Back in March of this year the landmark 1943 film Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (dir. Roy William Neill) made its debut. In honor of the film’s 80th birthday, let’s have some fun celebrating the first big screen monster bash.
The Universal Monsters, particularly the trifecta of Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man, are some of the most recognizable icons in pop culture, let alone film.
The legacy of Universal’s horror output from the 1930s and 40s has reached every corner of the zeitgeist. The visage of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Boris Karloff’s Monster, and Lon Chaney Jr’s Wolf Man have reached a point of cultural saturation that few fictional characters ever reach.
One of the most remembered films from this cycle is of course, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. It’s hardly a new or astute observation to connect today’s mega blockbuster shared universe franchises with the Universal Horror films. While the first ever cinematic crossover was actually all the way back in 1910 with the French serial Arsène Lupin contra Sherlock Holmes – where fictional French thief Lupin met with Conan-Doyle’s iconic detective, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man was the first film to cement the idea into popular consciousness.
The novelty of the film must have been something quite special at the time and watching it today through the lens of where franchise filmmaking is now makes it even more interesting outside of being a rather solid film in its own right.
The myriad behind the scenes stories and histories of the Universal Monster films are more detailed and involved than the films themselves, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man has a fair share of fun and interesting tidbits to discuss.