Friday, August 21, 2009

...and His Hair Was Perfect!

"Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers by night/Becomes a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the moon grows full and bright."

That infamous bit of doggeral from the original 1941 film, The Wolfman is first uttered by the late Maria Ouspenskaya, a Russian actress who would rise to marginal fame in Universal Studio's horror flicks from the 30's and 40's. When prodigal son Larry Talbot returns to the homeland, he is attacked by a peculiar beast and soon finds himself (via then state-of-the-art replacement photography) turning into a monster. Lon Chaney, Jr. - the less-talented son of "The Man of 1000 Faces" - had the titular role and no less than Claude Rains played his father and Bela Lugosi played the poor afflicted son of Ouspenskaya's ancient gyspy.

Now, the inevitable remake is soon upon us. Delayed for a very long time, The Wolf Man is finally scheduled for release in 2010. Sadly, it's in February of 2010. And you all know what that means. Or not. There have been those occasional February gems... I think... um, let me get back to you on that. Anyway. the good news is that is not being directed by The Mummy and Van Helsing (what a waste of everyone's time) schlockmeister, Stephen Sommers. The bad news, it's directed by Jurrasic Park III's Joe Johnston. Now Johnston is an okay director. I like The Rocketeer (I first feel in lust for Billy Campbell then) and Jumanji is just fun. Hell, I even enjoyed Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I haven't seen 2004's Hidalgo, but this is Johnston's first film since then. Six years is sometimes very long to be away in the business. JP3 was a complete piece of crap and I have to wonder whose fault that is. And Hidalgo didn't exactly break any box-office records, despite the presence of Viggo.

Alright, then. Here's the trailer for The Wolf Man, starring Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving and the amazing Geraldine Chaplin (!!!) as Maleva, the role that made Ms Ouspenskaya famous. Enjoy:

Mmmm... steak tartare...

Well, at least I know they'll never remake this 'classic:'

Oh wait! They did:

God bless Larry Cohen. Of course, watching that made me think of this:

I wonder if there's a Rifftrax version of Reign of Fire? There must be, don't you think? Oh, well. I suppose I should round the whole thing out with this trailer:

And maybe just one more:

"It's Scare-ewey!" Get it? Scary and screwy? Get it? And 10 bonus points to whoever can tell me what future icon of Horror has a voice cameo at the end of that last movie.

More, anon.


No comments: