My fondness for Oliver Reed is well know, I suspect. Curse of the Werewolf is a fine Hammer offering that doesn’t get the love Cushing and Lee get or the vamps and Frankies do. But as it’s October already, it seems appropriate to highlight one of the less well known films of the famous British studio that brought cleavage to horror (well, maybe not single-handedly, but –) and helped boost a number of new actors into the spotlight.
Before Curse, Reed had mostly had parts with titles like “Man with Bucket on his Head” and “Teddy Boy in Cinema Fight”although he also had “Poet” and in Tony Hancock’s The Rebel a rather noticeable (okay, maybe it was just me) French “Artist in Café” who help inspire Anthony.
In Curse, Ollie turns out to be the Christmas-born spawn of a mute servant girl raped by a bestial beggar, thrown together by an evil Marques. Raised by the kindly Don Corledo, the wolfish boy learns his terrible curse and gets cautioned that only love can tame the beast. When a friend takes the grown up Leon to a brothel, the beast emerges (Freud who?) and only his innocent fiancée can keep the beast at bay. But can the beast be chained?
Well, it is a Hammer film, so don’t expect that all will be well. For more overlooked films, drop by Sweet Freedom for Todd’s compendium. In case you missed it, I am now an officially registered alien and have my card to prove it. A long day, but at last it’s done.