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Ceris 31 Days of Horror Challenge: The Wolf Man

Right, I’ve already got my reservations about this one - it’s one of the original monster films and they are verrrry boring. Although I have learnt this film is set in Wales so it’s already looking more positive.

After Larry purchases a silver-headed walking stick that represents a werewolf, he is attacked by a creature of folklore. He then transforms into a wolf every full moon and hunts for prey.

My first observation is there are a lot of American accents in 1941 Wales.

Larry Talbot returns to Llanwelly, Wales to bury his brother who has recently died, and to visit his estranged father, Sir John. Larry falls in love with a local girl called Gwen, who happens to run an antique shop. Now rather than just being a man and going over to talk to her, he buys a walking stick with a wolfs head on it – I bet this will come in later – and she tells him it represents a werewolf, and it sees a pentagram on the palm of its next victim. The villagers of Llanwelly are obviously very superstitious because they recite a poem whenever /werewolf’ is mentioned.

Even a man who is pure in heart, and says his prayers by night;

May become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

Now Gwen isn’t interested in Larry’s advances but does agree to go for a drink that night – Larry might just get lucky after all. Never mind, Gwen brought her friend Jenny, and they are seeing the local Romani fortune teller, Bela, to have their own fortunes told. Bela sees a pentagram on Jenny’s hand, shits herself and sends her away. Gwen and Larry have gone for a walk while Jenny is getting her fortune told, and Gwen tells him that she is engaged, but the awkwardness is quickly interrupted by Jenny’s scream.

Larry tries to rescue Jenny who funnily enough is being attacked by a wolf – never saw that coming. He manages to kill the wolf, but it bites him on the chest. Police arrive at the scene and find Jenny’s throat has been torn out, and Bela the fortune teller battered to death, with Larry’s walking stick clearly being the murder weapon. Larry and Gwen are immediately under suspicion, especially as they weren’t with Jenny when she was attacked, oh that and the fact that Larry’s bite wound has vanished – also everyone suspects them of having an affair. Everyone except Frank, Gwen’s fiancé.

Bela’s mother, Maleva, tells Larry that the wolf was Bela transformed, and that Larry is now a werewolf too because he was bitten by one. She explains that silver is the only think that can kill a werewolf, and gives him a charm to prevent the transformation, however Larry isn’t sure so gives the charm to Gwen for protection. As he was warned, Larry turns into a human/wolf hybrid and kills a local villager, not that he remembers it. The police believe the attacks are the result of a wolf – well duh – and set up traps to catch the beast and sends out hunting parties. The following night, Larry in his wolf form, manages to get stuck in one of the traps, but Maleva uses a spell to temporarily change him back to a human so he can escape.

Larry now knows he is a werewolf and decides to leave town – probably for the best hun, small Welsh villages don’t have many people so killing them off one by one isn’t helping matters. He goes and says goodbye to Gwen but sees a pentagram on her palm – sorry Gwen, was nice knowing you.

He goes and tells his father he is a werewolf and that he killed Bela and the other villager, but his father thinks he is nuts – I would too – and ties him to a chair. Right on cue, he is back as a werewolf and the restraints are no match for him so he escapes and attacks Gwen. Sir John comes to her rescue by smacking him over the head with the silver cane, not realising he just killed his son. Maleva arrives and again uses magic to reveal the werewolf in is fact Larry – hun why couldn’t you have done this sooner.

So this was better than Frankenstein but still not my favourite. This wasn't my cup of tea at all. Not been overly fussed on most of the classic Universal Monsters films I've seen to date.


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