Author Topic: When did werewolf transformations become painful?  (Read 460 times)

Big Bad Wolf

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When did werewolf transformations become painful?
« on: January 17, 2017, 10:49:19 PM »
Watching some older werewolf films, I noticed that classic werewolves, like the Wolf Man for instance, have a rather different style when it comes to transformations. They don't writhe in pain and agony, there's no bones crunching or anything like that. It's more like they're falling into a dream state, or under hypnosis, a magic spell coming over them. In cases like Werewolf of London the werewolf may even transform while wide awake, such as the iconic scene where Wilfred Glendon transforms while walking past a series of pillars.

Meanwhile, while it's commonly accepted today that werewolves transform in pain and anguish, I can recall at least as early as Waldemar Daninsky the idea that such a transformation was very uncomfortable and painful.

So when did this shift in portrayal occur? Any ideas when, or why, or what film may have kicked it off?
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Mike...In 3-D!

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Re: When did werewolf transformations become painful?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 08:44:24 AM »
The earliest that I can remember is An American Werewolf in London (1981), but I don't know as I've seen many werewolf films earlier than that other than Werewolf of London (1935), The Wolf Man (1941) and its sequels and Curse of the Werewolf (1961). I don't actually own a physical copy of Curse, so I haven't seen it recently enough to remember if the transformation was painful.
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TJLamb0518

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Re: When did werewolf transformations become painful?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 10:20:38 AM »
Oliver Reed certainly seemed to be in distress.