Date Released: December 12, 1941
Date Watched: October 5, 2014
Why Now? I found it along with An American Werewolf in Paris in a buy-two-get-one-free sale and it being October I couldn’t resist either.
Why not then? I was, alas, not alive.
- Campy transformations
- Hilariously ominous dialogue
- Wayward youth in the wrong place at the wrong time
- Judging by the cover, an open-minded human/wolf love story (this last one seemed a bit unlikely)
- As the original, a couple of werewolf tropes that have since defined the genre
What I actually got:
- Questionable appropriation of the pentagram
- Awkward gypsy stereotypes
- Larry (Lon Chaney Jr.) as a creepy Peeping Tom who doesn’t take no for an answer, even if the lady is otherwise engaged
- A basic enough transformation that got a bit better when the Wolf Man had to get around on his tippy paws
- Not enough Bela Lugosi
One night stand or second date potential? I have a tendency to revisit most werewolf movies I’ve seen on an annual basis when Halloween approaches, so I don’t want to totally rule this out. That being said, given that this was the original werewolf movie, it didn’t quite hit the spots I’ve come to love (a couple more attacks, added guilt/inability to remember what happened and a sassy best friend are always a hit) and I’m still totally put off by Larry’s behaviour towards Gwen (Evelyn Ankers). Maybe it’s just me, or my modern tastes, but a lingering threat would have topped this off nicely too instead of wrapping the story up. It’s looking like a one night stand from here.