Sunday, October 07, 2007

31 Days of Halloween - Day 7 - Movie

I've had "Moon of the Wolf" (1972) sitting on my shelf for at least three years, and finally felt compelled to watch it. This made for tv movie wasn't too bad to start with. The initial murder mystery is pretty nicely set-up as is the cast of suspects along with the soap opera trappings of secret pregnancies, and social prejudices. Unfortunately, you know the killer is a werewolf, and it's even pretty obvious who it is that turns into the werewolf as soon as the character is first introduced. There's nothing more tiring about a mystery than waiting for the sheriff, played by David Janssen, investigating the case to catch up with the viewer. He spends much of the movie, in a French speaking region of Louisiana trying to find someone who can tell him what a loup garou is. Maybe in 1972, a tv audience would have been just as in the dark, but it is called "Moon of the Wolf" after all.

Once the werewolf is finally revealed, he's defeated in the most anticlimatic way possible, and the sheriff isn't even present when it happens. The build up to this point wasn't too bad, a little suspense and maybe throwing one of the characters in jeapordy might have turned this into a nice little tv movie.

Much of the second half of this movie is set up so that you're waiting for the big reveal of what the werewolf looks like. Well, look at the top of this post. there he is. The make-up was done by William Tuttle who also did the make-up for "Mark of the Vampire," George Pal's "The Time Machine" and "The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao," and "Young Frankenstein," so you have to assume that there wasn't a lot of time set asside for applying a complex make-up (no transformation scene either), which is why this well groomed werewolf's minor amount of facial hair stops at the neckline.

Even so, I'll take this over crappy fake looking CGI werewolves any day.

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