List Film

The Beast Must Die (3 stars)

THE BEAST MUST DIE

comments

(15) 90min (Optimum DVD retail)

HORROR

Made in 1974, this British monster movie produced by Hammer-alike outfit Amicus attempted to bridge the transatlantic divide by capitalising on the post-Shaft blaxploitation craze and casting handsome African-American actor Calvin Lockhart in the lead as a big game hunter who gets his kicks by hunting a werewolf. The lycanthrope in question is one of a number of (white) guests - Peter Cushing, Charles Gray and a young Michael Gambon among them - invited to Lockhart’s country estate that’s wired with hi-tech surveillance gear. Based on science fiction author James Blish’s story There Shall Be No Darkness, it’s essentially an Agatha Christie whodunnit with a supernatural twist. As creature features go The Beast Must Die is run-of-the-mill stuff, but it’s enlivened with a great gimmick: at the climax the film freezes for 30 seconds of ‘werewolf time’, whereupon the audience is invited to guess which of the guests is the monster. No extras.

(Miles Fielder)

Comments

Post a comment