Frank ’n Wolf
Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943) was a box office masterstroke, pitting two of the world’s greatest monsters in a no-disqualifications battle royale. Although considered a horror classic, look under the marquee and you’ll see it wasn’t as epic as the title promised.
Yeah, everyone thought Larry Talbot, the beleaguered werewolf, died at the end of The Wolf Man (1941). Even the grave robbers looking to pilfer the tomb of Talbot thought so. That is until they popped the top and allowed the light of the full moon to revive Larry’s corpse, enabling him to go on a throat-ripping spree.
He’s put in hospital by ranting and raving he’s responsible for the community throat-ripping while in wolf form. Oh, Larry – you so crazy! Gooned out to the point of having to go through all those hairy experiences again, Larry breaks out and seeks Maleva, the old gypsy woman whose wolf-y son bit Talbot’s tummy and passed along the curse. She tells him there is no cure, but might know someone who does. So off they go by horse and buggy from London to Germany. That’s around 700 miles. Long time to be sitting next to a ticking time bomb.
Arriving in Germany, Larry and Maleva ask around town about Dr. Frankenstein, who just happens to have a working knowledge of life and death. More so with death as he died. This makes Larry super bummed. He then gets the idea to root around the semi destroyed Castle Frankenstein (Sorry – spoiler. It was ka-BOOMED back in 1931) for the dead doc’s diary to see if there’s a way to end his immortality.
It’s here he stumbles across Frankenstein’s monster encased in ice. Pretty cold and snowy in them there parts, even though the lowlands are quite weather agreeable. Not the lowland residents, though. Doesn’t take much to get them in the mood for a little pitchforkin’.
Larry and Frank break the ice and become allies of sorts. The monster tries to show him where the diary is, but to no avail. Heading into town, Larry fakes a land purchase so he can meet the super hot Baroness Elsa Frankenstein and perhaps get clues to the diary’s whereabouts. About this time Larry’s London doc, who had been trailing him, shows up. Then the monster wanders into town, getting everybody super freaked. They all barely escape the pitchfork and head to the castle.
NOW we get to the juice. The diary is located, the doctor reassembles the machinery and figures out how to reverse the polarity of electricity on the wired patients and… Dang, he just can’t do it as he suddenly gets a God Complex and wants to make the monster even stronger. As it happens when you mix electricity with monsters on a full moon night, you have problems.
Larry furs up and the two abominations go at it. And here’s where slight disappointment sets in. The monumental battle only lasts 60 seconds, with Franklin throwing the Wolf Man around like a stuffed animal. But I’ll give this to Larry; the boy is quick and agile. While they lock up, one of the villagers lights a pile of dynamite at the foot of the damn the castle is built in front of, thereby releasing the damn’s contents and destroying the rest of the castle and the monsters with it. I think the handsome doc and hot Baroness made it out safely and probably hooked up. I’m fine with that.
FYI: This is not the original Frankenstein’s monster. Dracula played the mute creature this time around. Cool, but not as cool as the original.