Were’d Out

Director Nathan Juran’s last feature film was this somewhat innocent werewolf movie, a time capsule even when released in 1973. Lifted from the Universal horror cycle in the ’40s and littered with tropes of the ‘50s, Boy Who Cried Werewolf kept an innocent, PG-level delight on screen before the slasher genre began an era of hyper violence.

Even without some gory potency, Juran’s simple (even quaint) terror tale has a spark. It’s scary in a vintage sense, Kerwin Matthews poking around corners or through trees as the creature, giving his best Lon Chaney Jr. Wolf Man impersonation. Some shots feel composed for staged lobby card images. Screechy music and dubbed in howls work as best they can, even if the werewolf design functions more so than the make-up application.

Spurts of action drape themselves in obvious day-for-night cinematography. Stiff and simple, the wereman shakes and snarls, running cars off the road. His best kill comes when tipping a camper trailer, viciously shaking the actors inside as a loose refrigerator door repeatedly slams into their heads. Phony or otherwise, that sequence marks Boy Who Cried Werewolf at its most persuasive threat.

… the heart still beating from ‘50s era monster romps like The Blob.

Under the action is Richie (Scott Sealey), the kid no one believes as he screeches about his father turning lycan. Cue predictable scenes as he pleads with the sheriff and his mother to find a cure, the heart still beating from ‘50s era monster romps like The Blob.

In-between lies an enjoyably kooky peering into ‘70s hippie culture, played for laughs which lends Boy Who Cried Werewolf a kitschy tone. Religious implications build up a myth with regards to the werewolf legend, knocking the film slightly from its derivative lore. While never totally engaged, dropping in a touch of the occult (playfully so) at least anchors the fantasy in something notable.

Meandering toward a conclusion, Boy Who Cried Werewolf pulls its finish straight from the nostalgic cinema it’s paying homage to. Small town cops, an isolated forest, and a convenient gathering of each character to spectate. So on point – aside from hippies – it’s hard to grasp the early ‘70s elements. Although hampered in its creative (even generational) isolation, the movie’s relic-like facade has heart.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf Blu-ray screen shot 13

Video

With visible reel markers on the print, it’s clear this presentation is nowhere near the film’s negative. Considering this is the first home video appearance for Boy Who Cried Werewolf, any print is a bonus. Outside of those markers, damage persists. Scene-to-scene, stray scratches and marks show up in various degrees. Some appear to show the print splitting or even tearing, although they’re quick to pass.

Shout/Scream Factory’s presentation holds onto a bit of vibrancy. Reds splash onto the screen while flesh tones leave much of the cast pasty. Forest greens have faded with age, leaving the California cinematography flat.

Resolution struggles to stay firm too. Brief glimpses of fidelity slip out from behind a thick, heavy grain structure. Whether generational or the fault of low res mastering, this print feels weighted and aged. Sensible, considering. In terms of their end, Scream Factory’s encoding doesn’t allow for artifacts. Black levels help hide problems as well.

Minimal signs of filtering are noticeable, especially early. A slightly waxy look pinches away some fine detail. For much of the runtime though, Boy Who Cried Werewolf seems untouched – a positive or negative connotation dependent on the personal value of the film itself.

Audio

Flat, cruddy, and obviously low budget, uncompressed audio won’t elevate this mono track. Dialog strains while a minimal score falls apart. Boy Who Cried Werewolf sounds comparable to ‘50s era television with a specific, simplistic fidelity. For strange reasons, brain signals call back to The Munsters – echoed and light caused from the open sets used for the show (and many others).

Given the condition issues in the video though, the audio surviving without skips or jumps is impressive.

Extras

A photo gallery and theatrical trailers are the bonuses.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

  • Boy Who Cried Werewolf
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Summary

Pleasant, nostalgic, and harmless, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf tells a pedestrian lycan story and brings in easy-going terror from another generation.

Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process. Patreon supporters were able to access these screens early, view them as .pngs, and gain access to exclusives.