Super Mates 91: House of Franklin-Stein Part 1

Return to the House of Franklin-Stein! The Super Mates begin hosting the Halloween party no one can cancel with a Universal Monsters classic! Lon Chaney Jr. stars in the horror noir, Son of Dracula…but is he the son of the Count, or the real deal? And just who is pulling the strings, the count, or his vampire bride?

Then it’s a bit of Saturday Morning Fever when Chris and Cindy discuss the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode, “The Bride of Dracula”. Drac has his romantic sites set on Firestar! Can Spidey and Iceman save their roommate?

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  • Email us at supermatespodcast@gmail.comClip credits:Son of Dracula (1943) directed by Robert Siodmak, music by Hans J. Salter

    “The House of Franklinstein” by Terry O’Malley, of Stop Calling Me Frank

    “Without You” (from a DIFFERENT Son of Dracula) by Harry Nillson

    Clips and music from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends’ “Bride of Dracula”, directed by Don Jurwich, theme and music by John Douglas

    “Transylvania Terror Train” by Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures

33 responses to “Super Mates 91: House of Franklin-Stein Part 1

  1. The hint for next episode is “It’s Hammer time.” I assume that means you’re covering the ’90s ADDAMS FAMILY movie, which featured “Addams Groove” by MC Hammer. Looking forward to that (and only that).

  2. It’s my favorite time of year again! Ghosties and ghoulish and long legged beasties!
    Son of Dracula is indeed woefully underrated chiller. Sure Lin Chaney Jr isn’t able to deliver us the suave and debonair Dracula we expect, but he gives us a very intimidating and brutal vampire. The southern gothic setting and well plotted story make this the best of the Classic Universal Dracula films as far as I’m concerned.
    I’ve always thought that Dracula was using Katherine just as much as Katherine was using him. He couldn’t care less about what happened to Katherine once the marriage was official he could take control of Dark Oaks and wouldn’t have any need of her.
    Thanks for another trip down Creature Feature Lane. I m a huge fan of old school horror and monster movies. It’s always great to hear from those who love them to

    1. Good point on Drac using Katherine. I think we inferred that he was probably going to have her be one of many brides, but he is so behind the 8-ball in this entire flick, it’s very unusual. He’s actually the victim! He got noired!


  3. From my understanding, Stan Lee HAD originally narrated every episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. But over the years, much of that audio has been lost. In fact, when this episode first aired, it was called “The Transylvanian Connection,” but all current masters have the “Bride of Dracula” title.

  4. FIRST off
    1 really funny
    2 here in San franciso (which I assume was a huge tv MARKET every Spider-man and his amazing friends is burned in my memory (even the radiers rip off with nazi) but I DID NOT remember this very.Maybe because every cartoon did “oh screw it we did aliens built pirymids last week time for dracula
    3. Read my comic it’s funny I swear!

  5. I hate the end of Summer, but I love HOF, so I am always conflicted when the first new show of the year drops.

    I haven’t seen SON OF DRACULA in years, but from what I remember I liked it well enough but just couldn’t get past Lon as Dracula–no, no, no. But maybe it’s due for a rewatch and see if I feel differently.

    I related to Cindy’s story about the frustrations of coitus interruptus. There was that time when I knew someone was waiting for me for sexy times, but the podcast I was guesting on just kept dragging on and on, because the host just wouldn’t shut up about the failed JLI TV pilot. SO by the time it was over, said someone had fallen asleep.

    “This actor was in Citizen Kane. So if he’s listening, that was for Rob.” IF? Come on, Chris.

    1. I had a similar experience with the Super Hero Film Bracket show. Not only was the interested party long asleep, I was so seething with anger and disappointment in humanity I was no longer in the mood.


  6. Impressive podcast. Most impressive. I saw this movie once. And though Lon Chaney Jr. Is a talented actor. But, he’s got to nice a persona. And look that just doesn’t fit Dracula. But, he was great as the wolf man. He’s coman guy persona works as the wolf man. great as Though I don’t really see him as a victim. He was the villain that got out played by a worse villain. Glad to see Frank stopped both of these villains with Doc’s help. Though the Idea of Ringo Star as Merlin in the Son of Drac movie that didn’t happen could be fun. Not sure why he’s called son of Drac if he’s playing Dracula. Maybe he was the son of Vlad. Who knows. Yep it was translated to Son of the Dragon. Which was based on a type of solders that were like blitzcricers.

    We had them here in the us too. Around the time of or right before the civil war. Any Way Vald the Impalor’s dad was one in Romania. Hence why he called himself son of the dragon. Though it had a different meaning and that’s why it was used by the people. And why Stroker used the name of Dracula for his vamp. Though he was inspired by the Story of Camarilla. And had used the Lady Vampirine legend. And was gonna make his Vamp related to her. Till he read up on Vlad. Well most of the legands are changed. The sun light bit came from the movie Nosfaratu. In the book as you may remember. Dracula is killed When Quincy throws a boe knife in his chest. And Harker takes out two khanjars and cuts off his head. No stake.

    No running waters. Not even a cross is used in the book. Though it is all done in letter form of the heros talking to each other. And while Drac is a threat he’s not a POV character. So basically what John Landis told his son. A vamps weakness is what ever the writer says it is. But, yeah it does become weird. Though the fact when they avoid them does become weird. Though it does verry from Vamp to Vamp. Like the Chinesse vamps are verry diffrent than the Erou vamps. Onto the cartoon. I loved this cartoon as a kid. And yeah I thought Fire Star was MJ too as a kid. Em no seeing what Fire Star does to the girl hitting on Peter in the Goblin ep. Kind of think she had an intresst in him or desiding which she wanted to date. Them dating her or wanting to makes since. Also it’s the trop of 2 women fight over one man , but here it’s to men fighting over one woman. Hmm lex as Drac cool. Drac was kind of looking like this at this point. See X-Men ware Kitty is controled by Lilith the daughter of Dracula. Frankenstien also voiced by Frank Welker. Em Fire Star does use her powers to take out Drac at the end. So yeah she is hipntised. But, it has happned to male heros. See Bat Man with Poision Ivy or Scare Crow. Yeah ofcorse she won’t be scared by Drac the woman has faced a Man spider. Guy tried to recreate Spides powers and become a theif, but turns him into a Man Spider. Or a Drider from D&D. Her ex the Termanator. Well Tharok but close enough. The Jugernut. Magneto, Dr. Doom. Loki. Don’t think Dracula is going to faze her. For Fire Star Dracula is tuesday.

    I think the dating thing was a joke.

  7. Also,

    I think people making fun of Robin Curtis’ wooden perfomance in Star Trek III is joyous. If name-dropping an actor in Citizen Kane is a Rob thing, hearing someone say ‘David is dead’ like a stone is an Anj thing.

    I thought for sure given all the light and fire in that Spider-Man episode that Chris might drop a ‘FIRE PURIFIES’ line, perhaps my favorite Franklin-steim memory!

    And I had forgot completely that Cissy from Family Affair was Firestar’s voice!

    1. I have said it elsewhere, but that line read wooden to me at age 9, and still does. I like Curtis fine in every other scene, but that one…she flubbed it. Nimoy is partially to blame for not getting another take.

      Sorry about missing the obligatory Twins of Evil drop. I would say maybe next time…but that ones in the can! I’ll see what I can do for you though, Anj.


  8. I’m pretty sure that Universal monster movies in this time period came about title-first, then later the actual film was scripted and produced to go along with the chosen title, and in the meantime movie theaters around the country agree to debut a movie that the studio had told them would bear a certain name. Some movies during this time (like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man) have stories that go great with the title. In the case of this movie, less so. That’s why you guys are right that the story would have been served better with some other name, but the “Son of Dracula” title was a commitment they couldn’t change.

    Are we sure that the word “vampire” is what Katherine was objecting to? She stopped Frank before he was about to describe Drac with SOME word or turn of phrase. “Vampire” just doesn’t strike me as offense-worthy, so much. I like to imagine he was about to say, I dunno, “a neckmuncher,” “tan-free McGee,” maybe “hemoglobin-breath” … I don’t THINK Frank was about to finish the sentence with “blood-nekkid with a cheese sandwich,” but honestly, we’ll never know!

    1. Hammer most definitely came up with titles…and even POSTERS first, got the buy in from a distributor, THEN started on a script. So Universal may have done the same.

      “Blood-nekkid with a cheese sandwich” (nice callback, wish I’d thought of it) reminds me that Hammer’s “Lust for a Vampire” is streaming somewhere for .99¢. I think I may finally watch that last (actually second) Karnstein film…


  9. I never realized that a cast member from Family Affair voiced Firestar. If I had ever harbored romantic inclinations toward Firestar, that fact probably killed them. No offense to anyone who likes Family Affair, but it was always one of those schmaltzy family shows that everyone else in the house (particularly my sister) liked that chased me away from the TV. I hope you guys don’t think less of me, but, other than Andy Griffith, I never liked any shows with little kids on them, even when I was one.

    Speaking of that, wouldn’t the target audience of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends been in the “girls/boys have cooties” period of development? Is it weird that EVERYONE seemed to be after Firestar? Dracula, Peter, Bobby, Sunfire…to this day I still have a hard time seeing Wolverine as a tough guy because of his “Hi doll, Want some fruit” cheesy pick-up line (the unmacho voice not helping) to Firestar. To let you know how weird it is that I recall that….I haven’t seen an episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends since the 80s and that still sticks in my head…That, and the repetitive music that you mentioned.

    How did Angelica, Bobby and Peter being roommates get past the censors? Yeah, they had different rooms but Spider-Friends go for it and it isn’t like a door was going to stop anyone with super powers.

    Back to the girls/guys have cooties…did you notice that every female an unwanted crush on cartoons back then?…Darkseid crushed on Wonder Woman (not that I blamed him, since that was after I was out of my girls have cooties phase and she was one of my comic book crushes), everybody seemed to crush on Firestar, Bat-Mite crushed on *sigh*Batgirl*sigh* and so did I. Even when I was in my girls have cooties period, I thought Batgirl might have a few less cooties than other ladies.

  10. No worries on Family Affair. I only have vague memories of it. It wasn’t heavily syndicated after I got old enough to really pay attention beyond the basic premise of it.

    Ah, Australian Wolverine! Yeah, he didn’t seem very threatening did he? I love/hate Cyclops’ voice in that episode as well.

    It is interesting how much pseudo-romance was in the show. Maybe THAT’S what made it feel more “mature” than, say, the Super Friends, which never seemed to have any romantic characterizations before Darkseid started crushing on WW.

    Batgirl, in neither comics, live-action and animation, ever had cooties. Ever.


    1. You’re preaching to the choir, Chris. 🙂

      I stopped thinking girls had cooties when I was about 11, but I’ve been sweet on *sigh*Batgirl*sigh* since I was 5.

  11. This sounds like an interesting movie. I really like the twist on the typical vampire story, where Dracula is just a catspaw for the real villain.

    I also find it interesting that Son of Dracula will be featured on next Saturday’s (Sept 26) episode of Svengoolie. I can only assume that Sven (or perhaps Kerwyn) must listen to House of Franklin-Stein. Regardless, I’m glad I’ll have a chance to watch the film so soon after learning about it.

    Thanks for a great kick-off to the new season.

        1. I was just kidding Brian. I’m sorry if anyone thought that was true, I was just being cheeky! Sven has access to the entire Universal Horror catalog, I believe.

          But I’m glad this is going to be showing so soon after we cover it here, so folks who have never seen it, or haven’t seen it in years can enjoy it!


  12. Oh kids, it’s so good to have you back, and with a typically brilliant show. It just makes me want to hunker down on a rainy afternoon and watch some Universal goodness. I don’t believe I’ve seen Son of Dracula but it sounds a compelling watch.

    My favourite takeout of the show is that what with the reincarnated love bit, the Dracula from Coppola’s cheesefest is Geoff Johns’ Hawkman. It all makes sense…

  13. It’s great to have the House back! I’m a little behind on listening so I was excited to see the promo and now an episode of the House of Franklin-stein in my podcast feed. Not knowing what’s happening with Halloween this year, I can always count on the House to bring the cool (and cheesy) monsters during this time of the year.

    Son of Dracula is part of my VHS Universal Monsters Collection and one that I enjoy watching….. until the VCR went bottom’s up. I guess it’s finally time to get my monsters into the 21st century. What do I update to? DVD? Laser Disc?

    Though I enjoy Son of Dracula, I think I might disagree with Chris that I like Dracula’s Daughter better. To me, Dracula’s Daughter is such a moody and atmospheric film and I like how it deals with her trying to get out of the influence of Dracula, even though she is a vampire herself.

    Having said all that, I love Evelyn Ankers in Son of Dracula and would watch anything she is in. Though I had no idea she hated Lon Chaney Jr. She seems like an even better actor now! Was this a public feud? And why would they keep agreeing to star in movies together? I have so many questions……

    Anyways, well done on another great episode and I can’t wait hear what comes next! Keep up the great work!

    1. I don’t know how public it was back in the 40s, but at some point, both came clean that they didn’t care for each other. It comes up in a lot of the books and DVD extras on their films.

      I would say Chaney and Ankers continued to work together because they were forced to. They were both under contract at Universal, and since they sizzled on screen, the studio wasn’t about to break them up, and they couldn’t do anything about it!

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