Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943)

If you missed last week’s post, I am working on a top ten favourite werewolf film list. I will be highlighting the films that did not make the shortlist until the project is complete.

Why is this film called Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man? It should be called The Wolf Man Meets Frankenstein! Wolf Man owns this film! This could have been the perfect sequel to the wonderful 1941 original Wolf Man, but the addition of Frankenstein’s monster does muddy things up a bit. We begin a few years after the original Wolf Man ended. Bludgeoned to death by his father with a sliver walking stick; Lawrence Talbot now lies in the family crypt. Two men break into the crypt in hopes of scoring some booty and inadvertently awaken the Wolf Man. Talbot awakes disoriented in a hospital in another town. When questioned, the confused Talbot can not recall the events that brought him there. He does however remember his name is Lawrence Talbot and he hails from Llanwelly. When they check with the Llanwelly authorities they are told that Lawrence Talbot is dead. Talbot begins to recall the strange and horrifying truth of his existence. Desperate to be rid of his curse he escapes from the hospital. He sets out to find Maleva; the old gypsy woman whose son was responsible for his infliction. He finds Maleva who agrees to help him. Maleva knows of a doctor by the name of Frankenstein who may be able to help Talbot.

The film takes a turn, not necessarily for the better once Frankenstein’s monster is introduced. It seemed unnecessary to include the monster. He really is a non-entity in this story. He is more of a nuisance to Talbot than anything else. Of course, there is the finale featuring the two monsters. The prominent image on its theatrical poster shows Frankenstein and Wolf Man locked in battle. This is such a brief scene right at the end of the film. The two were actually quite chummy up to that point. I don’t want to spoil all the fun; although flawed; the story is still quite entertaining. Lawrence Talbot is a likable and empathetic character and Lon Chaney Jr. is the perfect bloke for the role. I really dig this old school furry-faced werewolf! The transformations are nicely done and Chaney’s movements while in werewolf form really help sell it. The sets are fantastic and it has an excellent dark and foreboding mood. The visuals overall are beauty. Bela Lugosi is okay as Frankenstein’s monster; but it is not his finest hour by a long shot. He doesn’t speak a word, and as mentioned, he really does not have much presence in the story. The performances from the rest of the cast are decent, although no one particularly stands out. This is Lon Chaney’s gig all the way! It is a shame they chose not to give the Wolf Man a sequel all his own. I say SHAME Universal Studios! SHAME! Despite its flaws I really enjoyed Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man. Recommended!

12 Responses to “Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943)”

  1. Great review…and you’re right! Frankenstein was hardly in it really. Still, a fun viewing experience with some great special effects for the day!

  2. The big fight at the end kicked ass, with the Wolf Man jumping around and stuff in the castle. I love how Universal started treating their signature monsters like the Traveling Wilburys. “If you like Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Frankenstein, then you’ll love The Wolf Man Meets Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Frankenstein”.

    I take it House of Frankenstein will be next? Hopefully? Although I guess it’s not technically a werewolf movie.

    • goregirl Says:

      Hee! Hee! Universal does get nutty with the monster mashups! I really dig most of the Universal monster movies I’ve seen including House of Frankenstein but I’m going to stick with the flicks where the werewolf is the centerpiece.

  3. We need more films like this made now. Bring back the classics

    • goregirl Says:

      I love these old monster movies so much! But to be honest, I think I would prefer they remain “classic”. The vast majority of remakes I’ve seen have made me fear remakes and outright avoid them.

      • Oh yeah, I didn’t mean remakes…Just get back to simple, good ideas for films. These movies are still fun today.

        • goregirl Says:

          Phew. Agreed…getting back to basics is something Hollywood definitely needs to do!

          I guess remakes happen in every genre but it sure seems like the horror genre is particularly a “victim”. I am in a spin about the Suspiria remake. Can’t get it out of my mind for some reason!

          • Yeah, that one is particularly distressing to me as well but despite my better judgment, I’m remaining somewhat optimistic about the possibilities. I’m sure I will come to regret that optimism, though

  4. I am so glad I stumbled across this blog. Great writing, great reviews, and lists. Lists are the best. I know this might not be relevant to werewolves, but I just wanted to give my praises to the GoreGirl.
    Now to read the archives!

  5. […] played Larry Talbot aka the Wolf Man four times. The follow-up to 1941′s The Wolf Man was Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) which I thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed for a werewolf feature I did a while back. House of […]

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