Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Beast Must Die (1974)

Six affluent members of society are brought to a millionaire's isolated retreat during the phase of the full moon in order to determine which of them might be a werewolf, but it will be up to the audience to decide in the end after assembling each of the clues laid out before them! THE BEAST MUST DIE is a hairy little murder mystery that draws clear influence from the gimmicks used by master showman William Castle. After setting up each of the characters as possible culprits, director Paul Annett breaks for thirty-seconds to allow the viewer time to guess at who the werewolf might be. While this is an interesting approach to the material, it never reaches its true potential due to the poor pacing and repetitive clues. Annett spends the majority of the film focusing on the character that he has clearly designated as the red herring, which leaves the audience with far too little time to study the other house guests and no real clues as to the identity of the true killer. THE BEAST MUST DIE lacks the shock or suspense needed for it to become a success, but it is still a mildly entertaining mystery with more than a little werewolf action.

Rating: 6/10.

If you liked THE BEAST MUST DIE, check out:
HOWLING 5, HOMICIDAL, Werewolf Concerto.

5 comments:

  1. This is an interesting failure from Amicus productions. Its combination of Agatha Christie whodunnit, the werewolf subgenre, blaxplotation elements and the Werewolf Break ensures its watchability. In fact there is all the ingredients here for a cult film. The performance of Calvin Lockhart is a major weakness, as is the very poor werewolf. But the themes of surveillance and voyeurism give the film an added flavour. This is totally daft, but a lot of fun.

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  2. I actually dont mind the weredog, considering they could have gone with some shoddy costumed character instead, but it really is too bad that this film isnt any better. I like the set up, I just wish they would have dropped more clues and set up more successful red herrings. Passing a damn candlestick around the table for three nights in a row just drags. As bad as it is, I prefer HOWLING 5 just slightly over this one Shaun!

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  3. Heh, not the finest moment for werewolves on film, for sure. Still, sort of silly fun. The final fight with the "werewolf" is so laughable. I couldn't stop snickering about what looks to be a mop taped to a dog's head, in order to make it look more shaggy and mean. Just a weird and interesting failed experiment. Good review.

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  4. Great chintzy flick, this one. And it has Marlene Clark! And Peter Cushing doing a bonafide German accent this time.

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  5. This is the plot they should have used for PREDATORS, supplementing one of the guests for a predator and letting the audience guess who it is in the end.

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