To quote the late great Warren Zevon- “better stay away from him- he’ll rip your lungs out, Jim!” Tonight on MeTV , we again meet up with Universal horror’s original wolf man- as he prowls the streets of the British empire when he becomes the “Werewolf of London”!
The story opens in Tibet- where botanist/scientist Wilfred Glendon and an associate have traveled in search for a very rare plant – which only grows there, and only blooms in the light of the full moon! Just when he finally has found the plant- and is about to take the specimen- he is jumped by some sort of creature, which bites him while they struggle. He manages to escape, along with the special blossom that he came for!
He returns home to London, his laboratory, and his darling wife Lisa- but is so obsessive about the plant that he seems to be neglecting her and her party guests. One guest seeks him out- a Dr. Yogami, who knows a great deal about the mysterious moon-blooming plant- and reveals that the blossom is a temporary cure for, as he puts it, “werewolfery”- the tragic transformation of anyone bitten by a werewolf! Wilfred tries to scoff at the story- but soon finds that the bite he received in Tibet has indeed had that awful effect on him, whenever he encounters the full moon light! He thinks the blossom can help him- but mysterious circumstances end up depriving him of the cure- and Wilfred heads out into London town to seek out victims!
Plagued by his curse, and frantically trying to achieve one more blossom from the plant, his research puts even more of a strain on his marriage, as Lisa spends more and more time with a childhood boyfriend- and Wilfred continues to try to keep himself- and others – safe from his transformed self. The most frightening aspect of all is the fact stated in the legend- that a werewolf will seek out and kill what he loves the most! Not only is the plant rare, but- Lisa appears to be an endangered species! Can Wilfred finally be cured- or will a mysterious rival for the blossom get to it first?
This 1935 classic was, indeed ,the first werewolf film in the Universal horror films- and we’ll tell you about the cast-including a starring actor from a favorite detective movie series- along with the story of the true origin of the make-up design, as told to us by Henry Hull’s great nephew, Cortlandt- complete with photos from the Hull family archives! Cortlandt had personally asked us to refute a long-standing rumor about why his great uncle did not want to use make-up artist Jack Pierce’s original design, which later became the standard as used for Lon Chaney’s “Wolf Man”! You’ll hear the full story-and we also have a new song for this movie- so, there’s plenty to look forward to for Sven fans and werewolf fans alike!
“Werewolf of London” airs tonight on MeTV at 10 pm eastern/pacific, 9 central, and you can check for time and channel where you are in your local listings , or at www.metv.com . We have gotten word that a station in Washington D.C. has dropped MeTV, and know many fans are upset – please check at metv.com to see if you can pick up our Baltimore station, or one of the other nearby MeTV stations. Chicago viewers who can stand it can see the last movie from our February Godzilla month- “Godzilla’s Revenge”- at 11 am on our sister station, WCIU, the U!
As I mentioned in the Sven March newsletter, I am honored to again be nominated as “favorite horror host” in the annual national “Rondo Awards”- please feel free to vote for whoever your favorite is, and in as few or as many categories as you wish- just remember to include your name in the e-mail and – remember you can only vote ONCE- or your vote will not count. You’ll find the ballot and complete instructions at www.rondoaward.com ! You must get your vote in before midnight, April 16th!
Tonight, cast your vote -with your remote-on MeTV for the original lycanthrope- the “Werewolf of London”! (Wait- is it legal for Americans to vote for a Brit?!)