Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Reviews
In this unrated continuation of the Universal franchise, Larry Talbot (Chaney) leaves Britain in search of a cure for the curse that causes him to transform into a werewolf with every full moon, going to the remains of Frankenstein's castle where he hopes to find there the scientific notes of Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein but inadvertently finds his daughter (Ilona Massey) and the monster (Lugosi).
The film puts nearly impossibly tasked screenwriter Curt Siodmak through the nearly impossible paces of pitting two legendary characters together in a somewhat believable manner in an unbelievable world of gods and monsters. His ploy works (add Talbot chips the monster from the ice to the synopsis above), but despite a career that began at Universal with The Invisible Man Returns and continued with Son of Dracula and House of Frankenstein The Wolf Man remains his screenwriting high point.
Bottom line: Fast and Furry-ous
Ouspenskaya is back as Maleva, the gypsy woman, but the plot gets a bit silly when she and Talbot go seeking Dr. Frankenstein. The angry mob in the generic European mountain town is the worst part of the movie. They are a waste of screen time. By the way, the townspeople mention they set fire to Frankenstein's castle to rid themselves of the doctor and his monster, yet when Talbot falls into some lower chamber of the castle it is covered in snow and the Frankenstein's monster has been preserved in ice! Ridiculous. There is no legitimate explanation for this though I understand this device of having the monsters encased in ice is used again in this movie's sequel. Lugosi takes a stab at filling the makeup and costume of Frankenstein's monster. Karloff's performance is definitive, so Lugosi only succeeds in giving the character a vacuous expression, despite the prequel. Here's a bit of a spoiler- Talbot and Frankenstein's monster are friends through most of the movie. Talbot as a man and the childlike man-made creation are gentle misunderstood beings. Somehow in this fantasy horror world even that is a little hard to fully believe. Anyways, Dr. Frankenstein's daughter and a visiting doctor interested in Dr. Frankenstein's work attempt to help out. After the burning and the freezing or whatever happened to Frankenstein's castle, the laboratory equipment is in amazing working order. All that is left is to drain the energy out of both creatures to stop any more mischief. But no. No. NO! Of course it is too tempting to charge them both up to the max. The fight is brief like the movie on the whole and the run time of the first Wolf Man. And the ending is left open for the monsters to return in numerous sequels.