Friday, April 16, 2010

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943)

The title Frankenstein meets The Wolf Man is a bit of a misnomer.  First of all, Frankenstein isn't even in the picture.  It's Frankenstein's monster.  I suppose that title could be referring to Dr. Frankenstein's daughter, Elsa but I doubt it.  Obviously, what they are really referring to is the monster which, of course, isn't Frankenstein.  It's his creation.  So, anyway, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein's monster meet up for about ten minutes.  This thing was almost as disappointing as Alien Vs. Predator.  Mostly it was just boring.

Still, I can't dispute the atmosphere in this thing.  We got a full heaping of that shit.  Again with the matte paintings, the forest scenes filmed indoors, the fog machines, the beautiful black and white.  Unfortunately, all that production is let down by an incredibly slight story and Bela Lugosi's laughably bad performance as Frankenstein's monster.  According to the wikipedia (or some other source I can't remember) Lugosi turned down the role in the original Frankenstein because he wanted dialogue.  Here, they gave him some...and then cut all those moments out.  Thankfully for us, Karloff was the one that made the monster famous. 

Anyway, I didn't enjoy this picture nearly as much as I enjoyed The Wolf Man.  What we got here is a sequel that throws continuity out the window.  If you remember the first picture, the Wolf Man (aka Larry Talbot - a returning Lon Chaney jr.) was beaten to death with a silver walking stick by his unknowing father, Claude Rains.  As this picture opens, a couple grave robbers enter the cemetery hoping to rob the monies that Talbot was buried with.  They unearth the corpse which is then revived by the full moon.  Jugulars get ripped (off screen) and now we have ourselves a movie!  Unfortunately, things get really boring from there.  No one believes Talbot is actually Talbot.  And, why should they?  He's dead.  That would be impossible.  Anyway, Talbot spends the entire picture moping around and trying to figure a way to kill himself since obviously silver is ineffective.

Which brings him to Dr. Frankenstein's lair.  Maybe Frank can help him to die?  Unfortunately, the good doctor is away...or dead.  Who can be bothered with remembering all this shit?  He does encounter the Doctor's daughter though. I guess they had a fling.  Maybe not.  I watched this a week ago.  Struggling to remember minor details.  Anyway, Talbot ends up in some catacombs where he finds some tall doofus looking fellow trapped in ice (I think I missed that particular Frankenstein sequel).  He frees him and the creature shambles around clumsily as if he's in an Abbot and Costello picture.  He's fucking goofy.  No menace here.  So, some things happen.   More things happen.  Talbot and the monster fight eventually.  They're both swept away in a flood or some shit and then the picture ends.  Lugosi was better as the gypsy-wolf in part one.  Am I wrong for not enjoying this shit?

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