by critics and film 
historians over the years for his depiction of the Monster (judging it 
unfairly against Karloff), but as I pointed out in my article on the 
film in the Midnight Marquee LON CHANEY, JR. book - if you carefully 
read the script, the directions to Chaney, Jr. are to play the Monster 
as though he is somewhat mentally ill - which the actor did, 
brilliantly, I might add! Bela Lugosi got one of his last great roles 
at Universal and he holds his own with Hardwicke and Lionel Atwill 
wonderfully. And that Hans J. Salter musical score ... wow!

I thought the concept - as writer Ken Hanke calls it - of a "Ygorstein 
Monster" a far interesting one than how the Monster was depticted in 
the rest of the sequels and allegedly laughable or not, what I wouldn't 
give to see the original version of FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN! - 
Herr Kohlzig (Leonard Kohl, Chicago, IL)

Above: A drawing sent in by David "The Rock" Nelson.

A fave movie of mine, "GHOST of Frankenstein" Sat. night(12-3-11), starring The "GRR"-eat(Great) Lon Chaney(Jr) a.k.a. "The LON-ster"(Lon + Monster = "LON-ster")! So, I drew this picture of Lon Chaney as The Monster Mon. nite, after I ate my 3-egg Swiss cheese omelette, hashbrowns, pancakes & "Java"(coffee) in The "Pickwick Restaurant", right next-door to The Historic, 150 years-young "Pickwick Theatre" in Park Ridge, IL!

David "The Rock" Nelson - Des Plaines, IL


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