Werewolf of London Review

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It’s time for another film about Werewolves. I’ve had this review on the backburner for quite a while so it’s nice to finally get it out. That being said…it’s a film about Werewolves. You can bet that it isn’t very good. We even have more than one Werewolf this time and no happy ending for the main lead. It’s a rather grim tale with the situation gradually getting worse and worse.

Glendon heads over to Tibet to find a rare plant. He obtains it, but not before getting bit by a Werewolf. He slowly starts to transform into one and realizes that his only cure is the flower that he found, but it has to bloom first. It will transform into 3 spores, but can he resist his primal urges until then? In this film, Werewolves go after the people most dear to them and destroy them so he can throw himself a pity party. It’s an odd twist and I guess it’s like the Werewolf wants to turn against himself. The question is…will the other Werewolf be a wild card here?

I have to say that the villain wasn’t very subtle. A guy named Yogami appears and mentions that they had met in Tibet. Glendon doesn’t remember him though since he stayed to himself and only met a Werewolf over there. Nah…it couldn’t be right? Yogami warns Glendon that he will soon turn into a Werewolf and then dashes out. Glendon basically shrugs this off, but then two of the spores are stolen so Glendon is unable to stop himself from becoming a Werewolf. Yogami pulls this stunt again later on and I have to say that Glendon should guard his stuff a lot better. You can’t trust a guy like Yogami and since Glendon’s life is basically depending on the flower, he should really stay with it.

Instead, Glendon ends up murdering a few people in Werewolf form. He has no will power and even comes close to murdering his wife, but fortunately the cops arrive and take him down. Glendon thanks them since it could have been a lot worse, but it doesn’t make the ending any less grim. It’s a rather somber way to end the film because the hero basically lost. The Werewolf form proved to be too much for him and the moral is basically that once you get bitten by a Werewolf, it’s over. Perhaps it would have gone better if he had told everyone what the situation was from the start, but the leads in these kind of films never actually want to do that. It’s a shame, but it’s how it goes.

There are a few supporting characters aside from Glendon and Yogami, but they didn’t do all that much. It’s been a little while since I saw the film so it would be hard to nail down specifics with them. They seemed like reasonable characters the whole time, but didn’t stand out much and weren’t given many scenes to stand out in the first place. They were just there to represent more potential victims for Glendon so that he could hide himself for the majority of the film. The problem is that his Werewolf form would break free every time so I think Glendon did a pretty bad job of capturing himself. That being said, there’s not a whole lot that he can do to stop himself without putting his normal form in lethal danger. With proper prep time and all he could have come up with something really strong and tight to tie himself up with and then a button that his primal form wouldn’t know to press. That’s pretty convoluted though and wouldn’t work on short notice.

What this film needed was some fun. Following that logic, I think Lon Chaney would have made for a much better lead. He would come into the franchise 6 years later so clearly the writers realized this as well. The problem is that the film just isn’t any fun. It’s rather boring and takes itself way too seriously the whole time. Is it supposed to be entertaining to see Glendon keep on isolating himself so he can find a cure but then gets tricked twice? Granted, it’s better than getting real edgy and adding in animal violence, but there should have been something more to the film.

At the very least, I suppose I can say that the writing was pretty solid. The film did a good job on that which isn’t surprising since retro films like this one are usually pretty good with that. It’s not particularly engaging, but at least every character stays professional and classy even when the stakes are pretty high. You don’t see people speaking so respectfully the whole time in modern movies.

Overall, This is your classic Werewolf film in a nutshell. It has a pretty sad ending and the Werewolf isn’t taken down quickly enough as he gets a pair of victims first. Nobody really wins at the end as Yogami is also murdered for betraying Glendon and now Glendon’s wife will be on her own. Still, it was nice to see the cops step in so quickly and handle the situation. They may not have been taking prisoners, but at least they were prepared to do something. That’s an automatic step up from some of their film counterparts. I’d advise skipping this film. There’s really nothing in it here for you that you can’t find in another Werewolf film.

Overall 3/10

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