No matter what you think of this movie, you have to give it up for the poster. This is truly one of my all-time favorite movie posters of all time, one that punches you in the face and says, “You’re gonna watch this werewolf movie!”
It has a different origin story than a normal werewolf film, as here Russian werewolves kill a man who has just watched his wife die in childbirth and then raise the dead parents’ son to become a human wolf.
He’s known as Etoile the Wolf Boy in the circus, but soon loses his lupine look until the full moon rises. When that does — and he kills a member of the traveling carnival — he goes on the run.
This is really the sad tale of a wolf boy — a wolf young adult, I guess — who falls in love with a courtesan with a heart of gold who keeps on entertaining her clients, who soon get devoured by said wolf young adult.
Enter Professor Paul Cataflanque (Peter Cushing). He’s a forensic pathologist, who quickly figures out that a wolf is behind all the murders. And seeing how Etoile now takes care of the wolves in the zoo, he’s going to have to deal with putting every one of them to sleep under the orders of the police.
There’s no way he isn’t going to turn into a werewolf and kill just about everyone, right?
Legend of the Werewolf is one of seven Tyburn Film Productions, a studio that tried to fill the void felt after Hammer stopped producing new movies. Their other films include The Ghoul, Persecution, Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death, Murder Elite, G’olé! and Peter Cushing: A One-Way Ticket to Hollywood.
Directed by Freddie Francis, this was written by Anthony Hinds under his pseudonym John Elder. Under that name, he also wrote Hammer’s werewolf film The Curse of the Werewolf as well as Frankenstein Created Woman, Scars of Dracula, The Reptile and many more.