Here we have yet another Universal Monster crossover, but this one isn't quite as good as previous ones. At this point, things are officially old and predictable, and as a result we'd soon get 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein' in a straight up parody. The crossover is pretty much the same as last time, as we get Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein's monster; who has now been well-established as more or less immortal. Beyond that, we get a doctor and his hunchbacked assistant because for whatever reason, assistants have to be hunched. At least this time the original take is that she's a woman.
Dracula (John Carradine) comes to the home of a Dr. Franz Edelmann (Onslow Stevens) in the hopes that he can cure him of his vampirism. Agreeing to help, along with his assistants, Milizia (Martha O'Driscoll) and the hunchbacked Nina (Jane Adams) he comes up with something he may think help, involving blood transfusions, using himself as the guinea pig. Meanwhile, Dracula crashes in his basement during the day because he just so happens to have his own coffin down there.
Soon, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) comes to the castle seeking help from the doctor to cure his animalistic condition as well. In desperation, he gets himself incarcerated by local police so he can prove that night, by the light of the full moon, that he changes into a werewolf. As per usual, he lives with the fear and torment of basically being taken over by the wolf and killing innocent people. When Edelmann tells Talbot that he'll have to be patient, Talbot attempts suicide by jumping off a nearby cliff. He survives, however, and Edelmann finds him in a cave along with Frankenstein's monster (Glenn Strange) who he brings back to his laboratory basement.
While trying to help the two monsters out of their respective curses, however, Edelmann finds that Dracula's blood starts to change him to a man of evil. This adds yet another monster to the bunch; a monster who may very well be willing to resurrect Frankenstein's monster to unleash on the nearby town. I would probably chalk this one up to being a guilty pleasure at best, as it's really just going through the motions. The only thing I find they really do different here is have Dracula seeking a cure for his vampirism, and the resulting effects of the experimentation. Otherwise, the Wolf Man is still the Wolf Man (my favorite, but far more interesting in 'House of Frankenstein') and the Monster has seemingly just become a prop at this point.
If I'm honest, I found this one a bit boring for most of it. As I was sitting through it, things just felt sort of old and used, like the film is representative of a hand-me-down t-shirt you know is a good ten years old plus. It's not bad if you're a fan of these movies already, and I admit that it's not without its moments I appreciated. But at this point it just feels like they are looking for reasons to get these creatures together with "what if" scenarios. In this case it's "what if Dracula wanted to be cured?" Then because the Wolf Man always wants to be cured, that can be thrown in for balance, and Frankenstein's Monster should be a part of it too because... Frankenstein? Needless to say, it's not my favorite.
The film isn't without some noteworthy factoids, however. The idea of getting an attractive actress to play a hunchback was kind of a big deal for the time, as until then , they were seen mostly as hideous freaks. 'House of Frankenstein' did lighten that up quite a bit, but this really followed through with things seeing it more as a physical flaw than something from a freak show. This is also the final film in Lon Chaney Jr.'s contract for portraying The Wolfman, but it's fun to note that he'd return regardless to make fun of himself in 'Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein'. So this isn't terrible, but it still feels like an "old news" thing in a way. It passes, but just for the fun of it being a somewhat fun, albeit silly Universal Monster collective.