By Nickolas Cook
The Black Glove Magazine
I was lucky enough to grow up in Jacksonville, Florida, a place that was on the cusp of becoming a major Southern industrial city. We had one of the major rock stations in the country- WAPE 'The Ape'. I heard the best of the best music. During the 70s and early 80s, the local television stations opened the market to cable channels. To fill the empty hours, many of those new channels did what local channels in larger cities had been doing for years: they created afternoon and late night movie shows centered around the old horror and sci-fi movies of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
As a kid I enjoyed such delights as 'Nightmare Nickelodeon' (Fri @ 11 PM), 'Monster Mash Theater' (Sat @ 1 PM) and 'Creature Feature' (Sun @ 3 PM)- as well as the several weekend long drive-in excursions. So needless to say I got a proper horror movie education every weekend.
I remember the first time I saw Universal's 'The Wolfman' (Saturday afternoon on good old Monster Mash Theater, purveyors of some of the best horror movies ever made). I was nine years old at the time and already so deeply in love with those old black and white horror and sci-fi giant bug movies that nothing could tear me away from the tv during the showing of one of them. I remember it was a rainy day, which meant no yelling from mom to go outside and play. I was safe with my first true love that sodden Florida afternoon- the day I became acquainted with hangdog faced Lon Chaney Jr and his particular problems with full moons and Wolf's Bane.
I'm sure if you're reading this, then you're probably already acquainted with screenwriter Curt Siodmak's madeup werewolf folklore, and with poor Larry Talbot's doomed midnight meeting with Bela Lugosi's hirsute gypsy lycanthrope personality.
I won't give the story blow by blow, but suffice it to say it's a tragedy of the first order, made believable in great part because of one of the best acting jobs of Chaney's (sometimes tragic) career.
Man, I got sucked into that movie heart first, and I was in tears by the end credits. Poor old Larry Talbot. Who could remain unsympathetic to a man who tries to stop the bloodshed, but makes it worse with every attempt? No one will believe him. Until it's too late. Much too late.
Now we come round again to yet another remake.
Yes, I know how I kick and scream against them; almost froth at the mouth with rage when I hear of yet another of my childhood favorites getting the subpar Hollywood remake treatment (which usually entails a subintelligent script coupled with a shitload of CGI effects to overcompensate for the fact that no one seems to know how to make a fucking horror movie anymore)
But, dear readers, I have great hope that this remake will remain true to the spirit of that original Universal horror tragedy which I fell in love with so long ago. I pray that it will. It certainly seems to have the right combination of big studio money, big name actors, a great production team and a doom ridden script.
It is my hope that if 'The Wolfman' remake does it right, and manages to make enough money to get morons in Hollywood sit up and take notice that an intelligent script can still earn some decent box office, then maybe they will pull the greats from the vaults and give them a decent remake.
Just don't put Brendan Fraser and his stupid ass lopsided smile in one of them.
The Black Glove Magazine