Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Gets off to a nice start with the credits forming out of mist (or something) and Larry Talbot unexpectedly proving as strangely durable as Universal’s other horror stars (then again, perhaps by this time viewers should be accustomed to the remarkable vitality of the Universal stable). After the not bad beginning, though, it becomes plain that Frankenstein Does Bugger All would’ve been a more accurate title… finally Bela Lugosi got to don Boris Karloff’s boots as the monster but not much more; his already limited performance was famously undermined by the post-production decision to cut all reference to the monster being blind, as Lugosi was told to play him, thus rendering his performance nonsensical. Still, I suppose at least this time he doesn’t have to settle for just being someone else’s murderous tool. Chaney carries the film again, which is very much a Wolf Man sequel more than anything; it’s hard not to feel that somehow the film could’ve been worked out without needing to work Frankenstein’s monster into it. Equally, though, it’s apparent that this film was, as much as anything else, something of a trial run for what was to follow…

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