House of the Wolf Man

Posted by drew On October - 25 - 20103,935 views

“House of the Wolf Man” is an indie horror flick that probably escaped most people’s notice during it’s first release.  It came out around the same time as the remake of the original Wolf Man .  While it would be easy to label it a shameless attempt to cash on the brief interest in classic horror, it seems like it has it’s undead heart in the right place.  While it’s most overtly a homage to the great “monster rallies” of yore, it also pays visual homage to Everything from Monogram’s low rent horror flicks and Val Lewton’s classic gothic features.   It’s star is a very tangible link to classic horror, with a last name that sound perk interest in any monster buff. “Ron Chaney.”   Yes, that’s right, the great grandson of  the Man of a Thousand Face and the grandson of the original Wolfman himself.

I’ve seen Chaney criticized on various fan sites, but I think he’s quite good here.   He looks more like the late,great, Ernest Thesiger than either of the elder Chaneys, but has a much rougher stage presence.   I think with a little grooming, he’d make for a fine 21st century horror star.    A sort of “Hank III” of horror if you will.

The whole movie just plays barely above camp.  Choosing to keep true to the stagy acting style of 30’s/40’s horror, as well as using many effects techniques of the period.   The result is a movie that feels very much like a classic creature feature.   The monsters themselves, being very effective for something that clearly was filmed on a modest budget.    Chaney’s ghoulish, mute,  butler being the standout for sheer creepiness.

But if anything, “House of the Wolf Man” probably would have benefited from a modern running time.  It ends just as it’s getting really good, suggesting a blood union between two classic monsters, a well staged slug fest between the Werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster. Plus, we briefly get a very cool, old school style Dracula, followed by some legitimately creepy vampire brides.   I hope we get a sequel, as this is one house I wouldn’t mind revisiting.

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