The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller
Storyline: A young boy was born on Christmas day from a mute servant who was raped by a beggar. Now he is cursed by god with lycanthropy.
Review: Leon (Oliver Reed) was born on Christmas day; his mother (Yvonne Romain) was a mute servant who was raped by a beggar. This brought on the curse of lycanthropy which his adopted parents and he tries to hide from society. He grows up to become a handsome man but is haunted by nightmare at night (full moon) due to his disease. Supposedly only love will lift the curse. While in his travels he comes across working for a wine cellar and falls in love with his daughter Cristina (Catherine Feller). But every full moon he turns and brings terror to the villages.
This is one of the great Hammer films that lie outside of the Dracula series. The film relives on the internal battle of the young man and the beast. He wants to be normal and live a normal life but the curse keeps him with drawled from the rest of society. The makeup is very well done and he is one of the most notable of the werewolves in horror outside of the Wolfman himself. The story does become long before get to the curse as a quarter of the film is on the life of his mother and her torment. They should have swapped the leading ladies around as Yvonne Romain is beautiful and Catherine Feller just does not fit the part. Other than that this is a great film.
Rating: I’m a Hammer fan and I find this film rates as one of their better films. The storyline is filled and the acting is pretty decent. Oliver Reed and Yvonne Romain are both enjoyable to watch and the werewolf itself was well done. The only complaint would be the bright red blood they should have toned that down a bit.