Okay, not everything I watch is going to be a chill your blood, tense your muscles, classic of the horror genre. I mean I did watch The Norliss Tapes after all didn’t I?
Anyway, House of Dracula is one of a slew of sequels that Universal Studios produced in their very successful and famous series of horror films running from the early 1930s through the 1950s. By this point in their run the films were produced as ‘B’ features, meaning that they were intended to play as a second film in a double feature bill. B features, in addition to being lower cost were also shorter and House of Dracula clocks in at a very slim 67 minutes. In that one hour seven minutes the studios packed into the plot Dracula, naturally his name is in the title after all, the Wolf-man, Frankenstein’s Monster, a mad scientist, and a hunchback.
The plot goes something like this. Dracula, seeking a cure to his vampiric condition, seeks out the services of a brilliant doctor, Edlemann. Edlemann, who has two nurse assistants, one the hunchbacked Nina, is working on a breakthrough treatment using a compound grown from a mold. (See ripping of breaking science for bad plot devices is nothing new.) On a following night Dracula has come seeking treatment, and to snack on the blonde non-hunchbacked nurse Milza, Lawrence Talbot, the Wolf-Man, has also come to the brilliant doctor seeking a cure for his condition. (There must be an ad running the Monsters Quarterly.) Unwilling to wait for the doctor to complete his appointment with Dracula, Talbot rushes out and get himself locked up in jail. Edlemann comes to the jail, sees the transformation from man to wolf-man and thinks, hey I’m brilliant, and I can fix this. He brings Talbot back to his cliff-side home and clinic but when Talbot learns that he’ll have to spend the full moon nights locked up, he throws himself off the cliff. Really this guy has less patience than I do waiting on book publishers.) The good doctor goes down to save him finds him in wolf form, is nearly killed, but then the moon sets saving the foolish physician. While exploring the caves at the base of the cliff they discover the Frankenstein Monster V3. (This is Glenn Strange as the monster, following Lugosi who followed Karloff.) Wouldn’t you know it, it lives and the good doctor, ever the friend to all things monstrous, bring it back to the lab to restore it to full health because killing it would be murder. Okay we’ve got all three major monsters in the story, but then Dracula misbehaves, mingles his blood with Edlemann’s, and gets killed in the least climatic destruction of vampire ever. The doctor’s corrupted blood turns him into a Jekyll and Hyde. Edlemann manages to operate on Talbot, reversing the werewolf curse, murder a servant, and enrage the peasants. They of course chase him back to the cliff-side clinic where he revives the Frankenstein Monster V3 and then gets killed by Talbot. The Frankenstein Monster V3 goes after the peasants; he never got along with them, but dies when the clinic burns. Talbot, now safe in a full moon, has a happy ending with blond, living, and non-hunchback nurse Milza.
If this sounds like a mess of a plot thats’ because it is. This boys and girls is what happens when you have no unifying theme for your story, it is reduced down to a bunch of stuff that happens.