Directed by George Waggner
As Shocktober draws to a close for me, I think I have finally found the classic horror film I enjoyed the most. I have not seen the recent remake of this film, though I have found it interesting how all of these films do feature remakes. In fact, I had no interest in seeing the film. Perhaps now, with a bit of curiosity, I may decide to track it down one day, maybe for a future Shocktober, but really I must say that my enjoyment of this particular film stems quite a bit from the actors and the charisma with which they deliver their performances. Lon Chaney, another in a long line of names I have recognized during this particular series, and yet have truly never seen. But after seeing him here, I will certainly have to remedy that in the future.
He is not the greatest I have ever seen. His performance is not one of the all time greats. No, Chaney’s performance reminds me of the type of actor who is a movie star. He has a certain air about him that you can’t help but like and enjoy. Sometime those actors turn out to be majorly talented as well (Humphrey Bogart) and other times they are just great movie stars who may turn in a pretty darn good dramatic performance here and there as well (Tom Cruise if you will). The cast around him is enjoyable as well, highlighted by Evelyn Ankers who plays the love interest in the film. And what a nice little sub plot the romance was. Quite well done and not really in your typical manner with the desired woman being already engaged. Not entirely original but better perhaps than your typical damsel in distress.
The makeup and such was a highlight as well, not surprising given what was required of that department. I guess at the end of the day, there really wasn’t any one thing that really jumped out at me as being exceptional. Instead, the film is just solidly constructed from start to finish. Lon Chaney was a lot of fun to watch in the film, which in turn made the film quite a bit of monster fun as well. It would not rank among my favorite horror of all time, though it seems as though it very well may be my favorite so far in this years lot (with two more films remaining). And at the very least, it will help me enjoy one of my all time favorite films, The Sandlot, that much more.