Thanks to the fine folks at Movie Brain Rot, I found out that today is Lon Chaney Jr.’s birthday. As you’ve probably gathered from the billions of times I’ve mentioned it, I am a huge fan of The Wolf Man. And The Wolf Man wouldn’t be The Wolf Man without Lon Chaney, Jr. and his hang-dog expression. So here’s to you, Lon Chaney, Jr. Happy birthday, sir. Here are my three favorite non-wolf roles for Mr. Chaney since I’ve already poured my heart out about his best role.
High Noon, Martin Howe
And in the end you wind up dyin’ all alone on some dusty street. For what? For a tin star. It’s all for nothin’, Will. It’s all for nothin’.
Son of Dracula, Dracula
He played The Wolf Man AND Dracula. Hell, he also played Frankenstein on live TV once. He’s like the José Oquendo of monster actors, a real Swiss Army monster!
Spider Baby, Bruno
I don’t have the foggiest idea where to begin describing just what the hell happens in this movie. The general gist of it is that Chaney, Jr. is a caretaker for creepy, Addams Family-style batch of kids that misbehave in a bunch of goofy ways. It’s some of the campiest fun you’ll ever have, and it stars a very young Sid Haig (who you probably more easily recognize as Captain Spaulding from The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses). At any rate, it’s well worth the watch, even if it did happen late in Chaney’s career when he was taking whatever small budget roles he could find.