Wednesday, December 30, 2015


During the production of Universal's WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935) Jack Pierce designed what was to be the last of his great gothic horror makeup creations. However, his idea of a man turning into a wolf, complete with fur covering his entire face, would have to wait a half-dozen more years until Lon Chaney, Jr. wore the makeup in THE WOLF MAN.

Henry Hull was cast as Dr. Wilfred Glendon in the titular role. Hull was known at the time as one of the stage and screen's greatest actors and he wielded great influence regarding the making of the productions he was to act in. When he caught wind of what Pierce was planning he balked at having his face covered in yak hair. Hull thought the full-face makeup would prevent audiences from observing the werewolf's expressions. Much like Lugosi's insistence on applying his own makeup in 1931's DRACULA, Pierce's idea was shot down by studio executives (probably the film's producer, Stanley Bergeman) in favor of Hull's request. Once again, Pierce would have to lick his creative wounds and bide his time.

The first issue of MODERN MONSTERS (April 1966) included an article on WEREWOLF OF LONDON, defending it as a worthy addition to the Universal classic monster film canon. It made thematic comparisons to the more well-known (and popular) Chaney, Jr's THE WOLF MAN, as well as detailing what separated the two. The unnamed author's (most likely publisher Jim Matthews) assertions are largely accurate, with the exception of naming the werewolf curative Mariphasa plant that Glendon brought back from Tibet as the "Mariposa".

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I actually think this image of a werewolf works pretty well. It gives a different sense of horror showing the human/animal conflict. imho