O Wolfman, Where Are Thou?

We come not to praise 'The Wolfman', but to bury itI’ve already filed this week’s DVD column, but there was something that deserved a little elaboration beyond the standard capsule-review format. Think of this as bonus content for loyal blog readers.

If you had the misfortune to see “The Wolfman” last winter, you know what a mess it was — an ungainly, messy thing that briefly tried for the eerie atmosphere of the classics Universal monster movies, but then plunged into hectic, smash-cut silliness. Surely, we thought, this wasn’t the film Joe Johnston had in mind.

Well, it wasn’t. This week, the movie comes to DVD and Blu-ray in an unrated director’s cut that restores a good fifteen minutes of material to the feature — most of it in the first reel. The movie’s still kind of a mess, but the longer version is a modest improvement.

But why did it have to be a mess in the first place? As makeup artist Rick Baker admits in a forthright interview over at Horror Squad, nobody really knew what sort of movie they wanted to make. Take a look, and despair for the state of the studio-driven monster movie. And if you’re thinking of bringing “The Wolfman” home, I’d suggest renting rather than buying — and be sure you select the extended cut.