May 2nd, 2014: Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

The Curse of the Werewolf

Cast and Crew: Terence Fisher (Director); Anthony Hinds (Screenplay, Producer); Michael Carreras (Executive Producer);  Anthony Dawson, Desmond Llewelyn

What It’s About: Leon (Oliver Reed) is an unwanted child.  His mother was raped by a madman and she died in child-birth when he was born on Christmas Day all bad omens in rural 18th century Spain.  Leon is taken in by Don Alfredo (Clifford Evans), but even the Don cannot protect him when he starts becoming a werewolf.

Why Watch it Today?: Star Oliver Reed died on this date in 1999.  Curse of the Werewolf was Reed’s first starring role, in the period when he was still working for England’s Hammer Studios, usually in smaller parts supporting the likes of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.  He went on to a career that often ping-ponged between highs like The Three Musketeers and lows like Condorman.  Here Reed gives a good performance in Hammer’s only werewolf film, which includes some werewolf folklore that rarely gets screen time (such as the belief that a child born on Christmas Day is unlucky and may become a werewolf or vampire).

Other Choices:  The Four Musketeers; The Brood; The Lion of the Desert; The Pirates of Blood River

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One comment on “May 2nd, 2014: Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

  1. geelw says:

    Heh. I can recall a fight breaking out in grade school once thanks to this film airing on TV and one kid making an interesting religious reference to someone else born on that holiday who had a bit of bad luck. I still get a chuckle now and then because of that memory…

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