Svengoolie presents … She-Wolf of London (1946)
This week, Svengoolie presents a young June Lockhart in a werewolf movie, a definite two-star special that has not been broadcast on TV for years. It is more of a suspense mystery than a supernatural thriller, for whatever that’s worth. This black-and-white movie recalls the days of heavy dialogue-based movies, one set in early 20th century London.
The movie’s plot is pretty straightforward, following a couple due to be engaged. Werewolf rumors become inflamed when there are a series of murders at a nearby park. Inspector Pierce begins to investigate the appearances of a female werewolf, who is prowling around the park at night. Soon, a woman’s husband-to-be takes up the investigation and confronts the mystery.
If only there were more moody locations or scenes in this movie, like in other classic monster movies. It is a Universal movie, but there is nothing of the moody Wolfman or Dracula (1931) here. Perhaps worst of all, there is no werewolf, wolf, or monster in this movie. The characters just talk talk talk about a werewolf killing people, but no wolf is ever shown. I can’t even remember anyone raising their voice in this dulldrum of a movie. There’s no wolf in your werewolf movie, bub! Why is it called She-Wolf? Who knows.
When this movie was first shown, it was not good enough to carry its own feature, but instead was shown as a double-feature with another equally-bad movie, The Cat Creeps. The only reason to watch this movie is to watch June Lockhart early in her career, way before Lost in Space or anything else we might remember her from. It is just so dull. It plods along, with a mystery of a female werewolf disturbing everyone and putting everyone else to sleep.
Some studio executive tried to ease our pain by cutting this movie down to a short running-time of 61 minutes. Even 30 minutes in, we are given no werewolves, no running from monsters, no nothing. When the young Phillis wakes up wondering where she was during the night, she is horrified at the blood on her hands. Blood? Where? Even in black-and-white, I couldn’t see a damned thing on her hands. This movie tries to tell us to be scared or interested, but doesn’t do anything to convince us.
In the original Wolfman, we are given some monster action, but no make-up or monster effects are anywhere to be seen in this stinker. I wonder if this movie was made on the cheap, but it certainly screams bottom-barrel extravaganza.
All in all, this was probably the most forgettable movie ever made. The movie wasn’t even that funny. The dialogue was atrocious in places, sure, but that’s about it. No over-the-top acting, no hideous make-up, just dull acting. And more dull acting. No wonder this movie is forever banished to the bargain bin.