Bride of the Werewolf (2019)

Many of you undoubtedly remember House of Dracula, one of the most curious entries into Universal Studios’ Horror Cycle — and, in fact, the last entry before it turned into an Abbot and Costello comedy series.  After their long string of second-rate sequels to their most successful earlier films, they decided to combine all the monsters into a single film — The House of Frankenstein.

In fact, they did it twice.

The results, as you would expect, are so-so.  However, it did give us the intriguing notion of having our mad scientist working to cure Dracula’s bloodthirst and Larry Talbot’s lycanthropy.

So, when we are watching the legendary Kings of SOV (shot on video) films, the Polonia Brothers, latest werewolf epic, and we start out with a scientist trying to unlock the ancient Egyptians’ secrets of eternal life from a convenient mummy (and a box of what definitely looks like Tanna leaves, naturally), we already know which movie Mark Polonia had in mind when he made this one.

Now I’ve said a lot about the Polonias — Mark and his late brother John — and their unique brand of bargain basement cinema.  So, for those of you who have been paying attention, it should come as no surprise that Transylvania looks a lot like backwoods Pennsylvania, or that its random bands of mountain bandits wear plaid flannel shirts.  Fortunately, though, we are told how sinister the house of the mysterious Saul looks or we might think that it was just another rural two-story house, just like so many that we see every day.

This time around, most of their stock company only gets minor parts (even though he’s billed, I didn’t see James Carolus, so I suspect he’s under the mummy makeup.  Which is not a bad thing as he always seems a lot less smug when you can’t see his face).

The story? Oh that’s familiar, too.  The usual reluctant werewolf story with a bit of romance.  The werewolf mask looks great — except for the minor fact that it can’t do much of anything other a permanent fixed scowl — there’s a generous helping of black humor, and the end result is one of their more enjoyable films, one which pays homage to the great tradition of werewolf films, whether from Universal, Hammer, Paul Naschy, John Landis, or whoever else.  There’s even a Joe Dante moment at the very end.

And, yes, the mad scientist does try to wake up the mummy to get his help in curing the werewolf.

We wouldn’t know which horror film we were paying homage to otherwise…

(available for free on Tubi)

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