She-Wolf of London (1946)

Genres - Horror, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - May 17, 1946 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 61 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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With a tepid story reminiscent of silent-movie days, where every seemingly supernatural occurrence proved to be a mere hoax, Universal's She-Wolf of London should have come with a disclaimer. There is no "She-Wolf" in this quasi-horror opus, just a greedy old dame (Sara Haden) "gaslighting" poor, anemic June Lockhart in order to inherit the girl's fortune. Yet the studio packaged the film as part of its horror cycle, releasing it on a double-bill with the equally dishonest The Cat Creeps (1946). The screenwriters were of no help to horror fans: Why everyone should automatically assume that a werewolf is loose in London -- and a "She-Wolf" at that -- is never properly explained. And what exactly was the "Curse of the Allenbys," the film's European-release title? Scenes featuring Joan Wells as Miss Lockhart as a child and Clara Blandick as her nanny may have explained this curse, but unfortunately they ended up on the cutting room floor. Director Jean Yarborough and cameraman Maury Gertsman did their best to liven things up with odd camera angles and moody mise-en-scène, but all this was merely wasted on a typical Universal "B" cast that ranged from scenery-chewing (the redoubtable Miss Haden and various Cockney "bobbies"), to matter-of-fact (Don Porter and Jan Wiley), to downright weird (Eily Malyon -- who had replaced Una O'Connor). What the heavily-accented Martin Kosleck was doing playing a character named "Dwight Severn" is anybody's guess. Oddly, She-Wolf of London was released the same week as PRC's all-too-similar Devil Bat's Daughter (1946), in which a young girl (Rosemary LaPlanche) is led to believe that she is a vampire by her greedy guardian (Michael Hale).