Super Mates 93: House of Franklin-Stein Part 3

The Super Mates keep it in the family by discussing the 1939 Universal Monsters Classic, Son of Frankenstein! Boris Karloff returns as the Frankenstein Monster, joined by an all-star cast featuring Basil Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, and a scene-stealing Bela Lugosi as Ygor!

Then, via time hypnosis (!) we travel to the past with Batman and Robin to discover “The True Story of Frankenstein” from Detective Comics #135 (May 1948) by Edmond Hamilton and Bob Kane!

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Clip credits:

Son of Frankenstein (1939) directed by Rowland V. Lee, music by Frank Skinner

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

“Frankenstein” by The Edgar Winter Group

“The Electric Brain” from Batman movie serial (1943) by Lee Zahler

Batman Main Title March (1966 movie) by Nelson Riddle

“House of Frankenstein” by Big Bee Kornegay

26 responses to “Super Mates 93: House of Franklin-Stein Part 3

  1. You’re thinking of Shocker by Wes Craven. And you’re absolutely right, it did indeed Star Mitch Pileggi.
    It always amazed me the audacity that Wolf had to be angry and hurt that his wife could possibly believe he’d be involved in monster making, WHEN HE’S 100% GUILTY OF DOING IT!!!
    It’s also likely that Henry Frankenstein and his father were entombed in the castle because the villagers refused to allow them to be buried in the cemetery.

    1. Thank you! I knew one of our listeners would come through. I never looked it up after the show, because I was waiting for someone to fill me. And I’m glad I wasn’t wrong about Mitch Pileggi!

      Good call on Henry and his father not being allowed on “holy ground”.


  2. Our hero, Wolf, sure likes to play darts, it would seem. That’s cool, but some guys like to play darts and others don’t — take for instance Henry in the first Frankenstein movie. He was all about monstering around in his lab while Elizabeth would have, I’m sure, rather been playing darts with him, but since he was never around, and good ol’ Victor Moritz kept dropping hints that he was up for some darts-playing with Elizabeth … well, what I’m trying to say is that Wolf doesn’t so much resemble Henry but does seem to take after Herr Victor Moritz! Compare them in photos — let me know if I’m off base here. 😛

    Now, I won’t say I NEVER tried time-altering substances while in college, but if I ever DID, then the trip I took wasn’t nearly as awesome as the dynamic duo’s! I trust at some point one of our heroes asked the other not to bogart the time hypnosis, man.

    1. Well, if Elizabeth found some solace in Victor’s arms…who could blame her? And where was Victor in Bride? Did Henry bump him off?

      There was that one room in my college dorm that constantly seemed to be practicing time hypnosis. It smelled weird.

  3. I thought I was the only one who noticed the Frankenstein’s “cozy” dining room! I’m no doctor, but I figured the “bone” in Ygor’s throat was some kind of growth that hardened and should have gotten modern medical treatment. (“I can do something for that hump…”)

    “The True Story of Frankenstein” would pair perfectly with “Frankenstein: the True Story,” but I’m glad you didn’t wait, that was a great! A dime’s worth of ideas! Say, has any time-travel story pointed out that Robin is dressed for the 1300s? Without comparing him to Robin Hood?

    1. Hmm…you may be right about some kind of calcification of that neck bone.

      I realized after we recorded the show, I should have mentioned “Frankenstein: The True Story” which I own and have watched. Not a bad movie/mini-series, but it’s strangely not exactly the true story either, although it adheres closer than Universal in some ways.


  4. You know, that Mary Shelley bit at the very end of the Batman story really got me thinking: I’m pretty sure after 2020, nobody will ever again need to say, “I’ll have to write it as fiction because nobody would believe it.”

  5. I honestly want to have Chris do a whole show imitating Lugosi and his odd pauses in mid-sentence.

    I laughed the whole ride into work.

    Between that and ‘FIRE PURIFIES’ this show never fails to make me happy!

      1. The green color of the Monster, as you two discuss in this episode, is something I’d expect some character to at least mention during the Monster’s trial in “Ghost”. I wonder if the village court officers have seen green guys come through their courtroom on enough of a regular basis that nobody thought it worth mentioning?

  6. Regarding Igor’s defense that his sentence was carried out and he was pronounced dead: In the 1950s, EC Comics riffed on this premise in an issue of their horror comic “Haunt of Fear.” In Haunt of Fear #6, the story “Jury Duty” told the tale of a criminal who similarly survived being hanged and pronounced dead. Just like Igor, he began killing the jurors who had convicted him, proclaiming that he is legally dead and that a dead man can’t be put on trial. After the first few murders, the remaining jurors figure out a solution: They gang up on him, take him to the graveyard and throw him into an open grave. As he protests that this is murder, they retort that it’s not murder to bury a dead man.

      1. Just wanted to make a slight correction: The story wasn’t in Haunt of Fear #6; it was in Crime SuspenStories #6. Art was by the incredible “Ghastly” Graham Ingels.

  7. i had no idea Batman and Robin traveled back in time THAT much, Geez, I don’t think Rip Hunter has that much more of a track record when it comes to time traveling.

    As you pointed out, it’s amazing how much of what people think of Frankenstein comes from Son Of, not the earlier movies, via Young Frankenstein. I agree, Lugosi is a rip in this movie, it’s too bad he didn’t get more Igor-y parts in other movies, he would have had a better career. He’s very funny and weird and is a jolt of energy in what (IMO) is a slightly overlong movie. Especially since Karloff as The Monster gets so little to do.

    1. Yeah, I think Batman travelled through time so much he may be eligible for his own Tardis.

      I agree “Son” is a bit long, and it’s definitely the longest Universal horror, but Lee built up Lugosi’s screen time so much, I personally don’t mind spending the time with him.


  8. Well done exploring another movie and comic, Franklins! I really enjoyed this one as Son of Frankenstein is one of my favourites from the early Universal years. Just the fact that the cast of this is star studded! While Bela certainly steals the show, you can tell that Basil is acting it within an inch of his life. I’ll never get over his quick talking, heavily clipped accent. He made a great Sherlock and a great Frankenstein.

    I’m glad, Chris, you brought up German expressionism talking about the sets and the influence from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I think that’s one of the reasons I love Son of Frankenstein so much (and the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, too). Some of the wacky angles from the set and camera create a great unease when you are going through that house. You can see where Tim Burton got some of his influences and how that translated into a lot of his films, with Beetlejuice coming to mind first.

    I’m looking forward to whatever the House serves up next! Keep up the great work!

    1. Yeah, Basil had that 30s/40s fast talking delivery down pat, but served with a side of real class!

      As soon as I read “Tim Burton” my mind went to the wedding scene at the end of Beetlejuice. The altar that appears out of the fireplace looks like it could come from the castle in this film!

      Thanks for listening!


  9. Impressive podcast. Most impressive. Sounds like a cool movie. Bazil as the Doctor Frank. Glad he became Sherlock, but this seems cool. Ah yeah that is not a bone in the neck. None of the disks in the neck look like that. Put some cheerios on a sting and try and move it ware that would stick out. With out breaking the sting. Cause only way a bone in the neck could fall off. As the spine is connected to the skull and rib cage. And oh yeah the brain stim in the neck bones.

    Wich are a bunch of disks. They can’t slip off the neck with out breaking the brain stim. Unless It was shattered. Not seeing a hanging do that. You can slip a disk… which would hurt and probly paralyze. Not getting it stuck in his throat. Still cool character. It’s sad how poorly Belia was treated. But can’t blame Boris. In fact in The Black Cat . Belia was going to far with his drug use or the cool down from it could bearly say his lines, but Boris got them to wait and give him more chances .

    So he could complete his role. And Belia was the hero in it. So Boris was trying to help. Defantly was not his fault. Other than his Vamp and Voodoos character my Fave Belia’s roles was Bowery at Midnight. Ware he plays a Prof and crime lord. Now funnly Boris was in a movie called The Walking Dead . Kind of funny. Has nothing to do with the Comic, but still ironic. Though I liked him best as the villain in the Raven. With Vince Price as the hero and a young Jack Nicolson in it. Boris was a great actor. Sadly he was only nominated once for a best actor nomination. Can’t remember for what. But, yeah he was a good actor. And had 3 voices he used. The one we know him by.

    His real English ascent. And the one he used briefly as Frankenstein.

  10. Cheers for another fabulous show, I just love the format of linked film and comic. I don’t really ever having seen Son of Frank, so I’ve ordered that 
Legacy Collection DVD you mentioned. It’s coming today and I plan to watch the film if I have lightning enough to power the tellybox.

    ‘His mother was lightning.’ Like the Flash, there’s an imaginary story in there sometime – Flashenstein!

    As for the Batman story, it is just fantastic. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one creeped out by ProF Nichols’ amped-up powers, gee, so much for free will.

    You mention, Chris, the panel of rampant Batman, it’s terrific. Did you noticE that the subsequent panel of stomping Batman was paralleling an earlier one with Ivan also shambling down the castle corridor in a low-angled shot? Masterful. Someone had fun acting that out for the artist (who I’m not convinced was Bob Kane, those villagers look far too interesting, I may have to do some research into signature eyebrows…).

    Robin was awesome throughout!

    That’s a great explosion, I especially love the steam going through the ‘o’ of BOOM!

    It’s funny that this same issue of Detective Comics has Air Wave’s pet parrot, Static, being made super intelligent by a stray blast of static from a machine.

    1. That Legacy set is full of win, Martin. Probably the best sampling of the Universal Horror series in that one set. I hope you enjoy it!!!

      And yes, that parallel panel of Batman stomping through the castle should have been mentioned.

      As for the art, it DOES look a lot like Kane’s later work on the comic strip, which apparently he actually drew…at least what he’s now credited for. Unless there is some still unknown ghost artist that has yet to be unearthed that was THAT Bob Kane. But I still wouldn’t be surprised to find out none of this later work IS Kane after all.


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