01 November 2014

The Werewolf (1956)
80 min.
Directed by Fred Sears.
With Steven Ritch, Don Megowan, Joyce Holden, Eleanore Tanin, Kim Charney, Harry Lauter, Larry Blake.
Duncan Marsh (Ritch) is not a man to be envied.

After he's involved in a minor car accident, he's treated by two local doctors.

But the 'doctors' are actually crazy scientists who inject Duncan with a mysterious serum that causes him to turn into a hideous, rampaging werewolf.

Malpractice!

Seems the warped scientists are preparing for an apocalyptic war, and believe that lycanthropes will be some sort of 'new breed' in the post-nuclear fallout.

Meanwhile, a confused Duncan finds himself trapped in a small village called Mountaincrest, fighting for his life against a mob of angry lawmen and vindictive townies.

Oh, and the two lunatic scientists are also after Duncan, in hopes of capturing their prized guinea pig.

To make matters worse, the poor guy can't control how or when he'll turn into a beastly wolfman. Will he, can he survive this maddening nightmare of horrors?

More than any of the other Universal monster creations, the werewolf has an especially tragic feel to his legend, a uniquely sad mood that this 1956 matinee feature uses to its advantage.

Newcomer Ritch does a good job of conveying Duncan's inner turmoil, while the shortcomings of the low budget are well hidden by director Fred Sears and producer Sam Katzman.

Duncan's transformation scenes are energetically executed, and the final scene packs a poignant punch.

Worth a watch.

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