Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Curse of the Werewolf article

I've seen trailers that gave away the climax of the film, but a poster?

Hammer's one and only werewolf movie does for the genre what their Dracula, Frankenstein and Mummy movies did; revitalized it with energy and more horror. A terrific score highlights the action and character pathos as we see an innocent man doomed by cruel fate to become a wolf under the light of a full moon.

Some screen captures from the DVD:

The credits are superimposed over one of the most striking visuals in any Hammer film... the werewolf's eyes in close up, shifting back and forth, and never blinking the entire time. My own eyes were watering as bad as the wolfman's, from watching what must have been a very difficult thing to do.

The makeup is a departure from the traditional Universal monster, with only enhanced eyesbrows and fangs, with the hair beginning at the edges of the face. It seems more like a man with wolf-like elements, than a fully-changed beast. The film also departs from the traditional "wolf bites man" method of receiving the curse; here, he's a victim of a cursed birth, resulting from the rape of a madman, and being born on Christmas Day. One would think that a child born on that day would be blessed rather then cursed; it seems a bit unfair to punish a child who had no choice in the matter. But, that's the superstition in the story and even his baptism shows he is under an evil influence.

Upon being killed by a silver bullet by one who loves him, in this case his adoptive father, he doesn't even change back to a man when killed; another departure from the expected. One of the most unusual werewolf movies made, and one of the best.

The cover of Issue #1 of the short-lived "Movie Monsters" magazine, which came out in the winter of 1974. The article below is from the inside.

Below are some of the marvelous promotional shots for the movie with the hirsute wolfman and the lovely Yvonne Romain. Strangely, the two never encounter one another in the movie; for Yvonne plays the unfortunate mother of wolfman-to-be who dies giving him birth. So in these shots he is attacking his mother! I suppose they wanted to show the wolfman with the most attractive female in the cast, but the images are misleading.

A nice painting of the werewolf below which I found online, but was unable to trace the source.


Francesca Paolucci said...

One of the best werewolf flick EVER!

CMX54 said...

I remember that magazine! Our local newsstands didn't carry it, so I had to bribe a friend in Michigan to buy copies and send them my way. Of course I loved Monster Times and Castle of Frankenstein too, but my fave of 'em all was Paul Blaisdell's old Fantastic Monsters magazine.

Hey, this is a fun blog, too! I love classic ST, but am also a huge fan of 50s and 60s sci-fi and monster films.

AIP Rulz! ;-)

Frederick said...


Glad you discovered this one too! Have you seen my newpaper move ad blog? www.HeldOverMovies.blogspot.com

There's a graphic link to it on the sidebar of the Trek site also. Glad you are enjoying it! I post about once a week here, ideally.

Coop said...

I've seen Oliver Reed on late night UK TV look must worse than he did in this movie after a few sherbets!
Please check out http://apatchworkofflesh.blogspot.com/ for details of a Frankenstein art project I am running. I'd love some involvement from you and your readers.

Dash MacBastard said...

Dude, I need to tag you...

The Rules of the Tagging Game are:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.

2) Post the rules on your blog.

3) Write six random things about yourself.

4) Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.

5) Let each of the six persons know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Anonymous said...

I remember returning from a holiday from Hawaii as a kid and reading this magazine on the plane. I was always a big fan of this movie. I remember having a Curse of the Werewolf magazine which basically retold the plot from the movie in comic book format. I sometimes wonder whatever happened to it.

Old Folkie said...

Just wanted to drop a thank you for posting that article!

Unknown said...

Curse of the Werewolf Comic Strip

My husband is a huge fan of Curse of the Werewolf and Oliver Reed. We recently acquired the original comic strip pages, and they are beautifully displayed on our living room wall. They have a very happy home :)