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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

USA 1943
produced by
George Waggner for Universal
directed by Roy William Neill
starring Lon Chaney jr, Bela Lugosi, Ilona Massey, Patric Knowles, Lionel Atwill, Maria Ouspenskaya, Dennis Hoey, Don Barclay, Rex Evans, Dwight Frye
screenplay by Curt Siodmak, Garrett Fort, make up by Jack Pierce

Frankenstein, Universal horror cycle, Universal's Frankenstein, Wolf Man

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A direct sequel to both The Ghost of Frankenstein and The Wolf Man (& Bela Lugosi plays a different role in each of these movies):

When 2 graverobbers want to rob the grave of Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney jr) who was of course in his lifetimes secretly the Wolf Man, boy are they surprised to witness, that by merely removing the wolfbane that is coverin his corpse, does Larry come back to life, & what's more, since it's a full moon, he takes the opportunity to turn a wolf & kill them both, too.

When later, Larry in human form is found lieing unconscious on the boardwalk, he is sent to the hospital of doctor Mannering (Patric Knowles), who thinks Larry is suffering from mental problems & can be cured by psychotherapy. However police inspector Owen (Dennis Hoey) is pretty much sure he can pin some crime on Larry - for him it seems everybody is suspicious. Larry however has other ideas, & escapes the hospital in search of the gypsie woman Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya), in his eyes the only person who can end his misery. & when he can't find her in England, he travels Europe ... but when he finds her she to his disappointment doesn't know how to cure him (or terminally kill him) either, but one man will know: Frankenstein (don't ask why).

However, arriving in Vasaria, home of the last Frankenstein (see The Ghost of Frankesntein), they learn that he has already died - & besides, the Vasarians don't like the mention of the name Frankenstein terribly much.

But another stroll through the countryside as the werewolf has Larry stumble over the ruins of Frankenstein's sanitarium, where he finds, in some hidden chamber, the monster (Bela Lugosi) ... & since the monster seems rather helpful, it shows Larry that the only one who might possess knowledge of the Frankenstein family secrets is the original Frankenstein's granddaughter Elsa (Ilona Massey) - however, when Larry has finally arranged to meet her under false pretense, she fluntly refuses to give him her family's secrets.

However, at a fair the next day, both doctor Mannering - who has been looking for Larry all over Europe - & the monster show up, & the monster can only escape the angry villagers when Larry arranges a getaway.

Having seen the monster stroll the town's streets again, the Vasarians are more than a bit alert, & soon they decide that their best bet is to send Mannering & Elsa Frankenstein to the ruins to take care of the affair (which sounds like a stupid plan).

But Mannering soon becomes fascinated by Frankenstein's lab & decides to - instead of drain both monster & Wolf man of their respective powers - to fully charge up the monster (which sounds like another stupid plan) ... & soon the thing gets out of hand as the monster & the Wolf Man negage in mortal combat.

The situation is saved though by one of the brighter villagers who decides to take saving Vasaria into his own hands & blows up the dam directly above the ruins, drowning all the monsters below.

Elsa & Mannering however stroll off into a brighter future.

Lionel Atwill & Dwight Frye are wasted here as the mayor & a villager, respectively.

 


Of course it's some fun to finally see 2 Universal monsters fight each other, however, their confrontation proves to be rather a letdown. As a whole the film suffers from a rather stupid screenplay that is not helped at all by the necessity to include both the Frankenstein- & the Wolf Man-myths into one story, & so it suffers from some gaping plotholes & leaps of logic & reason.

It's some fun though on a camp level, but at the same time too slickly directed & lavishly decorated to be one of these so bad it's good-movies.

Bela Lugosi by the way, who was originally cast for the 1931-version of Frankenstein, but turned the offer down to not be typecast, gives a very disappointing performance as the monster in this one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD