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