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  The Wolf Man, Jack!
Posted by Jack Mingo on 2000/11/24 12:34:48 US/Eastern

Nearly everything you know about wolf men and women? (Were there wolf women?) Despite the fact that wolf man legends go back 2000 years, most of the specifics we all "know" came from the fevered mind of a B-movie screenwriter whose death became known this week. For "The Wolf Man" Curt Siodmak--who died at 98 on September 2 but whose obituary didn't hit the papers until a few days ago--made up most of the details that people thought were from genuine folklore. For example, that a wolf man can be felled by a silver bullet (meaning that the Lone Ranger and the Coors Beer Co become invaluable allies). He also wrote that famous little poem that has been attributed to "gypsy folklore": [more]

"Even a man who's pure in heart
And says his pravers at night
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright."

Siodmak also wrote the creepy "Beast With Five Fingers" about a disembodied hand that seeks revenge, "I Walked With a Zombie," "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man," "Son of Dracula" and more of the same.

Let me finish with a mind-boggling line from his NY Times obituary: "'I Walked With a Zombie' (1943) is considered a horror film classic, seen by critics as a sly adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' set on a Carribbean island with voodoo, music and zombies."

Yow! I knew something had to be done to liven up the original, but never suspected that this was it. I guess that's why my obituary isn't in the Times.

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