Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.
My next movie recommendation this Halloween is “The Wolf Man” from 1941. The poem above is from the movie, recited by villagers whenever the topic of werewolves comes up.
Just in case you haven’t yet seen this classic, here’s a synopsis.
Larry Talbot returns to his ancestral home in Wales after having spent several years in the United States. Talbot stays with his father, and while trying to make amends with him, he also expresses his sorrow over the death of his older brother. But things become hairy when Talbot is bitten by a werewolf and becomes one himself. Transformed by the full moon, Talbot runs into the forest and has a fateful meeting with his father, Sir John, and his romantic interest, Gwen Conliffe.
Makeup artist Jack Pierce designed the famous makeup, which included using yak hair. Pierce also created the makeup for Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein monster.
When I was a child, I couldn’t watch this film. “The Wolf Man” makeup scared the shit out of me. No lie. I didn’t even consider watching it again until I was 30 – I made myself watch the movie and at the end of it, I was crying. I couldn’t believe how tragic the story was.
To this day, I never fail to have a lump in my throat when the movie ends.
And, of course, “The Wolf Man” was remade in 2010 starring Benicio Del Toro. No, I haven’t seen it and I most likely won’t. What I’ve come to realize is that Hollywood doesn’t remake crap, but they have a knack for turning a great movie into crap.
Moral of the blog: Stick to the original, you won’t be disappointed.