Who’s in this?
Oliver Reed as Leon. Reed was a fantastic actor whose drinking problems unfortunately caught up to him. He was in several Hammer films early in his career. Perhaps he’s best known for a badass performance as Bill Sikes in the musical Oliver! Reed certainly had his problems in real life, but he could just about always be counted on to deliver a solid performance.
Clifford Evans plays Don Alfredo Corledo (say that 3 times fast) the guy who raises Leon as his son. Evans was in a lot of movies and later British TV. He acted regularly from the mid-30 up until the late 70’s. Hammer fans also know him from Kiss of the vampire.
Yvonne Romain as the servant girl and mother of a werewolf. She was in several horror films in the 60’s including Devil Doll and Circus of horrors.
Catherine Feller as Cristina Fernando the love interest of Leon and daughter of a skunk.
Anthony Dawson as Marques Siniestro. Bond fans will recognize him as Professor Dent in Dr. No and he was also Blofeld in From Russia with love.
Ewen Solon as Don Fernando who is not nice..at all. He acted for over 30 years and you may also know him from Hammer’s The hound of the Baskervilles also playing a sourpuss.
Hira Talfrey as Teresa Don Corledo’s servant. She also had small parts in the Oblong Box and Witchfinder General.
Martin Matthews as Jose. A fat oaf and bad actor.
What’s this about? Here is a film made by and with mainly a bunch of British people. It’s based on a story called the Werewolf of Paris yet it is set in Spain (?). Actually the story goes that Hammer films was set to make a film about the Spanish Inquisition, but when the British censors got wind of it they said no. Hammer already had sets built to make it look like Spain so they switched gears and made a werewolf film. Oh, yeah the plot-okay so a dirty beggar goes to ask for food from the richest guy in the land the Marques Siniestro. The richest guy in the land is also a royal ass who after a bunch of carrying on goes off with new wife and has the beggar thrown in the dungeon. The little mute girl that gives the beggar his food grows up to be stunning although she is wearing the same style dress she wore as a kid. After turning down advances from Marques Siniestro she is thrown in the dungeon with the beggar who rapes here, wait when was this made. She eventually gets the heck out of that nut house, runs off and falls plop face frickin’ down in a body of water. An alright guy named Don Alfredo Corledo who has a wig and a fancy mustache saves her and takes her home. His housekeeper Teresa informs him that the girl is with child, of course they don’t know about the raped by a jailed beggar part. The boy Leon is born and from the start things are not right. He has fits when the moon is full and apparently went running over the countryside chasing and killing livestock at one point. He even has hairy hands too-yuck! Then things settle down a bit and all that oddness is forgotten and the boy grows up to a big Oliver Reed. So he may howl at the moon but at least turned into a good actor. He goes off to work and makes friends with a real dork named Jose. He also falls for the daughter of his boss. The daughter is cool , but her dad is a real jerk face with the personality of a pile of dirt. So Leon and the girl fall for each other despite her rear end of a father’s disapproval. Hey, let’s not forget this is a werewolf film. So eventually Leon goes all puffy at first like a blowfish and then he gets all hairy like a tarantula crossed with and ape. Then comes the growls, the screaming and the bloodshed well, early an 60’s version of bloodshed. Leon is accused of murder and jailed while he’s not all hairy. Of course while in jail the full moon pops out. Leon turns into a wolf wearing a ripped puffy shirt and then he offs longtime Hammer character actor Michael Ripper. Around this time Leon’s father has heard what is going on and he has finally come to believe that his son is an out of control, full blown werewolf. So dad gets a silver bullet and goes to set things right. After a grand finale you can guess the rest. Roll the credits.
Negatives-The movie starts slow but eventually picks up. Doing a film set in Spain with a mainly British cast meant they chose people who had darker skin to fit in with the setting and for the most part they did alright. However there were a few exceptions. The Marques, his wife and their whole court were about as British or non-Spanish as you could get. I’m willing to forgive this one since at least the scene worked out. However the guy playing Leon’s short lived friend Jose was very much not from Spain plus he was an annoying character and a horrible actor.
Positives- Most of the acting is solid with Reed being the main standout. The sets, costumes and even the werewolf make-up all looked good. Despite a slow start it eventually picks up and becomes fairly exciting.