Friday, October 14, 2011
31 Days Has October: THE WEREWOLF
Anyway, though produced by the notoriously cheap Katzman, The Werewolf is a nifty little monster flick, that benefits from some picturesque natural location work, shot around Big Bear Lake in the San Bernadino National Forest in Northern California. The werewolf make-up is cool, too; created and executed by Clay Campbell, it is nearly identical to the one he created for actor Matt Willis a decade earlier for the 1944 Bela Lugosi chiller, The Return Of The Vampire, just a little shaggier.
The script is exciting and even thoughtful, populated by a cast of characters that come across as real people. The characters evince sympathy for the tortured human within the monster, and try to take him alive with the intent of trying to get him help. It's only when the body count gets too high and the wolf overcomes the man that the townspeople, led by the compassionate sheriff (Don McGowan), realize they have no choice but to shoot to kill. And that's another cool thing about the movie - as this werewolf is a creature of science, there's no need for silver bullets or full moons or any of the other traditional trappings.
The Werewolf is not a horror "classic," but it's a much better-than-average 50s B-monster flick, and one of my favorites.