I'm a big fan of the old Universal Monster movies of the 30's and 40's (end even the 50's; i.e. The Creature From The Black Lagoon). I haven't written much about that particular pop culture obsession in this blog because, well, over the last few years, there hasn't been much new and interesting to discuss. All the major films of the cycle hit DVD long ago, and even the collectible market's been kinda thin the last few years. (And even if it hadn't been, I couldn't afford to buy any toys nowadays, anyway....)
When it was announced a year or so ago that Universal was remaking The Wolf Man, well, frankly, I didn't much care.
After The Mummy "remake" turned out to be more of an Indiana Jones knock-off than anything resembling the Karloff (or Tyler or Chaney) original(s), followed by the fetid abomination that was Van Helsing... well, I didn't have much confidence in the studio doing justice to the character and film that's probably my favorite of the original Universal Monsters series.
In recent months, though, I have to admit, I've started to allow myself a little hope. Plot synopses online suggest that this one really is a remake of the original film's storyline, and the casting sounds interesting, with Benicio Del Toro playing the Lon Chaney Jr. role and Anthony Hopkins assuming Claude Rains' role. And further fueling my burgeoning – if cautious – optimisim, this past week, photos were released of Rick Baker's reimagining of the classic Ken Pierce Wolf Man make-up...
... and I like it.
I mean, I'm not surprised that the make-up's great – this is Rick Baker we're talking about, after all – but I'm impressed that they're using make-up at all, instead of going strictly for a CGI cartoon.
I understand that Del Toro's a big fan of the original 1941 film, and is also a co-producer on the remake. Dare I hope that this one will be respectful and be a worthy remake of a legendary – and damned fine – horror classic?