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Last year I attended a rare screening of classic Universal horror movie “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man“(1943) at the Duke of York cinema in Brighton. To say I had a good time would be an understatement! Just being able to watch such an old black and white monster movie on the big screen was pure joy, and it brought back many nostalgic memories of staying up late as a child watching these creature features on television. When I was very young, BBC2 used to have ┬áregular seasons of Saturday night horror double bills and I addictively used to watch them all! Usually starting at about 10pm, my parents allowed me to watch the first of the two scheduled movies, as they were always old monochrome classics. As I got older, I began staying up later to watch the more graphic colour horrors, often classics from Hammer Films or the Amicus omnibus terrors.

“Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” begins by concentrating on Lon Chaney, Jr.’s character, Lawrence Talbot, who becomes a werewolf at the first sight of the full moon. He escapes from hospital to try and find a cure for his lycanthropy and eventually meets up with Frankenstein’s┬ámonster, as played by Bela Lugosi. After a series of misadventures, the pair fight and are seemingly drowned when one of the villagers blows up the nearby dam! Obviously dated now, this is still a very enjoyable film, although occasionally for the wrong reasons! Bela Lugosi’s performance as the Frankenstein monster is sadly laughable, with his ludicrously outstretched arms, staggering around like some old drunk. As it turns out, on reading some background for this review, his character was supposed to be blind, but all mention of this was cut from the final film, along with all of Lugosi’s dialogue. Even so, it is still obvious that Bela was way too old and flabby to be playing such a supposedly terrifying monster. 

Despite Bela’s performance, and the often juvenile script, “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” still has a lot to recommend it. The sets are extremely atmospheric, especially at the beginning of the film, where we see Lawrence Talbot’s tomb. The fog enshrouded graveyard is spooky as Hell and certainly sets the scene well. Lon Chaney’s wolfman make-up is also impressive and so is the superb model work used to show Frankenstein’s castle and the exploding dam at the film’s climax. All in all, a great fun evening of ancient chills and thrills and much more entertaining than most of todays bland over-budgeted Hollywood dross.

 

 

 

One Response to “Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943)”

  • Yeah, those Universal Monster movies are great fun.

    Was this the one where Chaney had to double for the Frankenstein monster in some of the scenes near the end because Lugosi was not that fit. Or am I getting Lugosi confused with the Glenn Strange version of the monster?

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