Some no-good graverobbers remove wolfbane from the crypt of Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.), which allows him to return to life. During the full moon, he becomes a werewolf and murders several people. When the villagers chase him, he falls into an ice flow where he finds The Frankenstein Monster (Bela Lugosi). Together they seek out Frankenstein’s notebook which holds the secret to killing the Wolf Man once and for all. With the help of Frankenstein’s daughter (the sexy as Hell Ilona Massey) and a doctor (Patric Knowles), they try to destroy both monsters. Of course, doctor goes nuts and says, “I can’t destroy Frankenstein’s creation. I have to see it at it’s full power!” and flips a switch, which causes The Monster to go crazy. Then the moon rises, Talbot becomes The Wolf Man, and the duo has a knockdown drag out fight to the finish.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man was always one of my favorites as a kid and it still holds up really well for me as an adult. Whereas the originals are untouchable horror classics, this is a stellar B picture that really delivers. Not only does it work great as a sequel to The Wolf Man but also to Ghost of Frankenstein as well.
You have to give a lot of credit to the behind the scenes talent on this one. Director Roy William Neill really pours on the atmosphere (the opening graverobbing scene perfectly sets the mood) and does a good job at continuing the look and feel of The Wolf Man’s universe. Plus, we also are blessed with another top notch script by Curt Siodmak. He adds a couple of interesting layers to the character of Talbot and does a cool tweak on the usual Frankenstein motif by giving him a hot daughter this time around.
Simply put, fans of The Wolf Man are going to love this movie. They give him several great transformation scenes and the make-up is an improvement over the first movie. And Chaney does another fine turn as Talbot and has a good chemistry with Lugosi. If the flick does have a flaw, it’s that Lugosi is a bit stiff as the Monster. He gets better as the film goes along though and you’ll quickly forget about his shortcomings by the end of the movie when the two monsters are duking it out. (It’s interesting to note that Lugosi actually turned down the role of The Monster for the original Frankenstein movie.)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is the Numero Uno Movie on The Video Vacuum Top Ten Films of 1943.
<Tomorrow’s Horror Franchise Movie: Werewolf of London. Note: I know this isn’t part of the original Wolf Man series, but it is the next movie in the Wolf Man Legacy box set>