24 November 2014

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
74 min.
Directed by Roy William Neill.
With Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Patric Knowles, Ilona Massey, Maria Ouspenskaya, Dennis Hoey, Dwight Frye, Rex Evans, Don Barclay.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is one of the stranger efforts to come from Universal's golden age of horror.

Surprisingly, it rises above the challenge of its odd premise and is a good deal of fun.

Larry Talbot (Chaney) is weary of turning into a Wolf Man at the first sight of every full moon.

He seeks the advice of his old gypsy friend Maleva (the diminutive Ouspenskaya, who's always a hoot to watch). She tells him to find Dr. Frankenstein, the esteemed scientist who knows the secret to Life...and apparently Death, as well.

So Talbot and Maleva venture to Frankenstein's Castle, but find no sign of the good Doc. Instead, Talbot discovers Frankenstein's original Monster (Lugosi), frozen in ice deep below the family's laboratory.

Talbot unthaws the Monster, and asks him to help him find Dr. Frankenstein's journals, in the hope that they'll hold the key to ending the horrible curse of lycanthropy that plagues him. But can these two creatures of the damned really work together for a common cause, or will their newfound alliance end in tooth versus nail?

Chaney gives a solid performance here as the Wolf Man; but frankly it's the novelty of seeing Lugosi as the Monster that makes Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man an interesting watch.

Adding to the bizarre mix, it turns out Lugosi's Monster spoke dialogue in several key scenes, but Universal deemed the results ineffective and cut the footage prior to release.

Nevertheless, give this one a whirl late at night and enjoy the two horror icons giving it their all.

And dig that crazy catfight climax!

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