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SECRET ORIGINS OF FRANKENSTEIN - CHAPTER 16 of 18
FRANKENSTEIN's HOUSE PARTY

It was originally titled Chamber of Horrors, then The Devil's Brood, but finally released as "House of Frankenstein" in 1944. Teaming Frankenstein's creation with another monster (Wolf Man) had been a success, so why not team him with ALL of them?! Karloff once called it a "monster clambake."

The original plan called for combining Frankenstein, Wolf Man, Dracula and the Mummy -- all under the same roof. Unfortunately, the Mummy's part was moth-bailed at the last minute, leaving just the big three, joined by two supporting monsters.
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XBoris Karloff returned to the series, not as any kind of Frankenstein, but as the deranged Dr. Neimann, brother of a former lab assistant to the original Dr. Frankenstein. Filling the role of the Monster was former rancher and western star Glenn Strange.

Strange, a native Texan (pictured right), landed his first motion picture role in 1932 and appeared in hundreds of films, but he is is best remembered for playing the Monster in three different Frankenstein films.
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Below, Jack Pierce (who else?) puts the finishing touches on Strange, who had a fairly small, unbilled (on the poster anyway), and hugely underwritten role in House of Frankenstein.
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EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL MONSTERS? NOT REALLY.

Glenn Strange was fortunate enough to have the Monster's original "creator," Boris Karloff, (aka "Dr. Neimann") around to tutor him on monster lore. First lesson, from a 1945 LIFE magazine ad...
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BELOW: Vaudevillian comedian Ole Olsen and Glenn Strange reading an issue of Batman on the set of House of Frankenstein.
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Here's the issue, Batman #23, June July 1944, front and back covers...
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Batman returned the favor in "The True Story of Frankenstein" and also in "Castle of the Bat," an Elseworlds story mixing Batman with Frankenstein.
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SCHIZO SCRIPT

House of Frankenstein featured Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man, with suave John Carradine donning the formal evening wear of Dracula (see below). Unlike the previous Frankenstein films, with their sometimes below-average but at least integrated scripts, House is more like a series of loosely connected vignettes than a single, cohesive screenplay. Karloff "teams up" with Dracula...
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..but unsurprisingly, the partnership doesn't go well...
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THE BIG THAW

Looking for Dr. Frankenstein's much sought-after records, Neimann discovers the bodies of the Wolf Man and the Monster, still frozen from the previous Frankenstein film. They defrost quickly, but the Monster doesn't actually wake up until a full 62 minutes into the 71-minute film which bears his family name!

(Below) KARLOFF: "Hey look! Frozen in the ice! It's the role that made me famous!" But sadly, House reduced the Monster's once-complex, multi-faceted character to that of a near-brainless henchman.
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And of course, it just wouldn't be a party without Larry Talbot, Wolf Man.
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But the gang just can't seem to get along ...
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Right about now, the villagers begin to sense that something is very wrong at Castle Frankenstein. Hmmm... I wonder what gave it away?
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BOO! The villagers, quite expert at their work after a full quarter century of monster-hounding, form a mob and pursue the Monster as he carries Karloff (or his stunt man) away. In the publicity still below, they don't seem to be in much of a rush. Then again, neither does the Monster...
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House of Frankenstein marked the Uncanny One's final appearance in the Universal series. When you see how Karloff's character dies in the 24-second clip below, you may understand why. Hold your breath and CLICK.
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This ending was reworked in Creepy #10's "The Monster," story by Archie Goodwin, art by Rocco Mastrosario, complete with Uncle Creepy making the traditional puns at the story's close.
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