Archive for the Werewolves Category

The Wolf Man goes Solo

Posted in Universal, Werewolves with tags , , on 18 November, 2008 by Cavan

wolf man han solo I wonder where the team behind Universal’s new Wolf Man movie looked for inspiration for costumes?

If this early shot of the Mezco action figure is anything to go by, its the pilot that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.

Well, Han always had a soft spot for walking carpets.

Curse of the Werewolf

Posted in Werewolves with tags , on 16 November, 2008 by Cavan

wolf-712209Tags
‘He fought the hideous curse of his evil birth, but his ravished victims were proof that the cravings of his beast-blood demanded he kill… Kill… KILL!’

‘He had but one body – yet lived with two souls!’

‘Half-man… Half-wolf’

‘Even the innocent girl who loved him was not safe… once the full moon rose!’

Director Terence Fisher
Writer Guy Endore (novel), Anthony Hinds (screenplay)

Stars Clifford Evans (Don Alfredo Corledo), Oliver Reed (Leon Corledo), Yvonne Romain (Jailer’s Daughter), Catherine Feller (Cristina Fernando), Anthony Dawson (Marques Siniestro) Richard Wordsworth (Beggar)

Certificate X
Year 1961

Dastardly Plot
An old beggar stumbles on the wedding of the local Marques and his buxom wife (well, this is a Hammer film) After the rotter makes the hobo dance for his supper he promptly chucks him in jail. Years later, the beggar’s been left to rot, cared only by the jailer’s mute but (obviously) buxom daughter. He’s not alone for long though as, after the daughter resisted the Marques advances she’s also thrown in the clink where, to thank her for her years of kindness the beggar rapes her. On being released from behind bars she takes no time in stabbing the Marques and running off, only to nearly drown in the local lake. Found by Don Corledo she promptly has a baby and shuffles off this mortal coil to leave her cursed son in Corledo’s hands.
(Have you worked out this isn’t a happy film yet?)
After a trouble childhood of worrying sheep and therefore worrying his parents even more, young Leon grows up to be the spitting image of Olly Reed and promptly falls in love with a surprisingly not so buxom lass in all of 23 seconds. But can their love survive the fact that he gets a bit hairy when the moon is full?
Probably not…

Vicious Verdict
Let’s make no bones about it – Curse of the Werewolf is one grim movie. Don’t be expecting much in the way of comic relief here. The, slightly overlong, introduction to Leon’s parentage reveals a succession of characters that are mad, bad or scuicidal. Then as poor Leon enters manhood the curse weighs heavy on every scene with the wolfy-one murdering left, right and centre and then torturing himself in the aftermath.

Unfortunately, for all its pathos, the film hardly rarely raises the interest levels. There are plenty of original ideas, such as the fact that the lyncanthropy is a result of a curse from heaven for an unwanted baby being born on Christmas day rather than the traditional bite, but these are lost in the general tedium of the affair.

And you have to wonder why Fisher decided to wait so long to finally reveal the werewolf itself. The iconic make-up only goes under the moonlight in the last ten minutes or so, wasting the monster in a pointless romp around spanishesque buildings in an obvious case of padding. Yes, the reason was probably so that the film examined a man wrestling with his internal demons and struggling with an unescapable fate, but at the end of the day this is a Hammer monster movie and the people would have flocked to the cinema to see the monster itself. It’s a little too little too late.

No-wonder the box-office results didn’t prompt Hammer to go down the werewolf route again.

Terrifying Trivia 

  • The film is based on Guy Endore’s 1944 novel, The Werewolf of Paris which was originally optioned by Universal who later subcontracted it to Hammer. The company had been working on The Inquisitor, a project concerning the Spanish Inquisition but had taken the decision to drop the production after threats of condemnation by the Catholic Church. However, to at least salvage the expensive sets, the werewolf was transfered from France to a decidenly Kent-like Spain.
  • In one of the earlier drafts the beggar was also a werewolf but the censor decided that sex plus supernatural equaled one step too far.

Quaking Quotes
“A werewolf is a body where a soul and a spirit are constantly at war. Whatever weakens the human spirit, this brings the spirit of the werewolf to the fore. And whatever weakens the spirit of the beast… warmth, fellowship, love… raises the spirit of the soul…”

High Points 
The child with unnaturally hairy arms, the baptism’s ‘rejection’ of the cursed child, the iconic werewolf (don’t say Wolfman if you don’t want to be sued) make-up.

Low Points 
The fact that our anti-hero isn’t exactly known for his charm and yet manages to form a deep and meaningful relationship in less time that it would take Casanova to tie his shoe-laces. Hasn’t he heard that being too keen can scare aware a woman?

Skulls (out of five)

2skulls

Save the Werewolves

Posted in Werewolves on 31 October, 2008 by Cavan

How many times have we heard this story? Parents bring home their children a rabid creature from the darkest pit of hell for a special Halloween treat. They think it’s all cute at first, the hideous mutations, the mountains of bloody corpses, the way it wakes up the next day naked and confused in the local zoo, its eyebrows meeting in the middle….
And then, as November rolls on, the novelty wears off. Soon the werewolf finds itself abandoned, with hundreds in danger every year of being drowned in the local brook or, worse of all, finding themselves at the wrong end of a silver bullet.

If we’re not careful, our grandchildren will only experience werewolves in captivity. No danger of them being ravished by one if they wander off the path and then being forced to go home with a fit nurse with a fondness for showers – when they’re not being plagued by the endless, recurring nightmares of nazi zombies hiding behind their curtains of course. No more innocent souls tormented by their inner demon and doomed to end their days being hunted down and shot like a wild animal.

Is that the kind of world you want them to live in?

So, when you consider bringing home a changeling for this 31st October remember that a Lyncanthope is for life, not just for Halloween…

This campaign could change our world for the better and ensure that the curse of the lonely werewolf will continue throughout this century and being. Please consider signing up and pledging your support and watch this space for the wallpapers, button badges and campaign t-shirts…

Together we can Save the Werewolves

Dracula Meets The Wolfman # 1

Posted in Comics, Dracula, Werewolves with tags , , , on 31 October, 2008 by Cavan

“How similar love and hunger are. Both make a man want. And both Man will kill for.”

Any fan of 1970s fantasy art knows the name Frank Frazetta. His covers for Tarzan and Conan are legendary, but while I’m no fan of sword ‘n’ sorcery, I love both his sci-fi pulp covers and his dabblings in classic horror. Take Dracula meets the Wolf Man for example. Originally appeared on the cover to Creepy #7, which hit the newsstand in 1965, its a wonderfully gothic compostition, complete with ruined cathedral and graveyard. I used to have a dog-eared poster of this on my wall when I was a kid so was very excited when I saw this one-shot from Image.

This is one of the recent run of comics that attempts to tell the story behind the picture. Writing duties fall to 30 Days of Night‘s Steve Niles with art by Francesco Francavilla. Sounds good so far. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. The story is minimal and hardly world shattering; Drac needs to drink the blood of a virgin and is about to sink the old fangs in when her lover, a Loups Garoux pops up and they have a wrestle. And that’s about it. The climax is a bit of a cop-out and the abrupt ending irritates rather than leaves you gagging for more. 

This a comic that relies on nostalgia and buckets of atmosphere to save a razor-thin story and it almost pulls it off. Unfortuanately, almost isn’t enough. If it didn’t have Frank Frazetta’s name connected to it, Dracula Meets The Wolfman would be dismissed as an instantly forgettable and ultimately disappointingly unoriginal rehash. 

1 (out of 5) Tana Leaves