werewolf, werewolves and lycans

The Origins of Larry Talbot

Larry Talbot is, as you will all be aware, the alter-ego of the Wolfman. The Bruce Wayne to the werewolf’s Batman. Last week I went off in search of the gravesite of the “Werewolf of Georgia”—and found it!—which is located in Talbot County, Georgia. This got me to thinking: could Curt Siodmak, who wrote the screenplay for THE WOLFMAN, have known anything about the legend of the Werewolf of Georgia? Might that be where he got the surname for is tragic hero? Or is it merely coincidence, and serendipity? I could start a falsehood destined to be repeated as fact by stating that this is the case, but I won’t fabricate. I expect it was a case of the latter. It’s just serendipitous coincidence (which isn’t really a coincidence at all, then, but we won’t get metaphysical with this one, just now), sorta like how Bram Stoker knew little to nothing about the historical Dracula’s tendency to stake people yet made staking a vampire the go-to as the way to get rid of the vampire Count.

Siodmak said that the character of Larry Talbot was based on himself. Siodmak, a Polish Jew, fled to Hollywood in the 1930s to escape the Nazis. He knew a little something about being hunted, about being condemned just for being something, a thing he never chose and that was beyond his control. But where did he get the name “Talbot”?

The Evil Cheezman • July 19, 2018

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