Friday, October 4, 2013

Night of Terror #4: 'Curse of the Werewolf'

The Hammer Films formula, as I understand it, is thus: Take a popular Universal Monster, crank up the blood, sex, and colors, take out anything that might get you in trouble with the lawyers (or "lawyies," as they're called in the UK), and release to theaters to massive financial success.

Curse of the Werewolf doesn't really hit the same highs as other more famous movies, but it starts out bracingly nasty and eventually settles into a pleasing genre trifle in the classic Halloween mold. Oliver Reed hadn't reached the height of his Oliver-Reedness at this point (it was his first starring role), but I did appreciate the animalistic physicality he brought to the werewolf during the distressingly few minutes of screen time it has.

I don't have a ton to say about this one so I'll close by singling out Clifford Evans, who plays Reed's father figure and brings a very subtle comic sensibility to a movie that's otherwise deadly serious. At first I was annoyed by his understated mugging but he eventually won me over, reminding me of actors like Adam West or Vincent Price.

Alternate title: Tears of the Werewolf.

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