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"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright."
December 2, 2009 12:48 PM   Subscribe

In order to promote their upcoming remake of The Wolf Man, Universal has launched Universal Monster Legacy (Flash with auto-playing audio), featuring music, posters, video clips and still galleries from the classic Universal Monster films. (via)
posted by brundlefly (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only good thing about the execrable "Van Helsing" was the nice DVD re-issues that Universal did of the classic monsters. I don't have much hope for this remake, but this is nice stuff, thanks.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:33 PM on December 2, 2009


I couldn't even bear to try Van Helsing.

Love the classics, and I'm holding out big hope for The Wolf Man.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:39 PM on December 2, 2009


Ditto on Van Helsing. Ireally wanted to like that film. Though, my theory on the movie is that it would have been far more tolerable if they had simple done without the loud, constant, driving music throughout the film.

As for The Wolf Man remake...I'll not be holding my breath. I fully expect loud, bloody, lots of fights and battles, and constant, constant, constant, action. The usual formula these days.
Oh, and loud music.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on December 2, 2009


Yeah, Van Helsing was terrible, and I was actually looking forward to it (big fan of the first Mummy remake). I hope The Wolf Man is good (director of The Rocketeer!), but as I understand it the production has been pretty troubled. Lots of re-shoots, etc.... I'm crossing my fingers.
posted by brundlefly at 1:46 PM on December 2, 2009


I was excited to see the Wolf Man movie, but every time it gets delayed I get a bit more skeptical. The trailer looks intriguing, but sort of a mess at the same time. I hope they can pull it together.

This Universal Monster Legacy site though - way cool!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:05 PM on December 2, 2009


I was just listening to this. How wonderful.
posted by poe at 2:11 PM on December 2, 2009


To be fair, the original Universal Wolf Man isn't really a very good movie. Frankenstein is a legitimate classic, and Lugosi's performance makes Dracula a classic, but Wolf Man (and the Mummy, while I'm at it) doesn't really stand up all that well.

Not quite a classic but seriously underrated and a hell of a good flick: The Invisible Man.
posted by the bricabrac man at 3:08 PM on December 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


it's wolfsbane, get it right.

Toot-ta-doo I am now for no good reason a semi-expert on cinematic lycanthropy and my opinion is that werewolf movies more than other monster movies are dependent on their contemporary cultural context to work as scary or not scary. The original Wolf Man movie is a great deal more absorbing if you imagine seeing it as a a pre-women's lib teenage girl on a date, for example... The one from the sixties with Oliver Reed? Scary! He was an unrepentant alcoholic wifebeater in real life, somehow that comes through.

I think Benicio will be a pretty good wolfman, and surely the budget can get him as grisly a transition as the producers choose. Hopefuly, he won't be one of those not-really-scary or not-really-freakish werewolves. I'm looking at you, Jacob...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:30 PM on December 2, 2009


Why can't we instead just do a foreign exchange monster movie? Japan has a bunch of awesome Yokai, America is getting tired of our hand-me-down European monsters, so why not trade?

Best case scenario: We get fresh monster movies that feature compelling, interesting monsters America hasn't thought of.

Worst case scenario: We get campy and funny foreign films that miss the point entirely of the monsters in the first place. (Although I said that about the Twilight series...)

PS: It's also cool if they're actually monster high school students who then actually participate in a foreign exchange program. Bonus points if we get an American mummy to participate in JET.

Also, I'm fully aware of the fact that we basically did this for The Ring and The Grudge. I just wish we'd do it more blatantly if we're going to do the archetypal monsters.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:59 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was just thinking the other day that an American film involving Yokai could be really cool. Also: the Krampus.
posted by brundlefly at 5:10 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


America is already tired of hand-me-down Asian horror ghosts and gremmies. Instead of re-packaging monsters America hasn't thought of, how about we pay our screenwriters to actually think of some, instead of mocking up shabby PG-13 translations that will open with middling numbers and go straight to video?

(Recently watched the original Wolf Man. It had some moments, but yeek. Also I thought Frankenstein was pretty draggy and lame but found Bride Of to be totally riveting. Can't wait for new Wolf Man, though I'm beginning to think it doesn't actually exist.)
posted by hermitosis at 5:17 PM on December 2, 2009


Ditto on Van Helsing. Ireally wanted to like that film. Though, my theory on the movie is that it would have been far more tolerable if they had simple done without the loud, constant, driving music throughout the film.

As for The Wolf Man remake...I'll not be holding my breath. I fully expect loud, bloody, lots of fights and battles, and constant, constant, constant, action. The usual formula these days.
Oh, and loud music.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on December 2 [+] [!]


First off, the studio originally hired Mark Romanek to make this thing because they wanted to get AWAY from all that and make a true, moody, atmospheric monster movie. Romanek apparently wanted to take that all a little too far so instead they turned to creature/effects guy Joe Johnston who came on late but wanted to make something in a similar vein. The point is even the studio realized the Van Helsing modernization worked horribly and thus are trying to fix it and find some kind of balance.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:31 PM on December 2, 2009


Come on, guys! With the right director and cast, CAT GHOST could be the summer movie of the year.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:47 PM on December 2, 2009


You know, I liked all those Universal Studios pictures when I was a kid. Although they were quite old, they used to show them at the local cinema (I'm talking about Sarajevo here.) Although, for instance, Dracula took place in Transylvania (but really probably a lot in Los Angeles), it really did "feel" like Eastern Europe to me, an Eastern European girl. Even an early scene at a pub had barely visible signs written in Hungarian, and although played up for spookiness and all that, there are lots of villages, even in the unTransylvanian Bosnian countryside, that are kind of scary and dark and full of weird, superstitious people who seem as if they're from a different era.

When I saw Van Helsing, I had high hopes. But it was awful. I don't know why these film producers don't take the obvious step of going to some godforsaken little Transylvanian town and filming things more "authentically." There's an atmosphere that clings to the real clothing, housing, restaurants and whatnot that would add a little layer of spookiness to the proceedings. I like how, in the old movies, villagers / peasants were portrayed in a way that allowed the viewer t imagine that they were probably sowing their fields all day, feeding their livestock and eating soup with the family. But in Van Helsing, they seemed to exist in a one-dimensional way - to only turn into bats or something. Frankenstein and Dracula were certainly nothing like documentaries, but there were scenes that were real and human (one of my favorites is the scene of the blind man with Frankenstein) and not far off from a rcent reality. Van Helsing and other recent monster movies are too often just action films in a horror guise. They might be compelling in their shots and effects, but the lack the humanity that the earlier films had.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 8:25 PM on December 2, 2009


A guy who worked on the sound on the new Wolf Man movie was very insistent that this new movie sucks. Also, any movie that requires extensive reshoots and is being released in JANUARY is almost guaranteed to suck.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:12 PM on December 2, 2009


I should add that this sound designer was a patron of the store I work at so as not to be totally incoherent.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:13 PM on December 2, 2009


I think Ginger Snaps may be the only real werewolf movie that doesn't basically suck. The Company of Wolves doesn't count, it's too postmodern and reflexive ans stuff.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:48 PM on December 2, 2009


I couldn't even bear to try Van Helsing.

I sat through it on the cable once.

The most memorable thing about it was wondering what Kate Beckinsale had done to make her costume and makeup people hate her so badly.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:09 PM on December 2, 2009


Ambrosia Voyeur: "I think Ginger Snaps may be the only real werewolf movie that doesn't basically suck."

Ginger Snaps is great! But don't forget An American Werewolf in London. I love that movie.

(We'll just pretend the sequel never happened.)
posted by brundlefly at 9:07 AM on December 3, 2009


I once thought I had somehow been tricked into paying nine dollars to have a group of men shit on my brain, but it turns out I was just stuck in a theater viewing of Van Helsing.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:04 PM on December 3, 2009


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