The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973 film)

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For the 2010 film of the same name, see The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (2010 film).
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
Boywhocriedwerewolf.jpg
Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by Aaron Rosenberg
Written by Bob Homel
Starring Kerwin Mathews
Elaine Devry
Scott Sealey
Robert J. Wilke
Bob Homel
Music by Ted Stovall
Cinematography Michael P. Joyce
Edited by Barton Hayes
Distributed by Universal Pictures (theatrical, USA)
Release dates
  • 1973 (1973)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is a 1973 film directed by Nathan H. Juran. The film stars Kerwin Mathews in the last film both he and Juran did after a few early films, including The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. In this thriller, a boy visits his father in a secluded cabin; the father is attacked by a werewolf and then becomes a werewolf. The boy constantly tries to tell others, but nobody will believe him.

Plot[edit]

Robert Bridgestone (Kerwin Mathews), a divorced father, takes his son, Richie, to the family mountain cabin. During a moonlight hike, the two are attacked in the darkness by a werewolf. During the struggle, the werewolf falls into a ravine and is impaled on a wooden fence, but not before biting Robert. Upon investigation, they find their attacker to be human. Unable to identify the body, the local sheriff concludes their attacker was a crazy drifter. Richie insists it was a werewolf but his father and the sheriff laugh it off as childish imagination.

Concerned with her son's insisting that her ex-husband killed a werewolf, Sandy (Elaine Devry) insists that her ex-husband talk with Richie's psychiatrist. The psychiatrist (George Gaynes) says that Richie's werewolf fixation stems from his inability to accept that his father killed a man, and instead has concocted a fantasy wherein his father bravely battles a monster. He suggests Robert take his son back to the cabin, predicting that when Richie returns to the scene and sees that everything is normal, his interest in werewolves will cease.

They return to the cabin during another cycle of the full moon. While unpacking, Robert is hit with a wave of pain and sends Richie to the stream. As Robert looks in a mirror, he changes into a duplicate of the creature he had killed. When Richie sees what he believes to be the same werewolf resurrected from the dead, he flees into the woods, crossing a mountain road. The werewolf pursues, causing a car to swerve over an embankment and a TV repair truck to crash into the hillside, the driver of which is dismembered by the creature. Richie comes upon two newlyweds camping. While they don't believe the boy's story, they do see he is distressed and agree to take him home. Upon arriving back at the cabin, they discover that Richie's father is not there, and Richie begs the man to let him return with him to the camper for the night. The next morning Robert, appearing dazed and confused, shows up at the camper, and tells the couple he has been searching for Richie all night. Richie tells his dad about the werewolf, but Robert is clearly losing patience with his son's fantasies.

During the next night's full moon, Robert transforms, this time stealthily hunting through the house for Richie who, anticipating the werewolf's return, has hidden himself. The werewolf leaves the cabin and seeks out the newlywed couple, pushing their camper down a steep hill. He mutilates their bodies, carrying away one of the heads. He returns to the cabin's shed just before daybreak, digging a hole to bury his victim's head. Richie, hearing the werewolf's return, sneaks down to the shed and witnesses the werewolf's transformation back into his father. Moments after the transformation, the sheriff visits to report on the killings of the previous night, convinced of connection between the attacks on the TV repairman and the newlyweds. On the drive home, Richie questions his father about his actions on the previous evening, but Robert dismisses everything, clearly irritable and bothered about his memory blackout. Richie jumps hurriedly out of the car upon arriving at his mother's house, telling her that he is scared to be alone with his father, because his father is a monster.

Sandy tells Robert what Richie said, and it's agreed that another visit with Richie's psychiatrist is in order. The psychiatrist tells Robert that he believes that Richie is genuine in his belief that Robert is a werewolf, and that these type of fantasies can be quite powerful for children. It is suggested that this time a family weekend should be planned which includes Richie's mother. As the meeting goes on, the full moon rises.

The next day, a reluctant Richie and his mom prepare to leave for the cabin with Robert, unaware that the front page of the morning paper reveals the headline "Local Psychiatrist Murdered." The three set out for the cabin, stopping at a hippie commune on the way. The hippies, led by a wild-eyed Alan Ginsberg type in a cassock (played by Bob Homel) are forming a circle of power to drive away evil spirits. When the family stop to watch, the hippies shout at them to join them in the circle, and while Sandy finds it merely amusing and agrees, when Robert tries to pass over the boundary of the circle, he is stopped short and cannot move further, as if an invisible barrier were in front of him. Sandy, disturbed, grabs him and they get back in the car and continue on to the cabin. At the cabin, they settle down for the evening, and all is well for a while. Sandy starts to talk with Robert in a gentle voice, confessing that she really has missed him, and that perhaps they should get back together. The full moon rises, and Robert turns his back on her, silently walking away. In the shed he finds Richie, digging up the bag he had seen his father (in werewolf form) burying on their last visit. Robert grabs Richie, clearly in the first stages of transformation, and begs Richie to lock him in the shed. Richie does this, but just as he finishes, his mother sees him, and hears the noises in the shed. She asks who is in there, and Richie tells her it's his dad, whereupon she scolds Richie and tries to open the shed. Richie screams at her just as a clawed hand bursts a hole in the shed door. Richie and his mom run to the car, escaping just as the werewolf emerges, screaming and snarling, from the shed.

In town they tell the Sheriff of the attack, and upon returning to the cabin find the creature gone. The Sheriff leaves some men to stand guard for the night. Later that evening, as Sandy sleeps in a chair by the fire, the werewolf slips silently through a window of the cabin. It sniffs at her evilly, and Sandy awakes to find the thing staring her directly in the face. The werewolf grabs her and begins to carry her off, but the deputies hear the screams and burst and shoot at the monster as it jumps back out the window. Richie begs for them not to hurt his dad, but of course everyone still cannot accept that it is a werewolf, let alone Richie's father.

Toward morning the werewolf attacks the hippie commune and as the sun rises, the werewolf grows weak and falls to the ground. The hippies pray for the creature's soul, and the transformation is witnessed by the entire commune, although they do not understand what they have seen. That evening, the sheriff organizes a search party to find the creature, and as everyone leaves to hunt the woods, Richie breaks away from his mom and heads off to try to save his dad. As the moon rises, Richie finds his father, once again transformed, who grabs him and carries him off, with a mob close behind him. Cornered, the werewolf attacks Richie, biting him on the arm, before a hail of gunfire distracts him. The bullets cannot kill him, but as he frantically tries to seek a way out of the crowd, he stumbles and falls backwards onto the broken stake that had held the hippies' makeshift cross into the ground. It pierces his heart, and as a horrified Richie and Sandy watch, the werewolf transforms back into Robert. The last thing we see is Sandy examining her son's bite mark, a look of dawning horror on her face.

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