Home Video Hovel: The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, by David Bax
Nathan H. Juran’s The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, out now on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, is a bad movie. I mean, it’s really, impressively bad. It’s so bad it’s funny. It’s the kind of bad movie you gather together with friends to laugh at while watching. In fact, you might even say it’s… a howler.
Richie, the titular boy, is a child of divorce. He lives with his mother, Sandy (Elaine Devry), and spends the occasional weekend with his father, Robert (Kerwin Mathews), mostly visiting the cabin Robert owns in the woods. On one such trip, Richie and Robert are attacked during a moonlight hike. Robert kills the assailant who, in death, is clearly a human man. But Richie knows what he saw and his suspicions that the bite on his father’s arm is turning him into a werewolf are confirmed on subsequent trips to the cabin (which they apparently only visit during full moons), even though Richie is the only one who believes it.
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is chock full of inconsistencies, even if you manage to suspend your disbelief that no one else recognizes there’s a monster wearing tastefully rugged 1970s leisurewear. That is, until late in the movie when the radio news anchor clearly uses the word “werewolf” despite the fact that no character other than Richie has identified the creature as such and, as far as we know, the reporter was not granted an interview with the boy beforehand. The news in this community is consistently unreliable, actually, describing “three fatalities” after we know we’ve seen five.
Admittedly, this is nitpicking. Unfortunately, there’s little else to do while watching a movie this poorly made. The only scenes that make a play for your interest are those concerning the subplot about a group of Jesus freak hippies setting up a commune in the woods and their cuddly, hirsute, Southern-accented teddy bear of a demigod. It’s bizarre but not as off-putting, at least, as the constant implications that feminism (in the form of Richie’s mother wanting a job) is to blame for the parents’ divorce. Apparently, Robert never would’ve gotten bit by a werewolf in the first place if it wasn’t for that cursed women’s lib!
The transfer is another sad story but I can’t blame Juran for that. As was the practice for low-budget movies for decades, many of the nighttime exteriors were shot day for night. But it seems someone decided it wasn’t worth the time or the money to correctly color time these shots this time around. It makes it easier to mock when Robert keeps turning into a werewolf at high noon but, frankly, it’s unfair to the film.
There are no special features other than the theatrical trailer (where you can see some of the correctly color timed shots) and a still gallery.