Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)


Director Ron William Neill’s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” is a sequel to “The Wolfman” and a prequel to “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” One of the many future crossovers for monsters, Neill’s movie is often incoherent, but at least delivers on the promise of the wolf man meeting Frankenstein. They only do battle for about four minutes in the finale, but technically they cross paths, so your expectations should be low for this sequel. The reasoning for bringing the characters together stretches all ideas of logic and suspension of disbelief. So “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” is really a process of asking the audience to willingly ignore its inconsistencies and wait for the monsters to meet up and fight.

After the death of Larry Talbot in the first “The Wolfman,” thieves break in to the tombs of the Talbot family to crack open his coffin. Apparently he was buried with a lot of valuables, so the thieves want to cash in. I’d have buried him with a spike of silver lodged in his corpses, but that’s neither here nor there. After cracking his coffin open, a cracked window shines the light of the moon on Talbot’s body, reviving him in to the wolf man once again, to wreak havoc. After Talbot comes back to life, he re-emerges without any memory of his past life, or his curse. Where is Larry’s father? Regardless, Larry soon enough discovers he can become a werewolf, and seeks to end the curse permanently. He does so by going to the Castle of Frankenstein where he seeks out the notes of Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein.

Frankenstein inexplicably has the clues to end Talbot’s life through scientific-like methods that are never quite explained. But he’s convinced it will end his misery. While there, he uncovers the body of the monster encased in ice, and takes to the town to violently end what is one of the goofiest musical numbers shoe horned in a monster movie I’ve ever seen. As the monster wreaks havoc, Talbot gives in to his urges, and they do battle. For all of the movie’s faults and ridiculous plot devices, Chaney still injects a lot of urgency and sadness to Talbot, who is cursed with becoming a monster and murdering people. Bela Lugosi on the other hand, just looks silly as the monster, presenting a more emaciated and shorter appearance for the once hulking beast. “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” is middling Universal horror fodder, at best. While Chaney is still golden as Talbot, I would have much preferred a true “The Wolfman” follow up.