Sunday, September 27, 2009

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, What Could Have Been

I love Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, it has to be one of my all time favorite films. From the opening in the crypt where the Wolf Man is resurrected by the light of the moon to the final battle between the two title characters, it's just a monster junkie's best fix.

But with all fixes, there's the come down after the high, and FMTWM has one big downer for monster fans.

At the end of Ghost of Frankenstein Ygor played by Bela Lugosi has his brain implanted in the body of Lon Chaney Jr. as the Monster, and we get to hear the Monster talk with Lugosi's voice. Because Ygor's and the Monster's blood type are different the Ygor/Monster goes blind before a fiery house collapses on him.

The script for FMTWM has the blind and weakened Monster, still with Ygor's brain, buried in an ice cave that must of been under the house that burned to the ground in the last movie. Bela Lugosi was hired as the Monster so the voice would match the end of Ghost of Frankenstein. Ironic since Lugosi walked away from playing the Monster twelve years earlier.

Apparently there was an early screening of a cut with Lugosi speaking the monster's lines went badly and Universal re-cut the film taking out any reference to the Monster talking or being blind. This made Lugoi's stumbling, arms out stretched, blind Monster look stilted. Critics often put the movie down and sight the Lugosi's Monster as a low point, not understanding that Lugosi was actually doing what the script called for.

Instead of a mute mindless Monster, we could of had a sinister Monster wanting to be powerful again. It adds a dimension to the character that could of been expanded upon in the next movie, but it was not to be.

Today no footage of Lugosi's originally filmed scenes exist. The original screen play which was published in the 1990's (it's out of print now) so we can use our imaginations to try and recreate what we today would of found to be a great performance.

Below is the trailer for FMTWM.

Until Next Time, Stay Insane!

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