Tag Archives: Lon Chaney Jr

Lon Squared

Movie Night!

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.

Ol’ Junior’s not the only problem;

  • The film is 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: t’s my personal default pace, but as entertainment?
  • 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.

She Chose Poorly and Often

Movie Night!

Tonight’s delight is a perennial favorite from Spain and West Germany; THE WEREWOLF VS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (1971). Maybe “perennial” is a bit strong. Maybe “favorite” is a bit strong.

What’s that? The title’s not familiar to you?


Could it possibly be you’ve never seen this epic?

Lucky you.

This is a jolly little lycanthropic tale featuring Paul Naschy (aka Jacinto Molina), an ex-circus strongman who fashioned a career by playing a werewolf in about a dozen films. I guess you could think of Mr. Naschy as the Lon Chaney Jr. of Spain…I guess. But I think he just ran away from the circus to meet girls.

In this flick, he met Gaby Fuchs.

Gaby Fuchs plays a young vampire researcher with a mass of red hair and a mass of poor judgement as demonstrated;

  • She falls in love with the werewolf within 24 hours of meeting him.
  • She allows her girlfriend into her bedroom though she knows she’s a vampire with less than sisterly leanings.
  • She accepts a ride to the town’s post office with a truly creepy guy who explains; “I’m afraid the post office is closed, but I’d like to show you our butcher shop.” Can I buy a ticket for that tour?
  • Her outfits.

The titular vampire is veiled, impervious to bullets, adroit with chains and manacles, laughs a lot, and moves in slow-motion; an unusual skill set for 1971, but could perhaps qualify her to run for president today.

I loved it.