Scream of the Wolf (1974)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Horror  |   Run Time - 74 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Fred Beldin

Only the most devout Peter Graves completists should bother with this limp, derivative TV werewolf story. Aside from a few well-wrought attack sequences, Scream of the Wolf is useless as a horror, mystery, or even unintentional comedy. Board-stiff Clint Walker's character operates as a curious kind of red herring, set up so obviously as the killer from the outset that the viewer is likely to disregard the clues. As an obsessed big-game hunter, Walker spouts half-baked Nietzschean philosophy and glowers meaningfully at his friend/nemesis Graves, taking the story into Most Dangerous Game-territory and destroying any supernatural elements with the worst cop-out ending, just short of the "it was all a dream" bit. Director Dan Curtis keeps it slick and professional, but everyone here is just picking up a paycheck, except for Jo Ann Pflug, who gets to the core of her shrill, domineering character and throttles it for all she's worth. Both Curtis and scriptwriter Richard Matheson had respectable TV terror reputations: Curtis helmed a number of Dark Shadows episodes and Matheson was a Twilight Zone veteran. A year after this misfire, they collaborated on one of television's great horror experiences, Trilogy of Terror. Scream of the Wolf's resurrection on DVD shouldn't be interpreted as the discovery of a lost gem, but rather a mercenary attempt to squeeze a few bucks out of a best-forgotten public domain yawn-fest.