05
Jul
13

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Marques Siniestro takes pleasure in his new wife's disgust as well as mocking the poor beggar...

Marques Siniestro takes pleasure in his new wife’s disgust as well as mocking the poor beggar…

Attention single ladies: whatever you do, don’t have your out-of-wedlock child on Christmas. If you do, you’ll have a werewolf on your hands – at least, according to Hammer Film Productions. Of course, I can’t help but think this poor child’s conception had something to do with his terrible fate…

A long time ago in Spain, a beggar asked for money, food; anything. Cruel folks send him to Marques Siniestro’s estate on the night of his wedding; Siniestro was the only guy with any cash to spare. Siniestro mocks the beggar and throws him in jail, where he stays for fifteen years, kept alive by the jailer’s mute daughter. Her kindness doesn’t help her when she, too, is thrown into the jail. The beggar’s manly appetites have gone

Our mute mother can't even cry for help...

Our mute mother can’t even cry for help…

unsatisfied for fifteen years, after all, and she sure is cute, so he rapes her, and then dies.

Luckily, the poor woman is found face-down in the water by confirmed bachelor Don Alfredo Corledo, who valiantly saves her life. His housekeeper Teresa nurses the pregnant mute back to health and through her pregnancy, only to watch her die after giving birth to her son, Leon (ultimately played by Oliver Reed). The boy grows up happily, but soon a rash of livestock deaths expose his affliction, and the local priest warns that the boy will

Oh, goodness gracious it's so hard to be Oliver Reed!

Oh, goodness gracious it’s so hard to be Oliver Reed!

always need to be surrounded by love and affection to keep his lupine tendencies at bay.

Teresa and the Don shower the young boy with the love he needs, and all is well until, as a grown man, he decides to leave home to make his own way. Released into the wild, the young man has no control over his condition, and suffers nothing but anguish, frustration and disappointment away from home.

So, there you have it, a Hammer film starring Oliver Reed as an

THESE HANDS!

THESE HANDS!

anguished werewolf. Why wouldn’t you want to watch this? As always, Hammer keeps it stylish and light, even given the dreary subject matter. Oliver Reed’s frustration is almost palpable as he smolders his way through the film, but that’s really no surprise, is it? He is, quite probably, the best part of the movie, even though we don’t see him until halfway through. Those eyes, those hands, those frilly shirts, that sweaty brow… oh my!

 

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