Horrorfest 2022 Presents: The Werewolf (1956, Fred F. Sears)

The Werewolf is the second film in the Sam Katzman boxset from Arrow Films Video that I own on Blu-ray. Fred F. Sears decided to make a noir type horror movie where the title creature is a poor man turned into a monster by a pair of mad scientists. So he’s not a werewolf in the traditional sense although he fits the basic criteria of turning into a wolf quite often and then mauling people. The movie also fits in the classic angry mob elements and also makes the viewer sympathetic to the wolf man’s plight since he just wants to be a normal human being. There is an early wolf attack that is framed very well, and Sears handles the material and tries to rise above what is fairly B-movie style material.

Even though this is not a great movie it is a very good one, and there are multiple nice set pieces such as the mob hunting Duncan, the movie’s titular lycanthrope through the woods and a jail scene that is quite violent for a 1950s horror movie. Considering how the movie does not shy away from any violence I’m not surprised this got an X rating in Britain and that it was featured in drive in theaters in the United States. The finale is quite tragic and would be at home in any stark film noir movie, especially concerning the ending. The Werewolf is a welcome addition to my collection, and I can’t wait to view it again.

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