The Curse of the Werewolf
The Curse of the Werewolf is a 1961 British horror film based on the novel The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore. The film was shot at Bray Studios; the leading part of the werewolf was Oliver Reed's first starring role in a film. Benjamin Frankel's score is notable for its use of twelve-tone serialism, rare in film music; the story is set in 18th century Spain. A beggar is imprisoned by a cruel marquis after making inappropriate remarks at the nobleman's wedding; the beggar is forgotten, survives another fifteen years. His sole human contact is with his beautiful mute daughter; the aging, decrepit Marques makes advances on the jailer's daughter. When she refuses him, the Marques has her thrown into the dungeon with the beggar; the beggar, driven mad by his long confinement, rapes her and dies. The girl is sent to "entertain" the Marques Siniestro, she flees. She is found in the forest by the kindly gentleman-scholar Don Alfredo Corledo who lives alone with his housekeeper Teresa; the warm and motherly Teresa soon nurses the girl back to health, but she dies after giving birth to a baby on Christmas Day, a fact that Teresa considers "unlucky"..
Alfredo and Teresa raise the boy. Leon is cursed by his Christmas Day birth. An early hunting incident gives him a taste for blood. Soon, a number of goats are found dead, a herder's dog is blamed. Thirteen years Leon as a young man leaves home to seek work at the Gomez vineyard. Don Fernando Gomez sets Leon to work in the wine cellar with Jose Amadayo with whom he soon forms a friendship. Leon falls in love with Fernando's daughter and becomes despondent at the seeming impossibility of marrying her, allows Jose take him to a nearby brothel, where he transforms and kills Vera and Jose returning to Alfredo's house. Too late, he learns that Cristina's loving presence prevents his transformation, he is about to run away with her when he is arrested and jailed on suspicion of murder, he begs to be executed before he changes again. His wolf nature rising to the surface, he breaks out of his cell, killing an Old Soak and the Gaoler. Shocked and disgusted by his appearance, the local people summon his scholarly stepfather, who has obtained a silver bullet made from a crucifix blessed by an archbishop.
Though torn with grief, Alfredo shoots Leon dead and tearfully covers his body with a cloak. Howard Thompson of The New York Times wrote that some of the color photography was "beautiful," adding that "for a werewolf yarn this Hammer Production has a Gothic type of narrative, not uninteresting, if broadly acted." Harrison's Reports graded the film as "Good," finding the production values "a big asset" although the review felt there was "not enough action." Variety called it "an outstanding entry of the horror picture genre. Although not a frightening or novel story treatment of the perennial shock film topic, it is a first-class effort in other respects." The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "Even by Hammer standards, this is a singularly repellent job of slaughter-house horror... The time has come when a film like this should be turned over to the alienists for comment. In North America, the film was released on 6 September 2005 along with seven other Hammer horror films on the 4-DVD set The Hammer Horror Series, part of MCA-Universal's Franchise Collection.
This set was re-released on Blu-ray on 13 September 2016. The film was adapted into a 15-page comic strip for the January 1978 issue of the magazine The House of Hammer, it was drawn by John Bolton from a script by Steve Moore. The cover of the issue featured a painting by Brian Lewis as Leon in werewolf forms; the Curse of the Werewolf at the TCM Movie Database The Curse of the Werewolf on IMDb The Curse of the Werewolf at AllMovie The Curse of the Werewolf at Rotten Tomatoes The Curse of the Werewolf at BritMovie
The Beast Within
The Beast Within is a 1982 American horror film directed by Philippe Mora and starring Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Paul Clemens, L. Q. Jones, Don Gordon, R. G. Armstrong, Katherine Moffat, Meshach Taylor; the film is a loose adaptation of Edward Levy's 1981 novel of the same name. While driving through Mississippi and Eli MacCleary get stuck on a deserted road. Eli walks to a service station for help. A monster chained in a cellar breaks escapes into the forest, it finds the MacClearys' car and rapes Caroline. Eli and the service station attendant find her lying in the forest; as they drive off, two gunshots are heard. Seventeen years their son Michael, conceived as a result of Caroline's rape, has become ill; the family returns to Mississippi looking for information about the man who assaulted Caroline, in case Michael's illness is genetic. They learn about the unsolved murder of a mortician named Lionel Curwin, seventeen years prior; the townspeople, including Judge Curwin and newspaper editor Edwin Curwin, refuse to tell them anything.
Eli and Caroline ask Sheriff Bill Poole about Lionel's death. Poole tells them Lionel's corpse was found eaten. Possessed, Michael murders and cannibalizes Edwin Curwin, he collapses. Amanda calls the police, Michael is taken to the hospital. Doc Schoonmaker tells Michael's parents. Michael goes to Amanda's house to thank her, they go for a walk in the forest. Amanda tells Michael she is the daughter of Horace Platt, an abusive alcoholic, Lionel Curwin's cousin; as the teens kiss, Amanda's dog arrives with Edwin's severed arm. They alert the sheriff. Horace commands Michael to stay away from Amanda. Caroline and Michael return to the hospital, while Eli and Schoonmaker search for clues, they uncover a swamp full of human bones with human teeth-marks. Schoonmaker thinks one bone belonged to a patient of his; the men go to the mortuary and question Dexter Ward, Lionel Curwin's apprentice when the woman died. Ward denies. After the men leave, Ward calls the judge and demands money in return for silence, he is soon killed by a possessed Michael.
At the graveyard, the men discover. They find him dead. Michael, still possessed, finds a man named Tom Laws. Laws converses with the spirit possessing Michael. Assuming direct control of Michael, Connors describes using magic to return as a spirit to punish the Curwin family after his death seventeen years earlier; the next day, the judge tells Poole investigate the murders. Laws tries to tell Poole that Connors has possessed Michael and is killing people, but Poole dismisses him. Connors kills Laws for talking to Poole. Afraid of his behavior, Michael warns her to leave town. While she packs and Michael struggle to control Michael's body. Michael throws himself from Amanda's window to prevent Connors from killing her, he returns to the hospital and begs to be killed, fearing that Connors will take over and Michael will be unable to stop him. He tells Eli to go to Lionel Curwin's house and look in the basement, they find. At the hospital, Eli and Schoonmaker witness Michael transform into a monster as Connors takes control and kills Horace.
Everyone flees to the police station. Judge Curwin confesses. After discovering Connors was having an affair with his wife, Lionel killed her and imprisoned Connors in his cellar, he fed Connors corpses stolen from the mortuary until one night, Connors transformed into a monster, broke free, killed Lionel. He raped Caroline in the woods before being shot by Lionel's relatives returning to the cellar to die. Connors attacks the police station, kills the judge, is pursued into the forest, he rapes her. Caroline shoots him in the head, it is implied that Connors may have impregnated continuing the cycle of his resurrection. The screenplay was written by an uncredited Danilo Bach. In an interview with Choice Cuts Holland stated that producer Harvey Bernhard had bought the rights to Levy's novel based on the title alone, but that by the time he started writing the script the novelist had not yet delivered the book because he was going through a divorce. Director Mora has stated that United Artists cut several scenes from the film which clarified some of the story's plot details.
This film score was the final feature-length score for composer Les Baxter, who considered it to be one of his finest. James Horner was rumored to have contributed to the film's score with elements from his music used by Baxter; the film was released theatrically in the United States by United Artists in February 1982. It grossed $1,250,000 on its opening weekend with an average of $2,545 making it #10 in box office; the film ended up grossing $7,742,572. The film was released on DVD in the United States by MGM Home Entertainment as part of their Midnite Movies line in 2001; this version is out of print. The film was released on Blu-ray by Scream Factory on December 17, 2013. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 11% of nine surveyed critics gave the film a positive review. Vincent Canby from New York Times gave the film a negative review calling it "very foolish" criticizing the film's acting. Dennis Schwartz from Ozus' World Movie Reviews awa
A horror film is a film that seeks to elicit fear. Inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, horror has existed as a film genre for more than a century; the macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction, thriller genres. Horror films aim to evoke viewers' nightmares, fears and terror of the unknown. Plots with in the horror genre involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, extraterrestrials, werewolves, Satanism, evil clowns, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, zombies, psychopaths, ecological or man-made disasters, serial killers; some sub-genres of horror film include low-budget horror, action horror, comedy horror, body horror, disaster horror, found footage, holiday horror, horror drama, psychological horror, science fiction horror, supernatural horror, gothic horror, natural horror, zombie horror, disaster films, first-person horror, teen horror.
The first depiction of the supernatural on screen appear in several of the short silent films created by the French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès in the late 1890s. The best known of these early supernatural-based works is the 3-minute short film Le Manoir du Diable known in English as The Haunted Castle or The House of the Devil; the film is sometimes credited as being the first horror film. In The Haunted Castle, a mischievous devil appears inside a medieval castle and harasses the visitors. Méliès' other popular horror film is La Caverne maudite, which translates to "the accursed cave"; the film known for its English title The Cave of the Demons, tells the story of a woman stumbling over a cave, populated by the spirits and skeletons of people who died there. Méliès would make other short films that historians consider now as horror-comedies. Une nuit terrible, which translates to A Terrible Night, tells a story of a man who tries to get a good night's sleep but ends up wrestling a giant spider.
His other film, L'auberge ensorcelée, or The Bewitched Inn, features a story of a hotel guest getting pranked and tormented by an unseen presence. In 1897, the accomplished American photographer-turned director George Albert Smith created The X-Ray Fiend, a horror-comedy that came out a mere two years after x-rays were invented; the film shows a couple of skeletons courting each other. An audience full of people unaccustomed to the idea would have found it frightening and otherworldly; the next year, Smith created the short film Photographing a Ghost, considered a precursor to the paranormal investigation subgenre. The film portrays three men attempting to photograph a ghost, only to fail time and again as the ghost eludes the men and throws chairs at them. Japan made early forays into the horror genre. In 1898, a Japanese film company called Konishi Honten released two horror films both written by Ejiro Hatta. Though there are no records of the cast, crew, or plot of Bake Jizo, it was based on the Japanese legend of Jizo statues, believed to provide safety and protection to children.
The presence of the word bake—which can be translated to "spook," "ghost," or "phantom"—may imply a haunted or possessed statue. Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomón, regarded as one of the most significant silent film directors, was popular for his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions, an innovation that contributed to the popularity of trick films in the period, his famous works include Satan at Play. The Selig Polyscope Company in the United States produced one of the first film adaptations of a horror-based novel. In 1908, the company released Mr. Hyde, now a lost film, it is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic gothic novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, published 15 years prior, about a man who transforms between two contrasting personas. Georges Méliès liked adapting the Faust legend into his films. In fact, the French filmmaker produced at least six variations of the German legend of the man who made a pact with the devil. Among his notable Faust films include Faust aux enfers, known for its English title The Damnation of Faust, or Faust in Hell.
It is the filmmaker's third film adaptation of the Faust legend. In it, Méliès took inspiration from Hector Berlioz's Faust opera, but it pays less attention to the story and more to the special effects that represent a tour of hell; the film takes advantage of stage machinery techniques and features special effects such as pyrotechnics, substitution