Saturday, October 9, 2010

Monster by Moonlight! The Immortal Saga of 'The Wolf Man' (1999)

Director: David J Skal

Starring: John Landis, Rick Baker

More info: IMDb

Plot: Starting with The Wolf Man (in 1941), Universal Studios made five movies featuring The Wolf Man, a character portrayed by Lon Chaney, Jr. Monster by Moonlight! explores these movies. Rick Baker explains how the make-up was done on Chaney's character. Screenwriter Curtis Siodmak took very little from earlier werewolf legends, providing his own story for some of the films. This documentary displays clips from several other movies, including Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and House of Dracula (1945).

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

Other than three trailers and one commentary (for THE WOLF MAN (1941)), this is the last of the special features in the Wolf Man Universal Legacy Collection box set. Oh, I almost forgot about the lame Stephen Sommers featurette which is nothing more than a blatant plug for his VAN HELSING (2004) movie which I still haven't seen (no rush). It's a little over a half hour long and covers the Universal werewolf pictures with some detail regarding Jack Pierce's makeup, score and screenplay (courtesy of the man himself, Curt Siodmak). It can be interesting, even though it's just a glorified fluff piece to advertise Universal's video catalog, but there is a lot of footage from the films that feels like padding. It's fun but don't expect an awful lot from it. But you don't have to buy the big ass box set like I did just to get the cool as shit busts...just start watching the video above.

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