The Wolf Man (1941) Review

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The Wolf Man is quite a peculiar production as for an older film it doesn’t throw the possibility of a monster into your face, it is entirely possible that Larry Talbot didn’t actually get turned into a werewolf and it may just be the trauma of him killing a wolf and the old folk tales that have driven him into madness and turned him into a serial killer who doesn’t know that he is a murderer.

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The Title role is played by Lon Chaney Jr who is the second son of Lon Chaney aka the man of a thousand faces, the Wolf Man is a very sympathetic monster and I would argue that he is the most sympathetic of the Universal Monsters even more so than the Frankenstein Monster because even though the Monster didn’t understand his actions and didn’t realise he was causing harm Larry Talbot had no control over his actions at all when he transformed into the Wolf Man and once he transformed back into a man he couldn’t even remember what he had done just a few hours before.

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The make up for the Wolf Man was once again created by Jack Pierce who did work in some of the previous movies we have taken a look at this month, during the production process it is a well known fact that Lon Chaney Jr and Jack Pierce didn’t get along at all, the photograph above is very famous as it looks like Chaney is about to punch Jack Pierce in the face and while many believe it to be genuine I personally believe that Chaney is just messing around and having a laugh.

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A few famous face made their way into the Wolf Man including big stars Claude Rains and Bela Legosi, other well known actors include the likes of Maria Ouspenskaya and Evelyn Ankers.

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The sets and prop design for the Wolf Man are absolutely beautiful, from Talbot castle to the design of the silver cane and the most amazing set design has got to go to the forest where the Wolf Man makes most of his kills, the designers added a mystifying fog for a more spooky effect but I like to think that the fog is to symbolize getting lost in the forest while trying to hide from the wolf in a similar manner to Red Riding Hood or broadway productions such as Into the Woods.

the_wolf_man_1941_poster_2_by_smalltownhero The Wolf Man is a really fun movie to watch, unlike the Invisible Man which used a lot of comedy to entertain its audience the Wolf Man is fun due to its fast pace, it has a good build up to the monster but unlike some films it doesn’t wait too long for its reveal, the movie is quite action packed for a horror and I am sure it would have scared the pants off people back in the day, a cool fact is that the Wolf Man created the legacy that were wolves can only be killed by silver and also that if they bite another person they too will transform into a were wolf.

With his hairy make up and terrifying growl the Wolf Man is a horror movie to watch every year.

The Wolf Man is generous with its Bonus Features it includes four documentaries, original trailers and a commentary track

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

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Dracula (1931) Review

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Dracula is one of the most influential horror movies ever made and it was Bela Lugosi’s performance as the sexy and manipulative Count Dracula that really made the film as successful as it was and it was, the way that Lugosi acted out his role with his Hungarian accent and struggles with the English language that allowed him to give such a unique performance and it is Lugosi’s accent that most people copy when trying to imitate the famous vampire.

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Dracula is a classic tale of a malicious vampire from Transylvania who moves to England to seek some unsuspecting women so he can drink their blood and take control over their minds and bodies.

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Many people love the peformance of Dracula given by Bela Lugosi however my favorite performance in the picture is that of Dwight Frye who plays Renfield, Renfield is the real estate agent who meets with the Count to sell his castle before moving to England Renfield is bitten by the count and becomes and insane maniac, its Renfields laugh in the movie that sends chills down my spine.

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The rest of the cast each give fantastic peformances but no one stands out more than Edward Van Sloan who plays the Monster Hunter Van Helsing, Van Helsing is also a professor of science in this interpretation of Bram Stokers classic tale.

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As I have previously stated Dracula is an excellent movie which really helped inspire many of the popular horror directors of today, the performances are chilling and the atmosphere is dark and eerie, you can really appreciate how far movie effects have evolved by watching this film, there is a scene where Dracula transforms into a bat and how they pulled this off was a rubber bat attached to a fishing rod and it still looks good, I love Dracula its one of my favorite older horror films and its the perfect flick for this Halloween, the Blu-Ray of Dracula is filled with special features including an alternative score, two documentaries a commentary track and the original Spanish version of the movie.

Dracula is a classic horror which needs to be seen its part of a Blu-ray box set which can be bought on Amazon and its this box set which I am using for my reviews this month

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

The Witch (2015) Review

The horror movie critics loved but was hated by everyone else

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The Witch was a movie that got me really pumped after I saw the trailer, I absolutely love dark history from Jack the ripper to the great western railway murders and I honestly cant get enough of it, but if there is any one particular part of history that fascinates me the most it has to be anytime between the 1400’s and the 1600’s, the time between these three decades was when the biggest threat in existence was that of a witch.

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Witchcraft was believed to be the work of the Devil and anyone who was believed to  be a witch would have been put on trial in a court where they must prove their innocence in order to avoid execution, a very famous court case was the Salem Witch Trials.

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The Film (The Witch) takes place in the 1630’s, the story is about a religious family who  have to deal with a barrage of bad luck and unusual circumstances after their youngest child mysteriously goes missing, from reading the title of the movie it is obvious that the cause of these issues is obviously some type of witchcraft, the main premise may sound like your average horror movie involving evil witches but you may be surprised to learn that the film actually has a very slow pace and most of the time you are seeing the family deal with emotional and financial problems a lot more than watching them meet a grizzly fate, a lot of the hate is caused by the slow pacing of the movie but I believe that most people dislike the film due to the directors choice for the dialogue, the movie uses English words and phrases taken directly from the King James Bible which is how people used to speak back in the day, unless you have studied the old English language and at least have a basic understanding of its translation and meaning then you will most likely pull your hair out trying to understand what people are saying in this film, for example here is some dialogue I took from IMDB.

William: [before the court] What went we out into this wilderness to find? Leaving our country, kindred, our fathers houses? We have travailed a vast ocean. For what? For what?

Governor: We must ask thee to be silent!

William: Was it not for the pure and faithful dispensation of the Gospels, and the Kingdom of God?

Old Slater: No More! We are *your* judges, and not you ours!

William: I cannot be judged by false Christians, for I have done nothing, save preach Christ’s true Gospel.

Governor: Must you continue to dishonor the laws of the commonwealth and the church with your prideful conceit?

William: If my conscience sees it fit.

Governor: Then shall you be banished out of this plantations liberties!

William: I would be glad of it.

Governor: Then take your leave, and trouble us no further.

William: How sadly hath The Lord testified against you.

Do you see what I mean?

I personally loved the film but I have studied the history of the English Language and I do prefer more slow paced horror films over the more traditional and in your face style we usually get these days, critics adored this movie because of how historically accurate it was, the film even got the Witchcraft elements accurate for the most part, this is traditional Witchcraft more than it is Harry Potter Witchcraft, regardless of the mixed reviews this film received I think everyone should at least give it a go.

I hope you enjoyed this Review of The Witch

BTW if you want to learn more about traditional Witchcraft may I recommend this documentary about the Pendle Witch Child, its really interesting and is one of my all time favorite documentaries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv-JDUfADiw

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

The Christmas Wish (1998) Review

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Business man Will Martin (Neil Patrick Harries) is visiting his Grandmother for her first Christmas since her husband past away, while looking through some of his grandfather’s old journals Will discovers that his Grandfather had a secret woman in his life called Lillian, Will sets out to find this woman in order to help put his Grandmother’s mind at peace but this journey may be much more difficult than he anticipated.

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I’m not quite sure how I feel about this movie, the plot was very interesting and through out the entire film I was trying to figure out who Lillian was and at times I wasn’t sure if we would even find out, the film was very slow which was its biggest problem because it had this really interesting plot that should have grabbed the attention of the viewer but half the time I was falling asleep due to how badly paced and boring the film was.

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Only half of the cast gave an effort to show any enthusiasm at all, most of the actors I found to be either really boring or extremely annoying, the little boy who was obsessed with Dinosaurs did not help at all, I don’t know what it is but for some reason six year old’s are extremely headache inducing on camera, the little boy in this film was almost as annoying as the little boy in The Babadook (if you haven’t seen the Babadook trust me the little boy is the absolute worst).

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On a lighter note given all of my complaints its at least a really nice movie which tries to spread what is apparently the meaning of Christmas, I’m actually really surprised that this isn’t aired on TV that often as it’s a really unique and different kind of Christmas movie and even though I complained that the some of the cast are really annoying they wont ruin the film for you this isn’t Jim Carrey stars in the Grinch so you don’t have too much to worry about.

An unknown Christmas film that is probably unknown for a reason, still worth giving this one a shot though.

Thanks for reading my Review of The Christmas Wish

The next Christmas movie I will review is

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You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com