Directed by Fred F. Sears [Other horror films: Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), The Giant Claw (1957)]
This mid-50’s film wasn’t what I’d call a bad film, because The Werewolf did have some quality ideas here and there, but I have to admit to finding a decent amount of it a bit dry and sometimes more melodramatic than I’d have hoped.
I’ll give the movie props for the setting, being a small mountain town named Mountaincrest – I liked the feel of the small town, and the townsfolk all knowing each other is quaint. So that’s all fine and well, but otherwise, not much else here really did that much for me.
Let’s start with the werewolf himself – the special effects during the transformation scenes weren’t abominably bad, so I don’t think that was much of a problem, but the character (played by Steven Ritch) didn’t really interest me, and while I did feel quite bad for the man, I just found that I had a hard time caring much beyond that.
I also can’t help but hating the lead, being the sheriff (Don Megowan) – he starts out by wanting to purely kill the werewolf, than he decides to soften his stance and take the werewolf alive, and then after the werewolf escapes from jail (entirely out of the werewolf’s control), he goes back to pure bloodlust entirely without good reason. Megowan gave a fine, if generic, performance, but boy, his character was pretty awful.
Better were Joyce Holden and Ken Christy, or at least their characters were better. Let’s be honest – no performance in this movie is really stellar aside from maybe Steven Ritch, and like I said before, he didn’t do it for me. Harry Lauter was an okay side-character, S. John Launer and George Lynn made for okay antagonists, but again, nothing stellar.
Whatever the case was with this one, The Werewolf really didn’t impress me much. It started out decently, but I just found my interest waning pretty quickly into the film, and at no point did it really pick up for me. It’s an older werewolf film that might be worth looking into if werewolf movies are your thing, but that’s the best I can say about it.