werewolf, werewolves and lycans

Happy Anniversary, Wolfman!

This past week saw a momentous anniversary. We would be remiss not to acknowledge it, even if a tad tardily. On December 12, 1941, Universal Studios, which had firmly established itself as the studio synonymous with Horror with the successes of its DRACULA, MUMMY, and FRANKENSTEIN franchises, unleashed THE WOLFMAN upon the world. (At that time, and I guess it still is, the movie was titled THE WOLF MAN, which would have been fine had the latter two words been hyphenated. WOLF MAN denotes *two* separate creatures, whereas “Wolf-man” or “Wolfman” denotes *one*, an individual. Thus “Wolfman” is correct.) Much of modern werewolf lore actually originated with this movie. The movie was not a hit upon its release but it nevertheless inspired several sequels.

Five days prior to the release of the film, on December 7, the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and forced the United States into World War Two. Stick-up-the-ass critics did what stick-up-the-ass critics always do, which is make a lot of noise amounting to absolutely nothing of value. They pitched a bitch about the timing of the release, but audiences realized that escapism is one of the greatest benefits of the Arts and entertainment, and they took full advantage of the opportunity to lose themselves in a fictional world for a little while. All those pissy critics and their caterwauling have long been forgotten, whereas THE WOLFMAN remains the greatest and most respected werewolf movie ever made.

The Evil Cheezman • December 23, 2018

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