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The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973)

February 18th, 2011 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

Aw, c’mon how’s a person supposed to not enjoy THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF? You’d have to be quite the Smurf kicking curmudgeon. Yes, the werewolf wears a turtleneck but decapitations, even if enacted off-screen, have to count for something. This 1973 PG-rated affair was the last film directed by NATHAN JURAN (ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN) and although it’s about as menacing as a bag of pink marshmallows, it’s a clever enough kiddie telling of the werewolf mythos and you don’t have to scratch too hard to sense heavier themes beneath the surface obstinate as ingrown hairs. For a film directed toward the younger set it refreshingly resists dunking its paw in sugar coating. Little Richie Bridgestone’s parents are getting a very un-Brady-like divorce and although Richie loves his dad, he’s thinking it might be a good idea to snitch on pop for frequently turning into a savage monster and pushing occupied vehicles off of cliffs. The movie says, “Werewolf”; I smell gin.

I’m not sure where this thing was filmed but the locations will probably look familiar to anyone who watched television in the seventies. I think most of us grew up in the haunts shown even if only via boob tube portal. There are some nice subtle references to UNIVERSAL studios more famous lycanthrope movie in the form of Dad’s trusty cane and with this being set in 1973, somebody cleverly transformed 1941’s THE WOLFMAN’s resident gypsies into hippies. The band of hippies really liven the movie and their love power is even shown to have a detrimental effect on the werewolf curse. Now that’s just adorable. Man, I wish I could have been a hippie but by the time I was old enough to join their ranks, everybody had already figured out that humans were hopelessly awful….dratz!

Another very cool thing about this movie is that it was released in a double feature with SSSSSSS. One thing that I’ve learned while working here at Kindertrauma is that there are exactly seven S’s in that title, so I don’t even have to look it up. Apparently it was the last double feature UNIVERSAL ever did and I missed it by being a stupid baby. THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF is not available in any format for some unknown reason, so I caught up to it on YouTube sporting Spanish subtitles. That means I got to learn a little extra Spanish while I watched and you can ask me what “Hombre Lobo” means and I’ll have the answer.

Like THE GATE or MONSTER SQUAD I think this movie makes a great horror starter kit for monster fans in training wheels. The transformation scenes are stagnantly old school but the resulting make up effects courtesy of TOM BURMAN are not bad at all (all turtlenecks considered.) I guess some will only see a campy howler here but the SHINING-esque parent-paranoia element does have some bite and it at least it takes its whiny protagonists dilemma seriously. If you can look beyond its corncob datedness (Dad dropped Mom for being a career gal!) it makes a fine companion piece to 1996’s BAD MOON. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this one but like most things in life, it’ll probably help. Adios amigos!

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Tags: General Horror · Repeat Offenders · Tykes in Trouble




5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bluerosekillerNo Gravatar // Feb 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Well, you may been a “stupid baby” when this beauty of a doublebill was released, but I was about 12 & I got to see it at our local downtown movie palace. Twice!
    Yep, I loved it that much.
    Thoroughly geeked out over both films infact & even though SSSSSSS featured some nice R level nudity from it’s female lead ( which under normal circumstances would have placed it in the top spot favorite-wise ), I was a complete nut for werewolves as a young lad. Causing me to beg for that second viewing the following night.
    It really is a shame that neither one of these low budget gems are available on DVD. ESPECIALLY as a double feature! I’d buy it immediately if it were.
    Alas, as far as I know, they never even made it onto VHS. I used to check fairly regularly.
    If I recall correctly, SSSSSSS used to show up with some regularity on late night TV back in the ’80s ( seems to me like it may have made appearances on both the CBS Late Movie & USA’s Up All Night… ), but I don’t believe that I’ve seen THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF since those two viewings some 37 years ago.
    Wow, imagine that!
    And yet, I can STILL remember portions of it so clearly. Especially it’s fairly violent ( for their time to someone raised on THE WOLFMAN’s mild kills ) werewolf attacks & it’s plethora of “day for night” shots that all seem to have been filmed at high noon. LOL

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Bluerosekiller,

    I am Green with the envy. I wish I could have seen this one as a kid and to see it in a double bill with SSSSSSS must have been insssssane. You’re right the werewolf attacks may not be bloody but they are aggressive especially when dad jumps a TV repair van. When I was growing up it seemed SSSSSSS was on TV all the time but I never stumbled across this one at all which is strange.

    Anyway. I’ve decided to have a kid just so that I can show them this movie…after that they are on their own.

  • 3 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Feb 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Im pretty sure SSSSSSS is out on DVD I know its o my NETFLIX list.

    They played it on TV a couple of years ago too. My husband watched it and loved it!

    Ive to this day never seen it.

  • 4 Joanna BoeseNo Gravatar // Feb 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I admit I was bummed when they made a TV movie called “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf”, except it had NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS FILM. (Although Stan Winston’s son Matt played the dad, who WASN’T the werewolf in this one.)

    To be honest, this was better than the way too predictable one that is similar in name only.

  • 5 Brother BillNo Gravatar // Feb 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I love me some SSSSS! And it is absolutely available on DVD (although on the DVD, the brief nudity mentioned above is obscured with some overlayed shadows…. perhaps a TV version edit?) Add Boy Who Cried Werewolf to the pile of stuff I need to seek out.

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