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The Beast Must Die

UK 1974
produced by
Max J. Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky, Robert H. Greenberg (executive) for Amicus Productions
directed by Paul Annett
starring Calvin Lockhart, Peter Cushing, Anton Diffring, Charles Gray, Ciaran Madden, Tom Chadbon, Michael Gambon, Marlene Clark
screenplay by Michael Winder, based on the story There Shall be No Darkness by James Blish, music by Douglas Gamley, special effects by Ted Samuels

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Incredibly wealthy black big game hunter Newcliffe (Calvin Lockhart) has one goal in his llife - to hunt down a werewolf, the fiercest creature of them all ! To this end, he invites some acquaintances to his high security mansion who have all one thing in common - violent deaths in their proximity -, knowing one of them is a real life werewolf (how he knows we are never told) but not knowing who. But as Newcliffe is British, the first confrontations of the guest with this wicked reality does take place at the dinnertable, & good manners are kept up at all costs - even though Newcliffe is insulting almost everyone. But already the same night, the security system guarding the house (& controlled by Anton Diffring) pick up first signs of the beast - without the surveillance cameras revealing the werewolf's identity though. But while newcliffe goes out hunting, the wolf comes back home, ultimately killing Anton Diffring & destroying large part of the surveillance system. Thwe atmosphere between the houseguests turns tense thereafter, many of them wanting to escape, but none of them successfully. The second night has 2 more victims, & by the 3rd night, the number of suspects is shrunk down to a handful, & then ... The WereWolfBreak, the audience gets 30 seconds to gues who the werewolf is (though no significant clues have been laid out by the script). & it was ... Newcliffes girlfriend !?! But wait a little, wasn't she with Newcliffe when he fought the werewolf ? Yup, so she only was infected by the werewolf (but has to die anyways), while the real werewolf was Michael Gambon (who of course has to die too) for some reason or another. But then he also infected Newcliffe, who now has to kill himself too ! 

Peter Cushing (with German accent) is a professor who gives the pointers but has disappointingly little to do otherwise.

 

Around the mid-70's, numerous small producers made numerous bizarre attempts to infuse new blood into the ailing horror genre: Hammer, for example, tried its hands on a horror-kung fu-mix (The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires). Amicus meanwhile made this rather desperate attempt: It's a mix of werewolf story, action movie, whodunit, gimmick movie (the stupid & pointless, nevertheless funny werewolf break) & blaxploitation (not only is the hero black, he also acts, talks & dresses like straight out of a blaxploitationer, & some of the music is suitably funky), which works about as well together as it sounds. Amusing on an unintentional level nevertheless.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD