|Directed by||Roy William Neill|
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is a 1943 American monster horror film produced by Universal Studios starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein’s monster. This was the first of a series of “ensemble” monster films combining characters from several film series. This film, therefore, is both the fifth in the series of films based upon Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein, directly after The Ghost of Frankenstein, and a sequel to The Wolf Man.
With Bela Lugosi‘s dialogue scenes cut, he’s only on screen for five minutes and 6 seconds, with stunt men and doubles appearing in almost two additional minutes.
8 February 2005
One must pity the Wolf Man. Marked not only with the pentagram, but marked to never have a sequel that was all his own. A real shame, considering that even the likes of the Mummy got ‘four’ sequels. Universal begins their monster-mash rallies of the 1940s here, as Wolfie must share his sandbox with the “undying monster” & the two get along well for the most part, but eventually, even the best of friends will have their disputes….
The film begins on a very high note, with one of the most chilling and atmospheric openings in any horror movie. The potential was certainly here for a great ‘Wolf Man’ sequel that could’ve surpassed the original. Too bad the monster has to rear his ugly, stitched up head.
Speaking of that monster, “Poor Bela” always get the blame dumped on him for why this film had to be chopped up in post-production, the story always being that the monster with his voice was simply too “Hungarian funny”, yet this film was produced by the same Universal that a year earlier made “Ghost of Frankenstein” which featured the monster with Bela’s voice. It didn’t bother anyone then, so what was the problem now? There has to be more to the story than “it was all Lugosi’s fault”. Would it be considered out of the realm of possibility to speculate that perhaps the great Curt Siodmak (the screenwriter) wrote some seriously crappy dialogue for the creature to recite that would’ve produced titters no matter who spoke it?
Also marring the proceedings a bit is some shaky continuity in regards to the monster’s portion of the story if you’re familiar with the previous ‘Ghost’ movie. How is it, that there’s suddenly a Frankenstein castle in Vasaria (or is it Vi·Saria), when in the previous film, the villagers in the town called “Frankenstein” blew it up. And there are many instances where the screenwriter doesn’t seem to know the difference between Ludwig Frankenstein & his father Henry who made the monster, as Talbot, the villagers, even Baroness Frankenstein speak as if Ludwig actually created the monster.
And yet, in spite of its inconsistencies (not to mention the heavy editing done to it), the whole of ‘FMTWM’ still turns out very good, and the ending clash of the monsters is very entertaining. While Frankenstein fans may be disappointed, this picture definitely works as a great ‘Wolf Man’ sequel & one of the top Universal romps from the 1940s. After this picture, Dracula and a few other fiends would get invited to the monster party.
Author: terrorfan from Bayonne, NJ
15 May 2001
Though not nearly up to the standards and fun level of “Ghost Of Frankenstein”, this neat little Universal gem has it’s heart in the right place! Wonderful opening sequence in the graveyard, plenty of atmosphere, typically gorgeous Universal studio sets and it’s famous monsters! What more can you ask for? Chaney is superb as the tormented Larry Talbot but Bela leaves quite a bit to be desired as the monster. Universal would have been better off using Glen Strange one film earlier instead of waiting for 1944’s “House Of Frankenstein”. All in all, a fun film that staggers a bit after a rip-roaring start!