What, oh what could be more painful than watching Lon Chaney Jr. attempt to play a role in a movie? Undoubtedly, it’s watching him play two roles in the same movie, as painfully demonstrated in the 1935 oddity; A Scream in the Night.
He’s not the only problem;
- It’s dingy.
- It features the slowest-moving police inspector on the planet. You could be charitable and say he’s “inexorable” but no, he’s glacier-like. I can relate. It’s my personal default pace.
- It features a parakeet who gives better line readings than any human actor in the flick. A parakeet.
- It features Mr. Chaney playing a scene with himself – badly on both sides. At least, when he played the Larry Talbot/Wolfman combo (over and over), one of his characters simply slobbered, slaughtered, and neglected personal hygiene.
Peter Sellers did this better; Dr. Strangelove (1964). George Zucco did it better; Dead Men Walk (1943). Hell, Hayley Mills did it better; The Parent Trap (1961).
Curious and dreadful.
I of course loved it.