“Lawrence Talbot died four years ago. Your man’s an imposter.”
Two men break into the Talbot family crypt looking for something to steal. They open the grave of Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.). Unluckily for them it is a full moon. They remove the wolfsbane that is laid on his body. When the moonlight shines on him he comes alive.
Later Talbot is found by the Cardiff police. He has suffered a head wound. They take him to the hospital where he is treated by Dr. Mannering (Patric Knowles). Eventually he realizes that he is once again alive and still a werewolf. He begins killing again. Dr. Mannering doesn’t believe his werewolf story. Inspector Owen (Dennis Hoey) tries to question him. When Talbot gets irate he is tied down. The doctor and the detective go to the village of Llanwelly to investigate Talbot’s claims. While they are away, Talbot escapes his bonds and runs off into the countryside. He knows he needs to find the gypsy woman Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya). She may be his only hope to try to find a way to break the curse. She takes him to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein’s castle in Vasaria. Perhaps he can help.
When they get to Vasaria they find that Frankenstein is dead. Then a young woman is killed and the villagers blame a wolf. Seeing Talbot they chase him. He falls through the floor of the burned out castle and ends up in a cellar. There he finds Frankenstein’s monster. He locates Frankenstein’s daughter Elsa (Ilona Massey) and poses as a buyer for the old estate hoping to be able to find some notes in the ruins that could help him.
Dr. Mannering shows up having chased Talbot all over Europe. When Mannering finds out about the monster he immediately wants to study him. Elsa has her father’s notes and wants to help so everybody heads for Ludwig’s old laboratory. Since the laboratory is in ruins they need to do some rapid repair work. The villagers are not happy to see scientific instruments being uncrated back at the Frankenstein estate. They know that anything that goes on in that castle never bodes well for them. Dr. Mannering is now in full blown mad scientist mode. He aims to juice the monster back to full strength. Unfortunately he decides to do it on the night of a full moon.
“Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” was released in 1943 and was directed by Roy William Neill. Produced one year after “The Ghost of Frankenstein” it is even more involved plot-wise. In order to make this work they need to get both the dead werewolf and the dead monster together and make them alive. Then they need to get them into the same place. Then they need to have a story that will tie the two together. Then they had to carefully blend the two separate stories together so that they looked a little like two sequels in one. Nice try. The story may be a little farfetched but the special effects are quite good. And it’s still a fun movie for a dark and stormy night.
Bela Lugosi is now playing the monster. Seems appropriate since in the last Frankenstein movie his brain was put into the monster’s head. Of course Bela wasn’t happy when all of his lines were cut from the movie. Unfortunately I didn’t find him a good monster. I’m afraid I’m a little biased in that I liked Karloff so much in the role. The German Shepard Moose reprises his role as a dog from “The Wolfman”.