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Cry of the Werewolf

USA 1944
produced by
Wallace MacDonald for Columbia
directed by Henry Levin
starring Nina Foch, Stephen Crane, Osa Massen, Blanche Yurka, Barton MacLane, Ivan Triesault, John Abbott, Fred Graff, John Tyrrell, Robert Williams, Fritz Leiber, Milton Parsons, George Eldredge, Ray Teal, George Magrill, Tiny Jones, Al Bridge, Fran O'Connor, Hector Sarno, Harry Semels, Al Thompson
story by Griffin Jay, screenplay by Griffin Jay, Charles O'Neal, music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Professor Morris (Fritz Leiber) runs the Museum of the Occult and presently investigates a legend about werewolf Marie Latour - but obviously he has come too close to the actual truth, because eventually, he is found killed - by a wolf ... and just the day his son Bob (Stephen Crane) arrives home from Washington too.

The police investigating the murder soon find a clue leading to Transylvania, and since the professor's assistant Elsa (Osa Massen), incidently Bob's sweetheart, is of Transylvanian origin - just like Marie Latour -, she soon becomes the prime suspect. When this clue leads to nothing though, a gypsy (Ivan Triesault) becomes a suspect, until of course he is killed by the werewolf. Eventually, the police question Celeste (Nina Foch), princess of the gypsy's tribe, but ultimately they find nothing on her - only Bob decides to investigate this trail further, and he is of course right, as Celeste is actually Marie Latour's daughter and the werewolf in question. However, Celeste has also fallen in love with Bob, and since she cannot have him due to her slight case of lycanthropy, she puts his girlfriend Elsa under a hypnotic spell, that makes her her sister in spirit.

Eventually, it all boils down to a showdown in the Museum of the Occult - also Celeste's secret temple - at the culmination of which Celeste first tries to make Elsa shoot Bob, then, as a wolf, attacks him herself, but ultimately she's killed, riddled by police bullets.

 

Cheaply produced shocker with many a shortcoming - like the rather slow pace or the finale, in which the werewolf looks way too much like a German Shepherd (which it of course is) -, but also with quite a few charming aspects like many a moody shot or a narrative full of pulp mainstays. Not a classic, that's for sure, but not bad for a horror-B from the 1940's.

Warning for the politically correct crowd though: The way this film treats gypsies is almost appaling.

 

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