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Classic Monster Mayhem
on 6 September 2008
Staying up late in the late 70's and early 80's, I fell in love with the classic Universal Monster movies and have desired to purchase them all again for sentimental reasons. After managing to acquire a few - the rest were contained in a 'Monster Legacy' box set way too expensive on region 2 format, I was pleasantly surprised to discover on my browsing in Amazon that Universal have released them as single volume purchases.
For me the sequals were what I remember fondly. And they were always the ones hard to get hold of.
Frankenstein meets the Wolfman is the usual Universal fare. Larry Talbot - AKA the wolfman - is awoken from his grave by graverobbers and after a killing spree finds himself in a hospital in Cardiff - yes Cardiff! I had to skip back to make sure I'd not misheard or drunk too much real ale myself - and trys to convince doctors that he is a murdering wolf by moonlight and is seeking a cure. Classic Lon Chaneys pleading cries of 'Can you help me? Oh please say you can.' just add to the dark gothic humour of the film.
He escapes the hospital and makes it across the water to eastern europe where he discovers the frozen Frankenstein monster, played by Bela Lugosi - and cast totally wrongly in the role, I'm afaid to say. Nonetheless, Talbot trys to get the monster to find the late doctors notes which may cure him without success, and it is only a meeting with Baroness Frankenstein which secures them.
After Talbots doctor at the hospital in Cardiff tracks him down and gets obsessed - what a surprise! - with doctor Frankensteins creation, his focus turns to the monster becoming stronger with no thought for poor Larry Talbots dilema at all.
It all turns nasty, the monsters apparently die and the villagers are happy that yet another mad doctor is no more.
If you like Universal Monster movies, then purchase the movie for the sake of owning it. Theres nothing cerebral about it, it's done on a budget,the casting of Bela Lugosi as the monster is awful, the plot is flimsy, but it's full of gothic charm, moody villagers, fantastic 1940's style, filmed in black and white and is just somehow charming!