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Sunday, October 16, 2011

She-Wolf of London (1946)

As I sat down to watch She-Wolf, I was expecting the female version of Lon Chaney Jr's iconic Wolf Man with wonderful make up by Jack Pierce.  I was also lured by leading lady June Lockhart who played the mom on Lost In Space.  I loved her as a kid and figured this film was going to be a total home run...but it wasn't.  It was just O.K. 
The strong points are 1) Lockhart's acting.  It's not as tortured as Chaney but she gives a nice performance nonetheless.  2) Beautiful sets.  Somehow this film feels like it borrowed these sets from another movie but they are really nice.  3) Good cinematography and directing.  It is a well made film.
The weak point are 1) Jack Pierce is listed as the make up artist but his talents are totally wasted.  We never see the face of the She-Wolf anywhere in the film.  In some films less is more, but She-Wolf desperately needs an on-screen monster.  2) False advertising.  This film is billed as the next big thing from Universal Horror.  However, what the audience actually gets looks a lot more like a Val Lewton thriller than a Creature Feature.  3) The script is predictable every step of the way.  You know exactly where this film is headed and it does nothing to expand the mythos of the werewolf.
She-Wolf of London is a decent film.  I just can't get too excited about it.  We've seen it all before and it was done better.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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