I Saw A Film!
This is an old favorite which was nothing like anything we’d seen before. Now it’s normal to have the black hilarity in a horror film, but at the time it was ground-breaking, it was exciting, it was cheap. At the time dark, comic horror was something essentially punk rock. Going back to this old fave after decades of forgetting about it was revealing.
The story, a fun one, a pair of young Americans hiking through the British countryside, the moors, find themselves in a small pub. They’re not welcome, there’s nothing to get them, the locals are all menacing. And so they’re sent off on their way with the advice of staying off the moors. Soon enough they are attacked, by a howling creature, which, before it can kill both the Americans is shot down by the locals, revealing a naked man.
As is solid movie trope fact, the werewolf disease has been passed on to our American friend, who is visited by his dead buddy who warns him that he’s going to change and kill people. And the only way out of it is to off himself. Each time Jack visits him he gets a little more grotesque. And much of the enjoyment of this film was in the over-the-top blood-splashing sequences.
David, our werewolf, makes friends with the lovely nurse (played by Logan’s Run alum Jenny Agutter, whom I could not imagine anyone more lovely than at the time!) who takes him home and unwittingly unleashes him on the poor public as the next full moon arrives.
In most ways this is the perfect horror film, it’s both horror and genre-bending hilarity. In the finale, the mess the werewolf causes is nothing short of a battle sequence. Sadly, David was unable to off himself and waking up naked with the zoo wolves left him feeling better than he’d felt in his life. I can imagine being a monster would have this effect (as so often in the films the monster-ization of man leaves him depleted and miserable, the effect here is opposite!).
This film is running free on prime (usa) and felt like the way we would wryly react when visited by ou recently dead friends, which, when you’re a teenager seems hilariously unlikely. Not the visitation, but just the death. Teenagers are certain of living forever after all.