Few films run into the monumental production hiccups that have plagued The Wolfman from day one. With directors leaving, budgetary concerns, the firing and rehiring of Danny Elfman, and an emergency clean-up editing session after an LA screening it's not hard to understand why so many people considered this project a sinking ship. I have been following the woes of The Wolfman for some time but despite what I had read, possibly despite my better judgment, I went into the theater optimistic as a die-hard fan of the Universal monsters. Interestingly enough, this film is so patched together, so broken and stitched, that it more closely resembles Frankenstein's monster.
The tragic story of Lawrence Talbot is timeless. Here is a man cursed for reasons beyond his control; victimized by fate in the tradition of the protagonists of Shakespeare or Euripides. He is a man who becomes a monster upon the full moon and commits horrible atrocities that fill his heart with regret once the transformation is reversed. Lon Chaney, Jr., who played this role originally in several Universal films, brought so much sympathy to the part, particularly the scene in Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman wherein he is begging for someone to find a way to kill him, it was heartbreaking. You feel for this man and, though he is also a monster, you make an emotional connection.