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Legend of the Werewolf

UK 1975
produced by
Kevin Francis for Tyburn
directed by Freddie Francis
starring Peter Cushing, David Rintoul, Lynn Dalby, Stefan Gryff, Ron Moody, Hugh Griffith, Roy Castle, Renee Houston, Marjorie Yates, Norman Mitchell, Mark Weavers, David Bailie, Hilary Farr (as Hilary Labow), Elaine Baillie, Michael Ripper, Patrick Holt, John Harvey, Pamela Green, Sue Bishop, James McManus, Jane Cussons
written by Anthony Hinds (as John Elder), music by Harry Robertson, conducted by Philip Martell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

When he was little, Etoile (Mark Weavers), who was actually brought up by wolves, was the attraction of a tiny zoo, but the more he became domesticated and in fact normal, dull maybe even, the less he was of use to Maestro Pamponi (Hugh Griffith), so when he (as an adult played by Hugh Griffith) eventually ran away, Pamponi didn't waste much time or sweat looking for him. Before long, Etoile finds employment at a Paris zoo though, as the zookeeper (Ron Moody) did notice his great talent handling animals, especially (surprise) wolves. Eventually, Etoile falls in love with Christine (Lynn Dalby), a regular customer to the zoo ... but then he's really devastated having to find out she's actually a prostitute - and that night (full moon night), three of her regulars are brutally slaughtered by a wolf. The police's a bit baffled by this, but coroner and amateur sleuth professor Paul (Peter Cushing) investigates on his own, puts two and two and maybe some more twos together, and when the next full moon, some more people are killed by the "wolf", he's already pretty close on Etoile's trail, having figured he has to be a werewolf. Ultimately, Etoile is allowed to die in Christine's arms though ...


Both stylistically and narratively, Legend of the Werewolf is a rather typical British horror flick, of the kind that studios Hammer and Amicus had been putting out successfully some 10 to 15 years earlier ... and that's already the main problem of the film: Since the 1960s, the horror genre has evolved significantly, both in story and style, had put more emphasis on contemporary stories and settings, showed less love to traditional monsters like werewolves ... and yet, Legend of the Werewolf tries to neglect all that, tells a very old-fashioned story in a very old-fashioned and very formulaic way. This isn't only bad per se, as the film has some bright moments, and Peter Cushing turns in another absolutely marvelous performance - but at the same time the film looks oddly out of place in the mid-1970s, fails to really hold interest due to its high predictability, and despite being at least solidly directed on a budget (e.g. the very limited Paris-sets fail to convince this "Paris" is any more than a small village), its main problem is it has exactly nothing new or original to offer to the genre - and that said, if old-fashioned horror fun's what you're after, you'll probably at least be entertained by this one (as was I).


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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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD