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Discussion Starter #1
Well, since I already viewed two of the top dogs of The Monster Legacy Set, I might as well go all out and make the trio complete with a real "dog" movie, The Wolfman.

Lon Chaney Jr. stars as Larry Talbot, returning to his fathers estate after a long estrangement. He hooks up a telescope in his old bedroom to check out "Heavenly Bodies," and after a bit of Peeping Tommery spies one in Evelyn Ankers (Gwen) who lives clear across town. Talbot, all hot and bothered, goes to meet this girl and the sly, witty Poppin' Jay that he is, persuades her to go out with him to have his fortune told at the old gypsy encampment. When he, Gwen and her friend go to the caravan, things get real "hairy" from that point on. Through some odd incidents, Talbot becomes infected with the Werewolf Curse and is soon trying to play Vampire, instead of Lycanthrope, by biting people on the jugular. It's hard to tell if Larry changes when the moon is full and bright as it is always foggy when he turns. Larry asks the elder john Talbot played by Claude Rains to tie him up so he can't harm his beloved Gwen; but we fans of the Horror genre are privy to a piece of information that ol' Lawrence seems to not know: Ain't no stinkin' ropes going to hold a fully transformed Werewolf in a chair for too long! Sure enough, Hairy Larry is loose and rampaging the misty countryside again. What, pray tell, can stop this horrible beast from killing again? We know that one too, don't we Horror Fans?

I learned a couple of things whilst this movie played out to its inevitable conclusion. 1. No matter what form a Werewolf takes, be it biped, or running on all fours like a natural wolf, he also has control over the molecular structure of his clothing whether his actions are in check or not. Bela, the Gypsy (Bela Lugosi) was one of the ALL-FOURS type of Werewolfs in this flick. When he changed back to human form, HE HAD ON THE SAME CLOTHES HE WAS WEARING BEFORE HE TRANSFORMED! Chaney Jr. was the bipedal sort. When he switched, he was wearing a wife-beater T. The next frame when we see young Lawrence traipsing across the moors as The Werewolf HE HAS ON A LONG SLEEVE SHIRT BUTTONED UP TO THE NECK!
2. LON CHANEY JR. COULD NOT, I REPEAT COULD NOT ACT! It's a good thing he was a master of disguise like his father before him, else, I'm pretty certain that Juniour would have been one of those individuals you may have seen in that Dust Bowl movie about The Great Depression entitled, The Grapes of Wrath. He simply couldn't act. Period.

The movie looks good, and the absurdities that abound throughout were quite enjoyable to watch. The melodrama was heavy as molasses in this, and the music clued you in to basically what was going to happen next, so there were no surprises. All those 40's movie's (This was made in 1941) were like that, be it Horror, Romance, Comedy, etc. I guess it was just what the era demanded of the cinema at the time.

Despite some of the comments seen in my critique above, I really liked this. Next to The Frankenstein Monster and The Gill Man, Chaney's Werewolf is one of the best looking Monsters that Universal Studios cranked out. There's enough good stuff going on here that it get's a "Thumb's Up" from me.

Rating: ***1/2
 

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After three reviews of late, I think we all know what you've been up to these past nights. You've been lookin' at your new DVDs!

Them are mighty fine reviews, all of 'em, and I agree with practically every word. Dracula: atmospheric as heck, but less than superior sound. Lugosi, perfectly cast in the role, Jonathan Harker = ****-sexual! With all that this movie has going for it (no small lot), it's subpar to...

Frankenstein: My favourite monster movie of all time (2. "Jaws", 3. "King Kong" [1933]), this is one perfectly filmed classic of a picture. I would probably go so far as to call it one of the top 20 movies of the twentieth century. It's that important. Some say it was slightly outdone by its terrific sequel, "The Bride of Frankenstein", and it almost is, but I hold the original to be the best. You are right to say that Karloff's incredible acting ability showed through all the make-up and lack of dialogue. What a job! And scary! I still think one of the most frightening scenes in horror to be the one when the monster, escaping from his holding cell, is slowly approaching that dude from behind. What suspense! What pathos! What a film!

"The Wolfman" has always been my third favourite in the Holy Trinity, and for the reasons you stated. Although Chaney, Jr isn't the most compelling actor in this film, he is likeable, though, and looks great in the werewolf make-up. However, although he wasn't in "The Grapes of Wrath", he was in Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" (1939), and Chaney's performance as Lennie was spectacularly touching. It was his finest performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's actually going to be my last from the Set, I just wanted to do those three. Just one more obsevation on Wolfie's review:

The "pentegram bite" on his chest. That Tat was so poorly drawn, that I've seen better drawn on a pre-teen, pseudo-Satanist's composition book. Thnks for the kind words on the reviews though dude! :D
 
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