Count Alucard (read his name backwards) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.
Lon Chaney Jr.,
Larry Talbot finds himself in an asylum, recovering from an operation performed by the kindly Dr. Mannering. Inspector Owen finds him there, too, wanting to question him about a recent spate of murders. Talbot escapes and finds Maleva, the old gypsy woman who knows his secret: when the moon is full, he changes to a werewolf. She travels with him to locate the one man who can help him to die - Dr. Frankenstein. The brilliant doctor proves to be dead himself, but they do find Frankenstein's daughter. Talbot begs her for her father's papers containing the secrets of life and death. She doesn't have them, so he goes to the ruins of the Frankenstein castle to find them himself. There he finds the Monster, whom he chips out of a block of ice. Dr. Mannering catches up with him only to become tempted to monomania while using Frankenstein's old equipment. Written by
This is the first Frankenstein movie to not feature a "Dr. Frankenstein." Lawrence Talbot seeks Dr. Frankenstein for help, but never does meet him. However, there is another "Frankenstein": Ilona Massey's Baroness Elsa Frankenstein, possibly named after Elsa Lanchester who played both Mrs. Shelley and the Female Monster in Bride of Frankenstein (1935). According to the opening scene of the same "Bride" movie, the Monster's name is also Frankenstein within this film continuity, regardless of what it says "in the book." See more »
When the monster is being recharged in Dr. Frankenstein's
laboratory by Dr. Mannering, he is mouthing the words, "Thank you, Dr. Mannering!" but all the monster's audio was edited out. See more »
One must pity the Wolf Man. Marked not only with the pentagram, but marked to never have a sequel that was all his own. A real shame, considering that even the likes of the Mummy got 'four' sequels. Universal begins their monster-mash rallies of the 1940s here, as Wolfie must share his sandbox with the "undying monster" & the two get along well for the most part, but eventually, even the best of friends will have their disputes....
The film begins on a very high note, with one of the most chilling and atmospheric openings in any horror movie. The potential was certainly here for a great 'Wolf Man' sequel that could've surpassed the original. Too bad the monster has to rear his ugly, stitched up head.
Speaking of that monster, "Poor Bela" always get the blame dumped on him for why this film had to be chopped up in post-production, the story always being that the monster with his voice was simply too "Hungarian funny", yet this film was produced by the same Universal that a year earlier made "Ghost of Frankenstein" which featured the monster with Bela's voice. It didn't bother anyone then, so what was the problem now? There has to be more to the story than "it was all Lugosi's fault". Would it be considered out of the realm of possibility to speculate that perhaps the great Curt Siodmak (the screenwriter) wrote some seriously crappy dialogue for the creature to recite that would've produced titters no matter who spoke it?
Also marring the proceedings a bit is some shaky continuity in regards to the monster's portion of the story if you're familiar with the previous 'Ghost' movie. How is it, that there's suddenly a Frankenstein castle in Vasaria (or is it Vi·Saria), when in the previous film, the villagers in the town called "Frankenstein" blew it up. And there are many instances where the screenwriter doesn't seem to know the difference between Ludwig Frankenstein & his father Henry who made the monster, as Talbot, the villagers, even Baroness Frankenstein speak as if Ludwig actually created the monster.
And yet, in spite of its inconsistencies (not to mention the heavy editing done to it), the whole of 'FMTWM' still turns out very good, and the ending clash of the monsters is very entertaining. While Frankenstein fans may be disappointed, this picture definitely works as a great 'Wolf Man' sequel & one of the top Universal romps from the 1940s. After this picture, Dracula and a few other fiends would get invited to the monster party.
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