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(Review originally written at 19 October 2007)

Before there was "The Wolf Man", Universal made "Werewolf of London". This movie is not as well known or as good the Lon Chaney Jr. movie but it's a rather good genre movie on its own nevertheless.

The movie starts off in a good and mysterious horror way but also in a great and entertaining way, by introducing some fun typical upper-class British characters and dialog into the movie. Unforntunately it then takes quite a while before things start to kick off. The monstrous werewolf only makes his full entrance halve way through the movie.

It's funny to see how much similar the werewolf transformation sequences in this movie look to "The Wolf Man". The make-up effects in this movie are also almost the same and created by the same person, but only as a more lighter and less hairy version, since the actor Henry Hull disliked the time-consuming makeup application. The make-up effects in this movie are nevertheless rather good and convincing. Henry Hull is definitely almost unrecognizable underneath all of the make-up.

I also must say that I liked Henry Hull better as the werewolf than as his human character. It was a hard character too sympathize for, something that Lon Chaney Jr. did succeed in by the way. A reason why "The Wolf Man" is still a better movie than this one is. Also quite weird to see Warner Oland in this movie, since at the time he almost entirely only made Charlie Chan movies and he was very popular for it at the time. It therefor is a bit weird to see him in a different role in this movie.

The movie features lots of comedy, which makes this a very pleasant movie to watch. But it also takes away the tension at times when it isn't really needed to. It sort of prevents the movie from being a true tense and mysterious horror movie at times, though the potential for it was definitely there.

The story isn't that much special and rather simplistic. The movie doesn't offer any real surprises, although the story does has its moments. Also the climax of the movie feels rather rushed and sudden. The movie should at least had been 10 minutes longer, to let it reach a better and more satisfying less sudden conclusion.

It's still a good sort of forgotten Universal werewolf movie and a more than great watch for the Universal horror/classic horror movie lovers.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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