Were you but a peaceful Werewolf sleeping in your coma induced state, what would you desire? I'd want a blissful end to my otherwise hedonistic life. What does this Wolfman get? "Bad, bad, Frankenstein, meanest dude in the whole damn line, badder that old King Kong and meaner than a junk",,,,,,,oops, sorry. Actually, I don't intend to make light of this movie. It is one of the great classics of a bygone era bringing two remarkable actors, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Bela Lugosi, to the screen. Back also is Maria Ouspenskaya, as Maleava, the old gypsy woman. In the original Wolfman, she played the mother of the tainted son that brings the curse of the wolf down on Chaney. The son in that production was a much younger Bela Lugosi, I love how things come full circle.
In this release, the Wolfman is brought back to life by people sticking their noses where they don't belong. Chaney plays the part quite well as a man tortured by his existence in another, darker world. He pleads for release from the curse that has befallen him to no avail. Finally he meets up once again with Maleva, who convinces him she can take him to someone that will eliminate his terrible curse. So begins the odyssey to find Dr. Frankenstein, who, unbeknownst to them, has met his fate at the hands of the townsfolk (you remember that story).
Upon arriving and learning of the destruction of Castle Frankenstein and the death of the doctor, Chaney becomes morose and wanders off on his own. In a cave so soft and slick, he finds the monster Frankenstein encased in ice and frees him. Thus forms a bond that man nor time cannot destroy. The monster takes the Wolfman to the hidden memoirs of the doctor and Chaney feels he can finally find the peace he has been searching for.
Meanwhile the wet moist fog settles over Castle Frankenstein and floats into the valleys surrounding the city. The Baroness Frankenstein (Ilona Massey) has agreed to let the experiments resume at the hands of Dr. Frank Mannering (Patrick Knowles), only if it results in the destruction of both these evil monsters. Scientists, being what they are, agree but take it back when actually confronted with the awe and the power of the monster, Frankenstein. The rest, my friends, is cinematic history.
Things I really enjoy about this movie: the continuity. Many of the same actors were in the production as well as the same scenery. In addition, some of the machinery that made the fearsome Frankenstein walk among us years ago is back in this release. I just love that spark shooting electrical tower thing - whatever it is.
Oddly enough I though Lon Chaney looked even younger in this movie but his Wolfman transformation was much better and more fluid than the original. Bela Lugosi, who you would never recognize because of the great makeup, was wonderful in the part of Frankenstein. He serenely stalks about the sets until he gets riled up, then stand back - the white tornado hits!
Yeah, it is an older release with less than perfect scripts and cinematography, but still it is a classic. Writer Curt Siedmark, director Roy William Neill, producer George Waggoner, Cinematographer George Robinson and Make up Jack P. Pierce
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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On a moonlit night, graverobbers unwittingly unearth the tomb of Larry Talbot, the Wolf Man, who then begins a desperate search for a cure for his "condition." The search eventually leads him to a climactic confrontation with, of all creatures, Frankenstein's monster. Sequel to both THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE WOLF MAN, followed next by HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.