Saturday, April 5, 2008

Werewolf SMASH!

Movie • THE WEREWOLF • 1956
This one’s been eating a hole in my DVR for a long time, but now I wish I’d watched it earlier. I was a little leery because I never really loved Lon Chaney, Jr.’s The Wolfman from 1941. This werewolf, played by Steven Ritch is much more convincing. Not so much the make-up or effects. That was pretty standard, and not much of a leap for a decade and a half later. But his acting was superb. A bit melodramatic at times, but that appeared to be the director’s instruction.
It began with narration very much in they style of a detective story, with storyboarding leaving me wondering why not much else from the 50’s looks this good. The angles were brilliant and the shadows were delicious. All of it was artfully done, though, at one point I was reminded that these times were a bit different when a patient was smoking in the doctor’s office.
It was interesting to see that this werewolf in particular didn’t need a full moon to change. It was kind of random, but I’ll leave that plot device for you to discover. It seemed fear, anger and pain triggered his changes. Sounds a lot like The Hulk. I half expected to hear, “Mr. McGee, don’t make me fuzzy. You wouldn’t like me when I’m fuzzy,” but there was no one named Mr. McGee ;)
Werewolf SMASH!

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