Skip to main content

Moon of the Wolf - Made for TV Werewolf Madness without a Werewolf



As a kid in the 80’s and early 90’s, I loved staying up with my mom and watching a silly made-for-TV movie. Moon of the Wolf was released in 1972, so I wouldn’t have seen this one. Probably would have scared me a bit, even though we don’t really see a werewolf until the final act of the movie. I got spooked easy after the sun went down.

David Janssen, who played Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, stars as the sheriff in a one-horse Louisiana town who has to solve a grisly murder. A wolfy murder? Anyway, a woman is dead and mauled and it looks like a dog did it. Luckily, Janssen is on the job and he’s ready to solve the case. He’s a hardscrabble fella with a scratchy voice, so you know he means business. Also, it’s very hot in Louisiana, so the good sheriff has to leave his shirt open so that he can air out his ample chest hair. I don’t have chest hair. Just a patch of the stuff in the middle of my titties. I sometimes wish I was more hairy, but then I wonder if I would just lose food in there and scratch at it a lot

Plenty of white people in this town. Except for a black housekeeper, of course. This was 1972, so I guess we couldn’t expect too much.

Bradford Dillman (awesome name!) plays Andrew Rodanthe. He’s rich. Like, crazy rich. And his family has basically run this sharecropping town since it was founded. Dillman looks like Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, so we know who the bad guy is pretty much immediately. The movie tries to throw us off the trail by giving a sort of motivation for the murder to the town doctor, but we know what’s up. Norman Bates is a werewolf. Good. Let’s do this thing.

No. Not gonna happen. Not for a while, at least. We have to go through some relatively boring murder mystery stuff first. Don’t be fooled: This is mostly a run-of-the-mill TV mystery movie except that a werewolf in bad makeup shows up at the end. Not that I’m complaining. The slow pace gave me a chance to truly examine David Janssen’s chest hair and marvel that God allowed something that special to exist.

Oh yeah, Rodanthe has a sister. Why? No reason that I can tell, except that the good sheriff needs a love interest. Barbara Rush is pretty okay in the role, but there’s not much for her to do. Oh, except there’s this scene where she’s wearing a fancy dress and is gardening. The sheriff happens by and she invites him to have some lemonade. Luckily, there’s a table with some lemonade set up on the lawn of the Rodanthe estate. You see rich people do this all the time in movies. Was it really that tough to go inside for a drink? Why not drink from the hose? That’s what my brothers and I did when we were doing yard work for our parents. I’m sure it wasn’t as grueling as gardening in a fancy dress, but we got by, I suppose. I guess the servants put the table there? Do the poor bastards have to haul this table out to the yard whenever Ms. Rodanthe feels like doing some gardening? I guess they have to haul it back in, too? Strange, strange. Very complex, being rich. Anyway, they have some lemonade.

We do finally get to see a shadowy werewolf attack with about twenty minutes left in the movie. It’s better in the shadow, because we don’t have to see the awful werewolf makeup. The one deputy the sheriff has on staff gets killed, as well as a guy they’re holding in one of the jail cells. The guy’s body is mauled and mangled, but the doctor still checks his heartbeat with a stethoscope. No heartbeat? You sure he’s dead? Maybe check again. You never know about these things.

Then there’s a final werewolf attack where nothing much happens. A barn burns. Ms. Rodanthe shoots her brother to death. All very terrible stuff. Everyone’s sad and the movie’s over, and haven’t we really learned some quality lessons?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Salvation, USA: A Not-Thrilling Thriller

Written by Bernie Van De Yacht and directed by Yacht and Brett Donowho, Salvation, USA is a thriller, sort of. It reminded me a lot of a Lifetime movie with a little sex and swearing. Until the finale, which gets all sorts of batshit violent and bloody. Ah, but advertising, eh? If you watch this movie after having seen the poster, you’ll end up wondering when the hell you’re going to see some violence, as violence is most clearly implied by the thing. And if you haven’t seen the poster, you’ll watch Salvation, USA and suddenly get weirded out when a pretty basic drama gets really freakin’ bloody by the end.

The movie concerns Vinnie (Ryan Donowho), a guy who seems passionate about fixing old stoves, restoring them to their former pristine states. But it’s all a ruse. Fixing the stoves is his launchpad for a long con. Donowho is a very charming actor, and so it’s not hard for the audience to be pretty damn hypnotized by his performance. We want to believe there’s good inside the guy. …

G Rated Horror: The Legend of Boggy Creek

The Legend of Boggy Creek was written by Earl E. Smith, but the whole thing represents the vision of director Charles B. Pierce. The story was pieced together from the tales of local residents from Fouke, Arkansas, some of whom appeared in Boggy Creek as themselves. The so-called Fouke Monster, basically a sasquatch, was a folk legend that residents claimed was real. Reports began to surface in newspaper articles around Arkansas in the early 70’s and they seized Smith’s imagination. He knew he had found the subject of his first feature film.

Pierce is an interesting character. A self-motivated guy with a ton of ambition, he worked as a weatherman and a children’s show host named Mayor Chuckles before starting his own advertising firm. He made commercials for all sorts of companies throughout Arkansas. The owner of a trucking company client loaned Pierce $100,000 to get started on shooting Boggy Creek. The film was an almost instant success in cheap movie theaters and drive-ins and it…

Boy Meets Chrome: Christine

Written by Bill Phillips from a novel by Stephen King and directed by John Carpenter, Christine, released in 1983, is a love story between a boy and his car. This time, however, the car is alive and quite possessive of her boy.

She’s an older lover, too. Christine, a red Plymouth Fury, is a disheveled twenty-one years old when eighteen year old Arnie (Keith Gordon) falls for her. She’s broken down, in a state of disrepair and decay. When his best friend Dennis (Dean Stockwell) drives Arnie home after their first day of school, Arnie sees her sitting in the yard of a house that’s just as dilapidated at the car. Arnie decides he’s going to fix her, make her run again.

This movie is all about sex, love, and obsession and the moral lines that get blurred when these things interact with each other. Christine begins as Arnie and Dennis drive around discussing sex. Dennis, a football player and quite an attractive young man, has clearly had plenty of it, while Arnie is still a virgin. Denni…