4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
First 30 minutes - superb. Last 60 minutes - average,
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This review is from: The Curse of the Werewolf --DVD--Exclusive 2 Disc Limited Steelbook. (DVD)
I hope P. Hanson will forgive me for stealing his title's review. I fully agree with him that the film is quite uneven but contrary to him I think the strengths and the weaknesses are at the opposite end of the movie. I loved the first thirty minutes, with Richard Wordsworth (famous as the mutating astronaut in "The Quatermass Xperiment") as a simple, deranged beggar turning into a mad animal; Anthony Dawson, starring as the sadistic count, ageing into some sort of revolting human being; and of course the absolutely beautiful, cleavage-friendly Yvonne Romain, from whom I couldn't take my eyes off. The film remains great until Leon's baptism (very atmospheric scene) but after this Fisher (as he sometimes does) falls asleep at the wheel. For the next hour, the film loses pace and rests exclusively on the very broad shoulders of Oliver Reed, who makes a commanding performance, but there is no chemistry at all between him and his love interest - the quite tame Catherine Feller - and I believe this is the movie's major flaw. The last ten minutes are amazing though thanks to Reed's transformation and his very believable portrayal of a werewolf, courtesy of a beautiful make-up by Roy Ashton. Bernard Robinson's sets are as beautiful as ever and the film looks great - even if I miss the photography of Jack Asher (sacked by Hammer some time before, to be replaced by the still dependable Arthur Gordon). So 4 stars from me because this is pleasant and the first half-hour is really good and so are the ending and Oliver Reed's performance, but I had more sympathy for "The two faces of Dr. Jekyll", "Taste of Fear" and "The Full Treatment", all movies made by Hammer roughly at the same time.
The bonus disc is very moving with extensive interviews with Margaret Robinson, Oliver Reed, Jimmy Sangster, Yvonne Romain and Catherine Feller. A very nice package and obviously the uncut version of the film in bright, shiny colors.