Moon of the Wolf (1972)

Article 3816 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-15-2012
Posting Date: 1-25-2012
Directed by Daniel Petrie
Featuring David Janssen, Bradford Dillman, Barbara Rush
Country: USA
What it is: Made-for-TV lycanthropy

When a young girl is found dead in the bayou, the belief is that wild dogs were responsible. However, an autopsy reveals that the killer was no wolf. And when more deaths occur, it becomes apparent that the killer has superhuman strength. And why does a dying old man keep referring to a loup-garou?

I really didn’t watch many of the made-for-TV horror movies when I was a kid in the seventies, but this is one I caught… at least for a while, until I lost interest in it. I’d been disappointed because the ads made it look like a horror movie when it was really some sort of a mystery, and for many years, I carried the belief that this was one of those movies which pretended to have fantastic content and didn’t. The problem was that I didn’t wait long enough, and having watched it now, I realize that I was dead wrong; yes, the first half plays more like a mystery, but ultimately it doesn’t cop out of the horror genre. Of course, as a kid, I expected the monsters to be trotted out early and often; as an adult, I’m more patient, and I found myself enjoying the movie more than I did as a kid, at least partially because the script is reasonably well-written and it’s well acted. In fact, it’s the horror content that is the most disappointing thing here; the werewolf makeup is not very impressive, and the climax is fairly unmemorable. For me, the most disappointing thing was the way it trots out the “loup-garou” word and plays all mysterious about it before finally explaining what it stands for; I knew what it stood for immediately and was annoyed that no one else in the movie knew, but that may be an individual reaction. All in all, it was watchable enough, but merely okay.

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