Sunday, November 20, 2011

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Grave robbers rob the grave of Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) and find his corpse covered with wolfbane. When they remove it, he awakens, transforms, and goes on a rampage. He awakes in a Cardiff hospital. They think he's crazy because he claims to be a dead man.

He escapes to find the gypsy woman (Maria Ouspenskaya) who's son he killed in his last film. She'll help him! She tells him to find the mysterious Doctor Frankenstein! If anyone knows the answer, it'll be him. So, off they go, to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of ... oh, I'll say Vasaria.

Well, Frankie's dead so Larry chugs through the ruins of Castle Frankenstein (which I guess is the mansion from Ghost of) looking for the the late doctors notes, and finds the monster, himself (Bela Lugosi, why not, it was his brain). Frozen in ice. Of course he's still alive. Can't kill a good monster.

So, Larry meets up with the Baroness Elsa Frankenstein (Ilona Massey) who now sports a German accent. Into the mix is the dashing doctor Mannering from the Cardiff hospital and Lionel Atwill as the mayor. Larry convinces her to show the location on her dad's notebook in hopes of finding a way to drain the life from his body. You see, Larry wants to die.

The image of the monster, stumbling around with out-stretched hands is from here. You see, the monster was supposed to be blind. That happened at the end of Ghost of, but they forgot to mention it here. Also, the monster could talk but all of his lines were cut. Go figure.

They swapped actresses for Elsa Frankenstein, but for a good reason. Evelyn Ankers from Ghost of also played Talbot's love interest in The Wolf Man. That would be just weird. Weirder still was the idea of trying to have one actor (Lon) play both lead monsters. That idea was thankfully scrapped.

So, the long slow decline of the Frankenstein franchise continues. Certainly not unwatchable, but disjointed and not as interesting as the previous efforts. AMRU 3. And, yes. Elsa Frankenstein does meet the Wolf Man.

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