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Old September 3 2008, 02:04 AM   #169
Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

Return of the Wolf Man was a lot of fun. I think that it was, for the most part, a much more solid effort than the Dark Horse Press books. I didn't mind the move to modern times, because I don't really think that negates the possibility of other stories, except by this author. It doesn't look like it was a huge hit or anything, and the author doesn't appear to have written any other Universal Monsters tie-ins. It's disappointing on that part, because he's really good at capturing Larry Talbot, and there's a fun semi-cliffhanger ending that alludes to Werewolf of London.

My nitpicks are few and far between. The weirdest bit in the book was an almost off-hand comment in which Talbot states that he hasn't eaten anything but human flesh since he became a werewolf. That threw me a little, wondering where the author got that notion, but after thinking on it, I guess it's not really that weird. I don't recall ever seeing him eat in any of the movies, so it's not like it conflicts with anything on film. And he's clearly a supernatural creature--aside from the general werewolf affliction, he's seemingly immortal, etc. I guess it just surprised me because it's a disturbing thought. Still, it led to one of the better lines in the book:

Another minor nitpick was that even though the Dracula in the book is clearly the Lugosi version, the book confirms that he's Vlad Tepes. That's always a personal gripe of mine, though, and I can't really blame Rovin for going that route, as it's a popular one. I liked In Search of Dracula, but man, ever since that book, Drac and Vlad have been inseparable.

All that said, the "flashback" describing his origin had a neat tie to the Dracula ring as well as some nods to Stoker's book.

He also mentioned Drac's fangs a lot. He obviously had them in the films (that, or he sort of sucked the blood out psychically), but it still seems weird to imaging Lugosi flashing them like Christopher Lee.

But despite the nitpicks, it was a really fun read. He's got a few nods to other films, while not taking it quite as far as Elizabeth Hand did in her Bride book. There are ties to White Zombie, for example, since that takes place in Haiti, and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein is set in Florida. Apparently, Murder Legendre got replaced by Dracula as the plantation master. I was half dreading that Drac would "confess" to masquerading as Legendre, but fortunately, that didn't happen.

When someone asks what happened to Chick Young and Wilbur Grey, they're told that after they told everyone about the monsters, they disappeared, and rumor had it that they changed aliases a few times and even joined the Foreign Legion. You have to love little bits like that.

I definitely recommend it, especially if you can get it on the (somewhat) cheap.
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