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Series / House of Frankenstein (1997)

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House of Frankenstein (1997) is a Made-for-TV two part mini series that aired on NBC, based off the classic 1944 film. Many fans don't consider it a remake, claiming the title's In Name Only due to the story not representing the original.

The film is about a wealthy tychoon named Crispian Grimes (Greg Wise) who at the start of the film manages to locate Frankenstein's Monster (Peter Crombie) and ship it to America, to display in his nightclub, the House of Frankenstein. However en route the monster thaws out and escapes wandering the modern day world. Crispian sets out to find it for his plans as he's really a vampire which police have dubbed "The Night Raptor" for his nightly killings. Of which in charge of the investigation is Vernon Coyle (Adrian Pasdar). In the midst of this is a woman named Grace Dawkins (Teri Polo) who gets caught up in the supernatual tussle after being bitten by a werewolf one night and finds herself slowly changing, which catches the eye of Crispian who wants her for his own.

You can watch it here.

House of Frankenstein 1997 has the following tropes:

  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Dr. Shauna Kendall who studies paranormal and occult. She seems more then willing to help Vernon out against Crispian. However during the scuffle against a werewolf Grace, she gets scratched and is later told of this while in the hospital. The ending of the movie implies she now has her own werewolf curse.
  • And This Is for...: Just before driving a stake into Crispian, the Frankenstein's Monster simply says "For Armando."
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: POV shots for Crispian's bat-form show vague false-color shapes, and tilt a lot from his typical-for-bats erratic way of flying. It's unclear if the weird colors represent echolocation or something more exotic like an undead "life sense".
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: Crispian manages to locate Grace's apartment, but she is out of the house with Vernon. However Felicity arrives at their apartment just as he does, cue Crispian deciding to make a new vampire servant.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At one point Vernon asks his sister if she has any holy items in her possession, and all she has is their mother's cremated ashes, which had been blessed by a priest. Later, when a vampire attacks her home, she uses the ashes against him before finishing him off with a fire poker through the heart.
  • Driven to Suicide: Crispian does this in the climax when he realizes that Grace will never be his and falls into the inferno of his burning building.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Felicity after she turns.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Vernon and Grace visit the grave of a fallen friend and head off together. However the screen suddenly changes to how Crispian views things in bat mode. Indicating he might still be alive.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Crispian seems genuinely appalled when finding out that the environmentalist he meets with only cares about money and good PR rather than the ecosystem he supposedly fights for, calling him "a vile and contemptible man".
  • Expy: Crispen of Dracula
  • Flatline Plotline: Near the end of the film, after temporarily dealing with Crispian, Vernon carries a dying Grace in wolf form into the ER and forces the doctors at gunpoint to attend to the animal. He lays her on the operating table, then insists that they let her die. Once the animal flatline, Grace reverts to human form. They rush to resuscitate her; upon awakening, she remains human and is cured of the curse, as it's the wolf that died.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Who here is quite intelligent if not a little slow.
  • Fur Against Fang: Averted with werewolves serving vampires and being regarded as akin to pets.
  • Hope Spot: Vernon, The Monster and Shauna manage to defeat Crispian and subdue Grace in her wolf form. The Monster vows to stay behind and finish Crispian once and for all while the others rush to get Grace and themselves treated. Vernon and Shauna do so, managing to cure Grace of her lycanthopy. However the Monster takes too long in setting up the fire, allowing Crispian to revive and throw him into it. He then goes after the others just as they are leaving the hospital via helicopter. Shauna is thrown off (though it's revealed she survived in the ending) and Crispian reclaims Grace, leading into the final act of the movie.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Vernon manages to push Crispian onto the horn of a merry go round horse. Doesn't take.
  • Kill It with Fire: The only way to truly kill Crispian as staking more or less just inconveniences him.
  • Monster Mash
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Crispian is staked a number of times in the series but always seems to revive from it after some time.
  • One-Winged Angel: Crispian goes to straight full on bat mode when he vamps.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They're not bipedal and behave more like regular wolves. One with full control, such as the wolfman here, can change from human to wolf form at will.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: As discussed later in the series, vampires are considered to more like fallen angels who need blood to survive. While vulnerable to religious symbols like crosses or holy water, sunlight doesn't affect them much, allowing them walk out in the daytime (Grimes is shown using an umbrella as a sunshade, but is otherwise unaffected). Also if a vampire is powerful enough, they can survive staking attempts. (Dr. Kendall recommends using both staking AND beheading if "you want the job done right".)
  • Shock Collar: A vampire uses one to control Frankenstein's monster. They next time we see them, the vampire has been impaled and the monster is ripping the collar off.
    "They were fools to think they could control me with electricity."
  • Storming the Castle: Vernon does so at the House of Frankenstein club with the help of his police friends to rescue Grace.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Felicity, Grace's friend who is bitten and turned by Crispian. When Grace sees her next time after being taken to Crispian's manor, she pretty much moves in with Grace as if nothing changed though doesn't bother to disclose that they're both monsters now (Grace unaware she is a werewolf at the moment). Even helping Crispian to stiffle Vernon's search for Grace leading to an ambush at a amusement part.
  • Turn in Your Badge: When Vernon sets out to attack Crispian's club to get Grace back, the police chief refuses to send back up. Realizing this, with the help that a fellow officer had died during the investigation thanks to Crispian, Vernon's precinct all do this as they head out to help him.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Crispian all over.
  • Vampire Monarch: Crispian
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs: The aptly name House Of Frankenstein.
  • Vampire-Werewolf Love Triangle: Vampire (the Big Bad), the Love Interest (a woman bitten by a werewolf) and the hero (the cop). Lampshaded when a monster expert mentions that vampires love lycanthropes; "Their own little animal — you know what men are like."
  • Where Are They Now: Though the heroes don't know what became of The Monster and Kendall, we're shown at the end.


Video Example(s):


House of Frankenstein '97 [Vampires Explained]

Scene from the 1997 mini-series, House of Frankenstein. In the second part of the series, Detective Vernon is on the look out for his girlfriend, Grace, who was kidnapped. After an encounter with one of the monsters roaming the city and having no clue to go on, he goes to a alleged professor on the paranormal, Shauna Kendall, who was initially turned away due to her monster theories, for help. Thus Shauna breaks down her explanation on how she thinks vampires work.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / OurVampiresAreDifferent

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