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The Return of the Vampire (1943) features a subservient werewolf named Andreas Obry (Matt Willis) who turns out to be the hero of the piece. Rendering him subservient is his unholy union and tumultuous relationship with Bela Lugosi’s aristocratic and domineering vampire Armand Tesla, who uses Andreas as his slave. This is a thematic element that will no doubt resurface throughout filmic history in regards to the relationship between werewolves and vampires, where the lycanthropes are the designated “lesser” and “lower-class”, while cinematic bloodsuckers for the most part up until pieces that would feature working class undead such as the television miniseries Salem’s Lot (1979), will be forever presented as refined, regal and sophisticated. The constructs of class forever permeate the very fabric of vampirism in cinema, and in regards to werewolves when they share the screen with their supernatural cousins, these earthy and also semi-human (therefore semi-non-malevolent) beings that sprout fangs, claws and fur will for the most part be under the rulership of the immortal damned. It is interesting to note, that in the decade The Howling (1981) was released, vampires in film would lose the shackles of aristocracy that would be so prevalent in the films of Universal and Hammer, and instead they would be represented as nomadic desert dwellers as seen in Near Dark or partying seaside teens in The Lost Boys (both from 1987).

In The Howling, class distinction runs through the compounds of The Colony (the upper class Dr. Waggner, the middle class Warrens, the working class Erle Kenton and Sheriff Newman, the classless and outsider Quist siblings and so forth), but all of this is not even an issue as these characters share one common trait – they are all werewolves. It is only in the end, where Marsha (anti-class and anti-establishment) will take charge of the pack and question Dr. Waggner’s totalitarian order. In The Return of the Vampire, this mini-revolution occurs just at the same time, when Andreas realizes that his master, is a menace and someone that should be stopped.

The Return of the Vampire (1943)

The Return of the Vampire (1943)

The werewolf design for Andreas Obry is excellent – he has a shaggy coat that spills all across his face, protruding sharp fangs framed by blacked out lips, a wet shiny button nose and, although he is more fuzzy pooch than lecherous beast, the efforts allow for some incredible facial expressions to come across through the layers of fur and greasepaint. Andreas is also the first chatty werewolf in film history – he has stretches of dialogue that have never been seen before. This makes for an incredible watch, having a werewolf in his/her full transformative self, that is in the bestial model, talk eloquently and share dialogue with other characters (albeit fellow supernatural monsters such as vampires). In The Howling, the werewolves have no dialogue in their animal state, the closest it gets is during the scene where Eddie Quist chats to Chris Halloran while his face is completely ripped to shreds from the acid thrown on him by Karen White earlier. Also, Eddie’s uttering of “Turn around now Karen” in the porno booth comes with an altered version of his voice, while later Jerry Warren snarls “Silver bullets my ass” and “Get up T.C.” in a guttural animal tone, however in their full transformative states these two werewolves never talk while in full blown lycan-state. Andreas Obry is an absolute rarity – here is a werewolf who talks frequently through his fangs and is permitted dialogue right at the beginning of the film. As far as imagery goes, The Return of the Vampire shares a fantastic similarity with The Howling: there is a terrific shot of Andreas lurking behind some shrubbery which looks very much like T.C. Quist hiding in the bushels in The Howling, trying to spy on Karen White.

Directed by Lew Landers (a director whose namesake is used in The Howling for Jim McKrell’s character), The Return of the Vampire was Columbia Pictures’ response to the massive success of Universal’s monster movie canon. Starring the legendary Bela Lugosi who had of course made a splash as Count Dracula in Todd Browning’s Dracula (1931) (which incidentally featured the infamous bloodsucker transforming into a wolf off screen as witnessed by David Manners as Jonathan Harker) the film is a moody and complex outing featuring a werewolf in what would be a subservient role similar to Dwight Frye’s Renfield in Browning’s 1931 classic.

The Return of the Vampire (1943)

The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Matt Willis plays Andreas Obry with a quiet resilience and overt pathos, we feel for this almost cuddly wolf man. It is also a wonderful treat for monster fans so accustomed to waiting a long while before anything supernatural occurs to be able to see Andreas in his full werewolf get up right in the beginning of the film. A lot of his make-up design is distinctly unique and casts no similarity to Jack Pierce’s work on Lon Chaney Jr. a couple of years earlier in Universal’s The Wolf Man. Instead, the werewolf Andreas features far more wispy fur that looks as though it has been combed upward, elongated and very pointy ears, a wet shiny nose sitting upon a small snout and a set of teeth that perfectly line a very mobile mouth. Andreas’s transformations are constructed by dissolves (the go-to manner), but here distinct opticals (possibly something Columbia wanted to introduce to claim as their “own technique and take on werewolf transformation”) are inserted that feature a shaky and trembling camera design that looks as though Andreas’s face is quivering with a frenzied fever as he morphs from man to beast and vice versa. As aforementioned, Andreas is instantly established as a very vocal and very chatty werewolf, unlike his cinematic predecessors, and this is most noted in the earliest scenes where he nervously converses with Bela Lugosi’s century old vampire Armand Tesla. Referring to Tesla as “master”, Andreas is a submissive werewolf, and the make-up design really does enforce this meekness and almost overwhelming humility. Andreas is a sympathetic monster because of his situation – he is trapped in an abusive relationship with a commanding and purely evil vampire.

Incredibly, the film makes use of the two world wars as it’s functional background, not only using these historic events as a timeframe, but also as a device (later in the movie, bombs from the invading Nazis during the second world war will impact plot). The film tells the story of Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort) who is a well-established and respected professor, scientist and philanthropist whom during World War I, she and a fellow professor discover the existence of vampires and during World War II she encounters such monsters when she comes into contact with Armand Tesla who has eyes set on her son’s fiancé, Nikki, played by the lovely Nina Foch (who will go on to play a werewolf in another horror classic of the same year – which we shall get to in a moment). Jane is dedicated to doing good for mankind and when she meets the tragic Andreas, she decides to help him. She insists that he doesn’t fall into the trappings of his “bad side” and asks him to focus on doing good. She employs him as an assistant, but this union is cruelly interrupted by a resurrected Tesla who explains to him “You cannot escape who you are, just as I cannot escape who I am.” Continually calling this poor werewolf “foolish” and describing him as an “idiot”. Tesla is a domineering, nasty force, even more malicious than his earlier counterpart Dracula, and when he finally tells Andreas that he no longer has any need for him, the final insult precedes the eventual heroism of Andreas himself.

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The werewolf mythology will eventually return to the model of family curses and the afflicted outsider who will remain considered “enemy of the people”, and on top of that trope it would also return to the concept of femininity being instrumental and forever connected to the supernatural and also to the natural order – that women would be animalistic as depicted in the silent film (and first ever werewolf film) The Werewolf. In Cry of the Werewolf (1944), Nina Foch plays a gypsy princess Celeste who is the daughter of a legendary werewolf Marie LaTour whose name is frequently mentioned by all the characters in the film, and delivered with the same dread that her vampiric counterpart Dracula evoked back in Todd Browning’s film about the immortal bloodsucker.

Cry of the Werewolf is a rich sixty-odd minute doozy that truly is a product of it’s time in relation to the role of Film Noir in it’s aesthetic as well as the horror pictures from auteur producer Val Lewton and thematically it’s keen interest in the role of women and their relation to upholding traditions, being invested in culture and their bestial nature in conflict with patriarchal humanism. Cry of the Werewolf is a socially aware movie much like The Howling and it presents it’s central werewolf Celeste as an empowered and determined lycanthrope, dedicated to keep her supernatural connection to the old world alive and well. An image of a timber wolf snarling and licking her chomps runs alongside the opening title sequence, and following up from that, we are welcomed into a museum that is host to supernatural and occult paraphernalia and stories. The museum was once the home of the off screen character Marie LaTour who is talked about by the tour guide Peter (John Abbott) and matched with a wonderful montage that features her in her wolf form. In this feature, the two werewolves that sit at the centre of the story (mother and daughter -one told in flashback and the other the central figure) transform from woman to full blown wolf. Real timber wolves are used here (the same breed of wolf from the opening credits) and in a late attack sequence, a German Shepherd takes the responsibility of mauling the leading man. The same dog will feature on publicity stills of Nina Foch vainly gazing into a mirror with the beloved pooch by her side – however in the feature, the animal is her counterpart; what she transforms into (at least for the attack on the aforementioned leading man by the end of the film). In relation to The Howling, producers Mike Finnell, Dan Blatt and Jon Davison as well as director Joe Dante would go out and meet with wolf wranglers and trainers and see various breeds of wolf to use in the new project The Howling, however upon seeing these wild animals they thought the look would read too much like “dog” rather than wolf and Dante insisted that they go for the biped wolf-person rather than the fully formed real life wolf. Also, the wolves proved to be rather scary in their initial meeting, lunging at Mike Finnell and baring fangs. In may regards, it is very rare that wolves are used in film simply because they are tricky to train and run on pack mentality and communal living amongst other wolves – to have a lone wolf on set would be quite the feat, however in Cry of the Werewolf (as well as some stock footage from woodland dwelling wolves) the timber wolf seems right at home at Columbia’s sound stages.

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Cry of the Werewolf (1944)

In the carnival barker-style curtain raiser, Marie LaTour’s backstory is told and reads like a folkloric ghost story, while her lycanthropy is depicted in snippets. There is a wonderful moment where her husband follows muddy paw prints to his wife’s room, realizing that she is in fact a werewolf. The image cuts to servants hearing the horrible sounds of the man’s werewolf wife mauling him to death – a brilliantly handled opening. The werewolf transformations in Cry of the Werewolf (being woman transforming into a real life wolf) don’t employ an elaborate make-up process as seen in The Wolf Man or Werewolf of London, but the transitions are effective, alluring and elegantly handled. The film also harkens back to the first silent lycanthropic outings where women were incurably linked to the animalistic and otherworldly, however, during the forties, women transforming into bloodthirsty werewolves was still kept to morphing into actual real life wolves, while their male counterparts (Henry Hull and Lon Chaney Jr.) had full make-up designs and walked on hind legs. During this period, exotic character actress Acquanetta would play Paula the Ape Girl in films such as Captive Wild Woman (1943) and Jungle Woman (1944) and her make-up looked much more like a werewolf’s design, rather than an ape – somewhat rendering her the female werewolf of the forties (even though she was part simian and not lycan). Of course, by the time of the sixties, female werewolves would undergo similar transformation sequences as their male lycan-brothers, and by 1981 at the time of The Howling’s release, female werewolves would have flourished and bared their pearl white fangs and sprouted fur just as proudly as celluloid wolfmen (in Dante’s film there would be an entire community of werewolves, half of whom are women and Elisabeth Brooks as Marsha would be given some fantastic screen time transitioning into a feral wild wolf woman).

Cry of the Werewolf deals with gypsies and the culture of these nomadic occultists and Celeste, the princess of her matriarchal gypsy tribe, is warned that the story of her late werewolf mother is being spread amongst pedestrians who she refers to as “non-believers”. The use of shadows throughout the movie commentate on the cagey nature of Celeste and her devotion to protecting her mother’s name and her dedication to concealing her own personal lycanthropy. Celeste is eventually forced out of the werewolf closet and so is her mother and her culture, which angers her and causes her to become vindictive and manipulative. Celeste seems to be a werewolf who relies on human disbelief in her kind – in a way, that kind of scepticism protects her and her people. Peter, the tour guide, who knows all about werewolves is a non-believer much like Dick Miller in The Howling. He makes a living out of telling stories about vampires, voodoo and werewolves (who he considers the worst of all monsters) but doesn’t in fact believe in them. When he finds the mutilated body of Dr. Morris (Fritz Lieber) he is driven insane and his character disappears from the picture. In this film, the people who believe (Dr. Morris had written an entire manuscript based on his findings on werewolves) in lycanthropy are killed and those who don’t are driven mad. In many ways, the film taps into European totalitarianism where nations such as East Russia would wipe out entire facets of their personal history, and Celeste being Romanian carries this notion through – her desire to hide her history until she is forced to face it. When Celeste discovers that Dr. Morris is trying to out her people, she throws his manuscript into a fire, transforms into a werewolf and kills him. The werewolf trying to cover up her history is linked to The Howling where the werewolves of The Colony are trying to cope with their newfound lycanthropy and systematically trying to adjust outside of their non-werewolf backgrounds. Donna Warren says “When I was first bitten, I fought against it..” but now this neurotic werewolf has tried all manner of pop-psychology to accept this gift/curse.

Cry of the Werewolf (1944)

Cry of the Werewolf (1944)

The lovers in Cry of the Werewolf, Elsa (Osa Massen) and Bob (Stephen Crane) start off in the film running similar terrain to Terry and Chris in The Howling in that they try and uncover the secrets behind Dr. Morris’s death (who is incidentally Bob’s father and Elsa’s boss). Elsa is from Transylvania which links her to the old world, and this is something that will play out beautifully come the final moments of the film, where she becomes the target of newfound lycanthropy at the hands of Celeste. Rounding out the cast is a janitor – a creepy Renfield type – devoted to the werewolf princess. All of these elements are terrific, but the film’s preoccupation with a police investigative story involving criminology and endless banter about fingerprints, science and the dangerous exposition slows the film down, and detracts from the appealing horror and monster movie angle which is fantastic. When Nina Foch is on screen your ears prick up – she is incredible, just as commanding and eerily alluring as Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. In fact, the princess werewolf is much like Dracula – stern, grand, composed and her transformation into a wolf is done with shadows in a most effective way. When she stalks the janitor and kills him in the woods, it reads a lot like Dracula killing Renfield – these subservient drones who have done their job and now ready to be discarded. The windswept imagery at the gypsy camp while Celeste kills the janitor is fantastic, and although she feels upset that she has done such a horrible thing, an elderly gypsy woman comforts her saying “You cannot help the things that have been, it is your destiny – the welfare of our tribe is in your keeping”. There is only moment in the film where Celeste’s lycanthropy upsets her, but ultimately she wears it proudly throughout the film, unlike Larry Talbot who is tormented by it in multiple movies.

The brilliant scene where Celeste is bought to court is a fantastic take on the witch and werewolf trials of the Middle Ages and the film uses contemporary forties court room melodramatics as it’s foundation, only here the spicy ingredient is that it is a werewolf in question. Another great set piece is the sequence that takes place in the city morgue (a great precursor to the brief but darkly comical scenario in The Howling where screenwriter John Sayles pops up as the morgue attendant). Here in Cry of the Werewolf, European gypsy burial traditions are discussed (something that ultimately would later inspire director John Landis to start work on his screenplay for An American Werewolf in London) and the scene at the morgue plays out like a Val Lewton produced gothic chiller, complete with creepy shadows, oppressive lighting and spookily lit imagery. When Celeste stalks Bob, it is a thing of cinematic magic – her high heels steadily click upon the cold dead floors while Bob darts in and out of dark corridors, then finally, Celeste’s glamorous heels make way for wolf paws, through an elegantly conceived dissolve. This is an excellent stalking sequence that mirrors The Cat People and it’s famous scene in the pool house. Much like John Sayles, the morgue attendant in Cry of the Werewolf is nonchalant about his job, but has a degree of sickly perversion that Sayles somewhat didn’t possess.

Cry of the Werewolf (1944)

Cry of the Werewolf (1944)

Another major narrative element that crosses paths with The Howling, is that Celeste is dedicated to her culture and to her pack, and she is also someone that attempts to seduce the leading man. “You like to look at me” she says, and this seductive werewolf bears a similarity to Marsha Quist. Marsha is a loyal protector of her kind – she is threatened by Dr. Waggner’s psychological evaluation and attempt to bring his werewolves back into “civilised” society. Marsha is opposed to this and wishes to keep her lycan brothers and sisters deep in the shadowy wilderness of the Californian forestry. She also takes a strong liking to Bill Neill when he first comes along to The Colony, and when she has him inside her cabin, her attempts at seduction are far more aggressive than her werewolf predecessor Celeste’s but still all the same an attempt at inducting a mere human into the wonderful (and highly sexual) world of werewolves. However, what make Cry of the Werewolf remarkably feminist and fresh is that Celeste’s jealousy of Elsa (who is of course betrothed to Bob) is swept away when she sets her eyes on inducting Elsa herself – she sees Elsa as a superb addition to her werewolf tribe and refers to her as “sister”. Celeste’s semi-violent sexual desire for Bob (as well as her frustration as summarised by her line: “I wish I could tell you, but I can’t”) disappears come the final reel when she hypnotizes Elsa and prepares her for entry into her werewolf society. This is very different to Marsha’s response to Karen White who she ultimately sees as a solid adversary. The first glance from Marsha at Karen is one of resentment, anger, disdain and hatred. Here is a werewolf forced to live in the shadows while Karen White is a television star; on show, permitted to love and allowed to exist in civility.

As established before, the gypsy tribe is matriarchal and Cry of the Werewolf is organically invested in the role of women, feminism and the influence of female power in horror and Film Noir. In both genres where woman is presented as monster or femme fatale, patriarchy is set out to control the desires, sexual advances and moral corruption of the supposed “good” and “decent” folk. This happens in the female-monster piece The Cat People, and it happens here in the werewolf counterpart. It is also interesting to note, that as much as Elsa is concerned with the evil of Celeste (and her attempts at seducing her man), she also secretly admires such strength and dominance. A great scene shows this: Elsa stares at the painting of Marie LaTour and through voice over suggests that she likes the idea of wanting the power of the werewolf and becoming a stronger woman, which ultimately means to be more like a beast. The fantastic confrontation between the two women is something right out of opera, and very much influenced by the gut-spilling moment in the haunting pre-code horror gem Thirteen Women (1932) where Myrna Loy as the scorned half-breed expresses her disdain for the puritanical society she was forced into. Here in Cry of the Werewolf, Celeste states that she will deny Elsa the love of her man and all the while she shares a confronting graphic description of Dr. Morris’s death. She also tells Elsa that she will in fact turn her into a werewolf to be just as feared and hated which is something that benchmarks the closing moments of The Howling where The Colony members circle Karen and speak of the wonders of lycanthropy. In both films, the monster is a perpetual outsider and one that will bring the same suffering to someone who goes through life unscathed and blessed. When Elsa is turned wild and animalistic, she becomes a self-possessed fiery beauty, unlike Karen White who transforms on air only to weep and look distressed – carrying on from her legendary depressed predecessor Larry Talbot.

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As much as Nina Foch’s Celeste is self-possessed, assured and determined to be comfortable with her lycanthropy, June Lockhart’s character in She-Wolf of London (1946) is a neurotic shambles that is made to believe she is a werewolf by a vindictive adversary. Lockhart’s trembling self-doubting and internalized fears are a great foreshadowing of what happens to Karen White in The Howling, who hears the wolves out in the forest, questions her sanity, lapses in memory but unlike the fortunate and “rescued” Lockhart, succumbs to the bestial and transforms into a werewolf only to be killed in front of an audience who are perplexed, entertained and sceptical about what they have just seen. The final scene in Cry of the Werewolf rings in the same key as the final sequence in The Howling, where police men who bear witness to the dead wolf transforming into the dead body of Celeste remain cynical – these non-believers mention that they should now believe, but some of them still remain hardened cynics which is exactly what happens with the television viewers watching Karen’s transformation and gunning down.

She-Wolf of London features lycanthropy as it’s narrative backdrop and much like Mark of the Vampire (1935) and The Beast With 5 Fingers (1946), it rejects a supernatural angle in favour of a grounded parlour room mystery movie or in modern pop-cultural terminology it is given a Scooby-Doo-ending where the true “monster” is unveiled and nothing about actual werewolvism exists. It does however play with the story element of ills-of-the-mind and the struggle between mental anguish and oppressive paranoia. June Lockhart’s performance as Phyllis Allenby is measured and nuanced, as she goes from fragile esteemed wealthy left-over aristocrat to a woman in absolute turmoil when she fears that she is in fact a werewolf.

The opening scene features a cheerful Phyllis happily riding horse-back amidst the lovely picturesque countryside, but this halcyon image doesn’t last, as she descends into jilting neurosis and fretful hyper-anxiety, which is very similar to Karen White in The Howling who is never really permitted any moment of clarity and peace. It is a great choice by the director of She-Wolf of London that at the first moment when Phyllis kisses her fiancé Barry (Don Porter), a criminal investigator from Scotland Yard nearby mentions the footprints of a wolf. During her romantic interlude with her man, Phyllis is interrupted by talk of a female werewolf stalking the countryside. Here a healthy and promising union is one already fraught with anxiety when it is taken over by talk of werewolves. Phyllis’s anxiety about her impending wedding adds to her neurosis, while her well-meaning lover insists that werewolves are “the sort of thing one reads in Penny Dreadfuls”.

She-Wolf of London (1946)

She-Wolf of London (1946)

The film also happily engages with women being at one with both the natural (the hounds that protect the estate) and the supernatural; as the housekeeper tells a visiting police official that “There’s no man in our house” slyly suggesting a linkage to the concept of witchery and female-dominated occultism. Handling the hounds that have a strange disliking to Phyllis is the matriarch of the house Aunt Martha (Sara Haden) who cagily keeps family secrets and a hidden history of lycanthropy to herself, using such tales for selfish and purely monstrous reasons. This all-female estate is very much likened to the group therapy session in The Howling which is made solely of women werewolves with the non-lycan Karen at the centre. Karen White and Phyllis from She-Wolf of London are thoroughly one in the same – both are women of high regard and repute, both are traumatised by past events, both question their sanity and spiritual well-being and both are victimized by the secret society and history of werewolves. Using the history of lycanthropy against Phyllis who is a threat to her own daughter Carol (Jan Wiley), Aunt Martha is a character solely concerned with upstanding and good breeding which injects this careful but captivating film with themes of classism and the idea of marrying beneath you.

The striking image of Phyllis reading a book on lycanthropy and finding fresh mud tracks on her bed adds to the building of self-paranoia that is truly the horror within the context of a horror movie not entirely interested in supernatural monsters. The Allenby Estate is a breeding ground of jealousy and bears not so much semblance to The Colony but more so to the manor in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (complete with its very own Mrs. Danvers in Aunt Martha). The nervous wreck that is Phyllis “I’m all on edge, those dogs and their constant howling” is once again, very similar to Karen who hears the howling in the woods and uses it as a response to her building psychosis. However, one vital story function differentiates She-Wolf of London to The Howling in that Phyllis is lead to believe that she is a werewolf as opposed to Karen who is eventually bitten, and where characters don’t present their lycanthropy until the very end.

She-Wolf of London (1946)

She-Wolf of London (1946)

The she-wolf dressed in a hood ala Little Red Riding Hood sports clothing to reflect the neck and head of a wolf. Here costuming acts as a tell-tale insight into the dynamic shared between wolf and human being: a woman’s head scarf reflective of the upper body of a wolf. In The Howling this is embodied in the design of T.C. Quist and his sheep skin vest (a wolf that has skinned his prey and worn it) and his sister Marsha who wears leather pelts (another wolf that has feasted on her prey and used it’s skins for the wearing). More similarities in visual style come thick and fast: the foggy park in She-Wolf of London becomes the locale for “Lost wolves looking for someone to tear to pieces”, and this is the centrepiece for the main course of monstrous action in The Howling (the foggy, creepy terrain). Character realisations are played out differently however: Phyllis’s discovery of blood on her hands and clothing and the mud on her shoes forces her into psychosis which in turn makes her react neurotic and tormented by the fact that she is a werewolf (which is not true at all), whereas in The Howling, Bill Neill’s understanding of his lycanthropy comes with guilt (watching over a sleeping Karen after a night of making love to fellow werewolf Marsha).

Aunt Martha is of course the real monster of the piece who wants her own daughter Carol to marry Phyllis’s fiancé Barry. Martha goes so far to convince Phyllis that she is a werewolf that she slaughters a child, and of this killing of a little boy in the park, Phyllis responds: “I feel unclean” – a transition into feelings of being an unsavoury woman or a monster. Looking at herself in the mirror, Phyllis remarks: “It can’t be…” – the manipulation from Aunt Martha assisting Phyllis’s paranoia and her struggle with mental illness and delusions of lycanthropy. Imagined werewolves and speculative werewolves will become more apparent in films as the years go by, and analogies of man and woman as beast will flourish throughout the decades to come as well. Also, much like in The Howling more love triangle woes fuel the plot of this Universal mystery movie posing as a werewolf film: Phyllis watching Carol get into a horse and cart with Barry informs her insecurities in regards to keeping her man, while the Karen, Bill and Marsha dynamic is much the same – Karen losing her husband to the seductive Marsha (and her kind). The character of Carol could be read as on par with Marsha Quist in that she sits at complete polar opposites to Phyllis/Karen. Carol, much like Marsha, is self-assured, mentally and emotionally stable and from the offset a strong independent woman – it is also interesting to note that at one point Barry himself accuses Carol of being the werewolf of the piece. Of course it is her mother (a woman consumed by greed and a pretentious connection to high society) that is the “she-wolf” of the film, attacking the criminal investigator in the park – very much like in the scene from The Howling where Bill is bitten by Marsha – lunging at him and clawing at his throat. Killing him in quite a gruesome way with an apparatus shaped like a wolf’s claw. But fully realized werewolves who didn’t have to rely on weaponry of any sort still surfaced in the forties, and the principal star lycanthrope Larry Talbot made a few more appearances during the decade.

She-Wolf of London (1946)

She-Wolf of London (1946)