Monday, November 3, 2008

Moon of the Wolf (1972) (TV)

Directed by:
Daniel Petrie

Marsh Island, a small Louisiana bayou town, is plagued by mysterious mutilation murders committed whenever there’s a full moon. They’re blamed on rabid dogs, but local good ole boy Sheriff Aaron Whitaker (David Janssen) thinks otherwise. He investigates the crimes, while getting romantically involved with a wealthy chatterbox named Louise (Barbara Rush), who is from “The First Family of Louisiana” and has just moved back into the family mansion with her overly-protective brother Andrew (Bradford Dillman). Hmmm. As the bodies start to pile up and it is determined that whoever is committing the crimes is strong enough to tear iron bars out of cement to murder someone else in a jail cell, the authorities are lead to believe that the culprit is not entirely human. Couldn’t be a werewolf, could it? The backwoods country folk include Tom (Royal Dano), a senile old coot who rants about the dreaded “lugaloo” and Lawrence (Geoffrey Lewis), the grumpy chief murder suspect whose brother was one of the victims.

Super-tame made-for-TV effort; so tame that it takes an entire hour until we get our first on-screen murder scene… which the camera cuts away from at the last minute. Even more elusive than the blood-n-gore is the monster, who is not seen until the very end. When it finally does show up, you see why it took so long; the minimal make-up (designed by Tom and William Tuttle) is pretty awful. Thankfully, Janssen makes an engaging lead and makes it bearable. Based on the novel by Leslie H. Whitton. It's been reissued on video and DVD many times.


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