Classic horror movie, released by Universal Studios in 1935. It was directed by Stuart Walker and written by John Colton, based on a story by Robert Harris. Makeup effects were provided by Jack Pierce. It starred Henry Hull as Dr. Wilfred Glendon, Warner Oland as Dr. Yogami, Valerie Hobson as Lisa Glendon, and Lawrence Grant as Paul Ames.

Basic plot: Dr. Glendon is a botanist visiting Tibet to look for a rare flower, the marifasa, which only blooms in moonlight. But almost as soon as he finds it, he is attacked by some sort of creature! (Is it a cat? Is it a rat? Is it a kangaroo? What's the title of this movie again?) Though Glendon is able to get away, he gets some scratches on his arm. Upon returning to London, Glendon starts studying his new find, secretly growing a bit jealous as his wife starts spending more time with one of her old boyfriends. Glendon also meets up with Dr. Yogami, a mysterious Oriental gentleman with an obsessive interest in the marifasa. Yogami tells Glendon that the marifasa can be used to combat lycanthropy! "Pish posh!" Glendon thinks. "Men of science don't believe in such rubbish! I say, what's with these fangs, excess hair growth, and bloodlust?"

Made six years before 1941's "The Wolf Man", this film is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it suffers from the clunkiness that seemed to plague most horror movies in the 1930s, with far too much time devoted to melodrama and completely unnecessary comic relief. But on the other paw, the transformation scenes are as good as the ones in "The Wolf Man", and Pierce's subtler makeup is actually more effective than the work he'd later do on the Lon Chaney, Jr. picture. Warner Oland, already typecast as an Asian, thanks to the Charlie Chan movies, is enjoyable as the ominous Dr. Yogami, and Hull, who spent most of his time as a character actor, does a good job as a man simultaneously dignified, desperate, and savage.

All in all, provided you can get through some of the dated dialogue, it's worth a rental.

Some research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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