Super Mates 97: House of Franklin-Stein Part 1

Return to the House of Franklin-Stein! The annual Halloween celebration begins with Chris and Cindy discussing a Universal Monsters classic, The Ghost of Frankenstein! Lon Chaney, Jr. puts on the flat top and the neck bolts, while Bela Lugosi returns as the sinister Ygor!

Then it’s off to the comic crypt, and X-Men (Vol. 1) # 30 “Mark of the Monster” by Roy Thomas, George Tuska, and Don Heck! The original mutant quintet meets Mary Shelley’s monster…or do they?

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Clip credits:

Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) directed by Erle C. Kenton

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

25 responses to “Super Mates 97: House of Franklin-Stein Part 1

  1. Yay! It’s my favorite time of year and House of Franklinstein is back to help me celebrate! Chris and Cindy really capture the FUN of Halloween time. Monsters and mayhem, chills and thrills, I’d watch you both if you ever turned House of Franklinstein into a late night monster movie show.
    When I was a kid, like most kids I identified the monster as Frankenstein, not the man who created him. When Ghost of Frankenstein was announced as part of the TV56’s Saturday Afternoon Creature Double feature, I thought we’d be seeing the monster as a ghost! WOW! That’s double scary! It’s not just a ghost, he’s the ghost of a monster! Of course… that’s not at all what it was, but I enjoyed the film anyways.
    Thanks for s as mother fun episode

    1. You know, it’s funny you mention that, Matt. Because I was thinking the same thing the other day. What if the Monster actually died, and came back as a ghost? Or, following this, what if the ghost of the ORIGINAL monster (the original brain) came back as a ghost? What if it eventually repossessed the body, Deadman-style? That may explain the non-Ygor-acting Monster we see at least by the “House of” films.


      1. If I could issue you a “No-Prize” I would! Frankenstein meets Donovan’s Brain
        The Ghost of the Brain, of The Frankenstein Monster!”

  2. How, exactly, is Ygor going to rule the world?

    GOF is incredibly fun but MAN are a long way away from the quiet dignity of the first film! And I have not read that X-Men comic, but it sounds fun despite your lukewarm review.

    Glad to have HOF back!

    1. I don’t think Ygor really had a world domination plan in place, per se. I think he was just seeing the strong, unkillable body an upgrade over his own broken neck one…which was apparently also unkillable!

      And yeah, we’re far afield of Whale’s Frankenstein by now, but the “House of” film seem to come from a totally different reality in a lot of ways!

      The X-Men book is fun. We were probably a bit too harsh with it. It’s bonkers, but fun.


  3. Hooray the House is back! Not only does that mean that my favourite time of year is upon us, but also we get to hear some more great episodes of monster movies and monster comics by the Super Mates! Well done as ever, you two.

    I think this was on of six of Frankenstein movies that were part of the Universal Monsters Classic Collection on VHS that I had. And I enjoyed most of them but this one is fun just because of the cast. And, oh man, have I got a thing for Evelyn Ankers. She was great in the Wolfman and I love seeing her in other movies with Lon in it. And I would like to second anything by Vera West. I loved the women in West’s amazing gowns. The Black Cat springs to mind that have some of the beautiful dresses that West made.

    Once again, both of you did a fantastic job on this episode and I thoroughly enjoy whatever creepies are hiding in the House of Franklinstein. Keep up the great work!

    P.S. – I’m sorry my memory is so bad but, Chris, did you ever do a Toys That Made Us show on any Universal Monster toys? I think that would be a great to listen to. I’ll try to dig out my glow-in-the-dark 3.75 inch Remco Frankenstein action figure to listen along…….

    P.P.S – I will try to collect all the trading cards! The only thing missing is the hard stick of bubble gum.

    1. I’m with you on Evelyn Ankers, Mike. She’s gorgeous, and a pretty solid actress. I think she had potential to be a big starlet, but was kind of stuck in the Universal Horrors. In many ways though, she’s probably better remembered than if she made it into “A” pictures. A lot of those actresses are becoming forgotten as time rolls on.

      And yes, I did a Wonderful Toys on those very Remco Mini-Monsters you are talking about!

      There’s also a video episode covering the similar figure line from a Burger King Kids Club promotion from last year:


  4. I wonder if Ygor’s use of the term “second son” is something along the lines of “I found out about another son Frankenstein had, making Ludwig the second one *that I know about,* birth order notwithstanding.” Somewhat like a guy travelling to a parallel world and deciding that it’s going to be called Earth-Two, so of course his own world has got to be Earth-One.

    When they were writing this movie, it’s a good thing someone remembered before the deadline that there was supposed to be a ghost somewhere in the story, or else the title would have been a smidge confusing for viewers.

    I especially like that this movie ties in to JLU via the young William Smith! I’ll have to file that away in my “Six Degrees” cheatsheets, right next to Clancy “Lex Luthor” Brown and his Frankenstein’s monster movie role.

  5. So, using the preceding years as a guide, I’m assuming there’s going to be four Houses of Franklinstein.
    So, that means Episode #100 will very likely NOT cover Another Nail. As per my comment for Episode #50, I guess I’m going to be sorely disappointed…

    1. Sorry to put the nail in that coffin. (ba-dump). Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Try the fish.

      I went back and looked, and sure enough, you did say that. I would like to cover Another Nail, but since the show has morphed since those days, I think it may be more suited to a FW Presents All-Star Network treatment.


  6. Impressive podcast most impressive. Using the Dragon type and talk software again this time. My keyboard is still on the fritz. So hopefully this makes sense. These movies get weirder and weirder. So why didn’t Frankenstein checks to see which brain was being put into the monster? If I gonna pull someone’s brain other head I’ve would do it myself instead of have my assistant do it. At any rate it made for a decent enough ending. Said here that the nicest character on the Frankenstein family is one that ends up dead. The comic is decent enough. Though I never read it. I think this gets Rick Condit to where this wasn’t the original Frankenstein monster. But an alien pretending to be the Frankenstein monster. Though none of them look like the monster described in the book. A lot of do follow the odd universe will form. Though interesting enough that look didn’t come from them. Since Edison also had the squarehead neck creature. And those look like the creature within the original story. Since he was supposedly handsome. But, had a really creepy eyes. I don’t know I haven’t read this particular book. And of course I’ve heard of Frankenstein at seeing the movies and read other Frankenstein’s books. But I have not read the new Prometheus a.k.a. Frankenstein. You have read books based on the work. But, not the unabridged version of the Frankenstein story.

    Interesting enough this is kind of how sci-fi was born. Since Mary Shelley did create the first sci-fi book through this. A lot of things the monster could and couldn’t do were added later anyway. He spoke perfect English in the Shelley novel. It’s why he was friends with the old blind man to his children showed up that scare him away. And from what I remember in that movie you’re speaking about the monster had already killed Helena Bonham Carter’s character. And then got the doctor to agree to resurrect her as the monster so he would stop killing his family. Slightly different from the book. Since for whatever reason as smart as Frankenstein is the doctor’s reason for destroying the bride in the original book. Is worried that they’ll have children. No I have no idea how to corpses are going to create life but she that was in the book. The doctor thinking this that it. I’m slightly worried if Victor von Frankenstein were alive today he probably use horse D wormer to make sure he didn’t get the beer bug. Because Dr. Victor Frankenstein is highly intelligent, I mean look at it he created life from dead bodies. However, for some reason he thinks these two dead bodies are going to be able to reproduce.

    I’m not really sure how. So I guess Kenneth Branagh just threw in his wife being killed. It was the brother in the novel. And uses her body to create the bride for the Frankenstein monster. From what I remember of that movie, it wasn’t that she was freaking out on how she looked now. It was that she couldn’t decide if she loved Victor or the monster. And they were fighting over her. And in some questionable writing she killed herself over that. It’s sad when the movie bride with Sting, Jennifer Beals and Clancy Brown (as the Monster) treats the bride of Frankenstein better than this does. Since if the monster can think clearly so can the bride. Then again he did learn from being around people after being abandoned by Frankenstein so that’s up in the air. Well not really. This is not the best treatment of the bride in any media. Though the movie the bride does have the interesting part that she chooses the Frankenstein monster at the end. And also Clancy Brown is made up to look like the universal version of the character in that movie. And that was from Columbia Pictures.
    The version that we got later in Marvel comics, was more faithful to the monster worked better. Though they did have a version of the monster in World War II in an invaders comic. And he wasn’t like he one of these two. So Marvel kind of played fast and loose with the monster. Kind of like they did with most of their stuff. Weirdly the character they got close to promoting correctly as originally envisioned that Hollywood gets wrong all the time. Is the zombie. With the living zombie comic in the 70s. I can tell you what he can do all the stuff you can do. Nor can I tell you have draws Xavier has a permanent to fly a jet out of his school. Nor can I tell you have the avengers have permission to have quick jets go everywhere. Even when they’re not government sanctioned. Can I tell you how no one knows who the power pack or when they don’t wear masks. For how the ecosystem has been totally destroyed on this planet with storm and for playing havoc with the weather. This kind of happens that way and comics.

    Certainly this had to be done the way they did it to get past the comic code. Though they had to make the code to get past you know who sent to appease the government they made their own code. As much as we see it as insane now it was kind of guy thing they could do. And it wasn’t as messed up as the Hayes code so there you go. I had seen this comic with any comic shop when I was a teenager. This was in Louisiana at the Acadiana book and comic exchange. I think that’s what was called. The store owner Ms. Teresa and her husband were lovely people . And I saw this on the wall I almost wanted to read it but it was like a lot of money for a teenager by one, comic for. Looks like I dodged the bullet. In truth I can’t stand either of these two gentlemen pencil work. Though Heck is way better when he draws horror books than when he draws superheros. So the Frankenstein monster may have helped you out in this issue. But the other guy I’m sorry even as a kid I didn’t like his artwork. I mean no offense to those who do, it just wasn’t to my taste.

    For whatever reason this was one of more Thomas’s finest moments. It’s not as bad as what he took over made more when John Byrne left. Still this is not one of his crowning achievements. Still it’s not the worst comic. It has its moments. I can’t wait to hear the next episode.

    1. It’s been so long since I read the novel. Full disclosure, I love Stoker’s Dracula, but Shelley’s Frankenstein is personally a slog for me to read. I think it’s partially because I’m so used to Unviersal’s version, I kind of reject the source material to a point. I know, that’s weird, but obviously Universal’s version is the one that stuck in the popular conscience.

      Not sure why Victor would think two sewn together corpses could make babies either!


  7. an EARLY example of Roy thomas’s “this story I liked is real somehow theme.
    let’s see… in very rough order
    1. You have Rick jones dreaming up timely heroes in the kree skrull war
    2 in his FF RUN johnny mentions he thinks he may have gotten human torch powers cuz he read the comics
    3 the Squadron supreme/sinister
    4. every dang thing he wrote after 1982

  8. What a thrill to be associated with this show! Re: the X-Men comic; I think that the only way it makes sense is to view Prof. X as an unreliable narrator. His students just implicitly trust him and do not question him. Anyway, this wasn’t the “real” Prof. X, was it?

  9. The temperature is cooling off and the House of Franklin-stein is back. It must be fall.

    I always feel a little sad when I watch GoF, and realize that this movie marks the death of the original monster. He was never really evil, just misunderstood and misguided (often quite literally). Now Ygor, on the other hand, is a real piece of work. The next time I watch the later Frankenstein movies, I’ll have to see if the monster’s behavior is more malevolent. There may not be any noticeable difference for, as you mentioned, the monster became more of a prop in those later films, and the focus was more on the person controlling the monster. Perhaps, there’s a bit of poetic justice in that. Ygor manages to gain the monster’s powerful body, but loses all agency in the process.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode.

    1. Well, the Monster did have a house/santiarium fall on him, then he was frozen in ice for a while, only to be thawed out by Larry Tablot. So that combo could have damaged old slick Ygor’s brain so bad he wasn’t any more articulate than the previous brain in that flattop head! Serves him right!


  10. It’s so great to have HoF back! I’ve never seen this film but it sounds a hoot, so I’ve ordered it. Sadly, I couldn’t wait to listen to the show so by the time I see it, it’s been spoilt. Anyway, I love the info nuggets, and your comments.

    I read that X-Men story in a UK Christmas Annual back in the Seventies. I thought it was quite good!

    Please Cindy, do your Bride rasp for me.

    1. Sorry about the spoilers Martin, but Lugosi’s Ygor is worth the price of the movie alone, even if you know what happens!

      We were probably a bit too harsh on the X-Men comic, but it is REALLY goofy. Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily!

      I’ll see what I can do about the Bride thing. Keep listening!


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