It's the original film of another of the top Universal monsters on MeTV this week- as Lon Chaney Jr. steps into the role he is most famous for in fright films- "The Wolf Man"!
The story, of course- young Lawrence Talbot returns to his family's ancestral home in England, to heal his relationship with his father, and get to know the local folk- especially Gwen, a young shop girl who catches his eye! He purchases a walking stick with a silver wolf as the handle-and eventually convinces her to go out with him- and she, in turn, invites along her girlfriend Jenny!
They visit a gypsy camp, ostensibly to get their fortunes told, and Larry and Gwen wander off while Jenny goes first. The fortune teller, Bela (played by the most famous Bela of all!), sees the sign of the pentagram on her hand- and abruptly sends her away into the moors! Larry and Gwen suddenly hear her shrieks- and Larry searches her out- seeing her being attacked by a wolf! He beats the wolf to death with his walking stick, getting bitten in the process- but, when the local authorities come to investigate- they find the body of- a man!
In a return to the gypsy camp- Larry meets the wise old gypsy Maleva- who reveals that the "wolf" he killed was her son Bela- who transformed into a werewolf- and warns him that, now that he is bitten- he too will become a wolf when the full moon rises! Sadly, Larry learns that she speaks the truth- and begins to realize the horrible curse he has inherited! Full moon mayhem and murder ensue- and the Wolf Man spreads terror through the village, while Talbot tries to come to terms with the circumstances that turn him into a monster!
This 1941 film is only the beginning for the Larry Talbot character, who went on to appear in four additional Universal films. This one boasts a cast including not only Lon Chaney Jr., but also the great Claude Rains- Evelyn Ankers, the afore-mentioned Bela Lugosi, Maria Ouspenskya, and Ralph Bellamy, among others. We'll provide info about the cast- and, in a special segment, with information and photographs provided by Cortlandt Hull, explain why the werewolf make-up in this film was NOT used by his great-uncle Henry Hull in "Werewolf of London"- as we also set the record straight on some rumors about Henry and the make-up that have been around since the 1930s!
Also- a special guest drops by- you may have seen him as Kurt, the Russian pal of "Ant-Man"- he's David Dastmalchian, a longtime Sven fan who graces our dungeon studio with his hilarious presence! And- there's a new Sven song as well- so, consider this show a pre-Valentine treat from us to you!
"Wolf Man" lurks tonight at 10 pm eastern/pacific, 9 central, or, check for channel and time in your local listings or at www.metv.com - and, in Chicago, viewers get a second look at Bela Lugosi in "Murders in the Rue Morgue" on our sister station WCIU- the U-at 11 am!
Make sure you check out the appearances tab on our site- we're appearing at a special fundraiser at the end of the month that you may want to attend!
Tune in tonight for a classic- with new Sven content added- just bring your own wolfbane!