Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, a Universal Studios production, was directed by Roy William Neill. The film came to movie theaters in the United States on March 5th, 1943. Curt Sidomak completed the original screenplay as the writer.
The opening of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man appears ominous. Two grave robbers break into the tomb of Larry Talbot, the Wolf Man. The film follows the violent journey of The Wolf Man as he searches for the whereabouts of Frankenstein. The Wolf Man discovers frozen in the ice, Frankenstein's creature, who he sets free. He meets with Baroness Elsa Frankenstein, who leads him to Frankenstein's life work The Secret of Life and Death. Frankenstein's secrets are revealed, and the characters prepare to continue his gruesome work.
Relevant Themes Edit
Deep Sleep Edit
Deep sleep appears as a relevant theme throughout Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Larry Talbot awakes after his tomb becomes opened during a full moon. He undergoes vast changes in his appearance and becomes the Wolf Man. This seems strange to the characters within the film because Larry Talbot died four years ago and one inspector claims to have attended his funeral. A good possibility of Talbot having been bit before he died seems like a practical reason for his current state. The robbers who opened his grave unleashed the beast from his sleep. Frankenstein's creature also experiences deep sleep. Talbot runs into an old mine shaft. Beneath the earth, Talbot discovers the creature frozen in ice. He knocks the ice out around him and pulls him out, the creature lives and has re-awoken.
Monster Rally Edit
A pertinent theme in the narrative of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is the idea of monster rally. Monster rally was a stunt made by Universal studios to get the most out of their picture productions. Monster rally generally included Frankenstein's creature, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Invisible Man and The Mummy. Another term for the same theme, monster mash, generally included Universal horror icons that could generate considerable capital. Monster rally occurs in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man between Frankenstein's creature and the Wolf Man. The two team up together and watch each other's backs, however they fight one another at the end of the show. The victor of the battle remains unknown, primarily because after an unruly town person destroys the dam, the water flows into both monsters.
Power, whether in super strength or knowledge, maintains a great role within the film, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. The first instance of power occurs with Talbot, or The Wolf Man. His super strength and curse seem supernatural within the narrative. His ability of immunity proves the greatest of strengths. The creature also maintains a supernatural power of immunity and super strength. The creature becomes unleashed by Talbot in the old ruins of Frankenstein's fortress; Talbot frees the creature from a block of ice. Once Dr. Mannering reads into Frankenstein's life work, The Secret of Life and Death, he obtains a secret knowledge that explains the supernatural powers from the two monsters. He reads in Frankenstein's book that energy may be transferred from an indestructible force. He learns that Frankenstein's creation may have the life of more than a 100 men. Dr. Mannering abuses this power. When Mannering experiments with the transfer of power between the two monsters, he goes against his word because he doesn't want to destroy Frankenstein's creation without experiencing its most powerful state. He decides to super charge Frankenstein's creation. The two monsters then fight, but the film never explicitly shows the victor.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man earned a score of 25 percent from film critics. The audience scored this film at around 57 percent. This film appears panned by most. Felix Vasquez Jr. contributed in a review, "Middling Universal horror fodder, at best." Paul Chambers from Movie Chambers noted in a review, "As a kid, I enjoyed this movie much more than I do as an adult. All those great Universal monsters in a single film. Even Dracula shows up. But, these days, FMWM seems contrives and dull." Another prominent critic, Tim Brayton of Antagony and Ecstasy concluded, " Pretty much the end of Universal's horror line as a home for even the vaguest kind of serious film making." Many critics had an issue with Frankenstein's creature in the film. They consider him as clumsy. What these critics do not consider is the hint that the creature is blind. The viewer can notice this during the scene where Talbot discovers him within the ice. The shot of the creature's eyes indicate this and the apparent reason for this must be deduced to the fact that he was frozen. Viewers can gather this also from the fight scene at the end of the film. The creature grabs items to launch randomly and just swings for The Wolf Man. The Wolf Man knows this and tries to hide from the creature.
Significance of Adaptation Edit
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man brings an interesting discussion about monsters into discussion with other narratives in the several adaptations of Frankenstein. Universal productions decided to mix and mash two creatures into one film. This had never been done before this film. One could say, it appears almost as two separate short films. The first half appears predominantly focused on the narrative of The Wolf Man, whereas the second half of the film focuses more on the narrative of Frankenstein. This probably could account for a great deal of satisfaction with the audience of its time, an epic fight scene between two legendary horror icons at the end of the film. Universal's monster mash seems relevant in this adaptation, but also many other Universal horror icons unite in later films.
"Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man." Imdb. Imdb.com. Web. 1 May. 2015. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035899/?ref_=nv_sr_1>
"Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man." Rotten Tomatoes. Rottentomatoes.com. Web. 1 May. 2015. <http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/frankenstein_meets_the_wolf_man/>