From the video case: The queen of a gypsy tribe, Celeste (Nina Foch), learns that the director of a New Orleans museum has evidence proving her mother was a werewolf. She goes to the museum and the next day the museum head is found dead, killed by a wolf. His son Bob (Stephen Crane) and assistant Elsa (Osa Massen) begin investigating his death, and Bob narrowly escapes being killed. Elsa finally confesses that she is the murderess, but Celeste, turning into a wolf, tries to kill both Elsa and Bob. A bullet, however, ends the animal’s life, and dying, the wolf assumes the form of Celeste. (1944, b&w)
Mark says: Nothing like a video box description that gives away the ending of the movie. Oh well.
Cry of the Werewolf is not a bad little story, though it often struggles to keep our attention. Most of the werewolf transformation scenes occur off screen, and even when we do get a glimpse of the transformation, it’s just a sudden flash from human to dog. We never see a full-fledged werewolf, only the gypsy princess in the form of a regular wolf.
What this movie has going for it are two pretty lead actresses in Nina Foch (The Return of the Vampire) and Osa Massen (Rocketship X-M). Nina is the gypsy princess/werewolf, Celeste LaTour, and Osa plays the Transylvanian love interest, Elsa Chauvet. The other actors in this film are unspectacular.
I like that the werewolf is a woman, but that fact alone can not save this film. If more time was spent on the werewolf aspect, rather than the detective work, it could have been a much better picture. Unfortunately, this film takes interesting themes like voodooism and werewolfism and makes them rather dull.
Cry of the Werewolf (aka Daughter of the Werewolf) is directed by Henry Levin, who went on to direct Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Scene to watch for: Princess Celeste’s feet (in high-heel shoes) turn into doggie paws quite suddenly.
Line to listen for: “That wolf used to be a beautiful gypsy girl, a princess who worshiped evil. You can tell your grandchildren about it, Ed.”
Mark’s Rating: ! ! ½ out of 5.