Directed by: George Waggner
Produced by: George Waggner
Written by: Curt Siodmak
Starring: Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, and Bela Lugosi
Released: December 12, 1941
Until recently, I hadn’t been exposed to too many of the classic Universal Studios Monster Movies from the 1930′s and the 1940′s. I grew up in the 1980′s, and much of my choices for Horror viewing were contemporary. As I have gotten older, as well as through my University studies, and with the genesis of my House of Horror Blog — I’ve ventured further into the past to view (and review) some of the classics of the genre. Some have been pleasant discoveries, while others just seemed incredibly hokey for me.
Although it is considered one of the un-Holy Trinity of Horror Movie Monsters, I have too many issues with The Wolf Man to say that I like it. I certainly appreciate its status in the pantheon of horror, but as far as werewolf movies go it is difficult to watch something like – say American Werewolf in London or The Howling – and then go back and watch The Wolf Man with any hopes of being frightened. Each time I saw Lon Chaney Jr. tip-toeing through the marsh as his furry bearded alter-ego, it appeared as though he was trying not to wake the kids and I also half expected a disco ball to descend from the sky and Wolfman Jack tell us a funny tale about the song or artist we were about to hear while grooving. It was also so incredibly difficult to believe that Lon Chaney Jr., as Larry Talbot, could play the son of Claude Raines’ Sir John Talbot. One has a very distinct American dialect while the other sounds like a British nobleman. Plus, what are they like 5 years apart in age? Cue the buzzer on that one.
Plus there’s only so many times I can watch Chaney’s legs get hairier before what little impact that effect has is gone. All-in-all, it wasn’t enough that the movie is a classic for me to like it. I wanted to like it out of sentiment , but alas, I didn’t.
2 furry thumbs out of 5!