Directed by Paul Annet Written by Michael Winder Story by James Blish Starring: Calvin Lockhart, Peter Cushing, Marlene Clark, Anton Diffring, Michael Gambon Released by Amicus, 1974
The Beast Must Die is a 1973 horror film released by Amicus pictures, the same company that released the classic horror anthologies: Asylum 1972, Tales From The Crypt (1972), The Vault Of Horror (1973), just to name a few.
I initially became a fan of The Beast Must Die, by watching a late night showing of it on television in the mid 1980s. At that point of time the only identifiable actor I was familiar with was Hammer films star Peter Cushing. I knew him from the numerous Hammer films that he starred in as either Van Helsing, or Dr. Victor Frankenstein. I knew at that point that I was in for a treat.
Tom Newcliffe (Calvin Lockhart) is a Big Game Hunter who has enormous wealth and is looking to find the ultimate big game trophy.
Tom has extremely sophisticated security that he has set up to track any movement on the island with multiple cameras and motion sensors all being monitored by his head of security Pavel (Anton Diffring) as we see in the beginning of the film Tom is testing out the system by having his men track him with it, the test is successful.
The film then sets out with a group of 5 guests all arriving as they were all sent invitations to stay at the mansion as guests of honor. None of the invitees know one another or the reason that they were invited. Tom arrives with his Wife the beautiful (Marlene Clark) and explains to the guests why he has invited them. He then tells them that he knows that one of them is a werewolf and explains his reasoning on why he believes it to be so. Too Hunt and Kill a Werewolf.
The dinner guests laugh it off with it being old wives tales .. and that’s where the film really begins.
Can you figure out who will be the Werewolf by the end of the “Werewolf Break”?
I enjoyed this film in its entirety from the beginning of the testing of Toms security system, which in those days was pretty fucking high tech. The suspense kept me going through out the film as I was finding myself trying to solve who it was.
Unfortunately everyone that I had guessed initially ended up getting torn to pieces, which is always a good thing in my opinion. By the time the film reached the end I was surprised to find out who the Werewolf was and the ending is pretty decent also.
I don’t want to reveal too much about this film as I would like to keep many of the spoilers intact. I definitely recommend this film to any Horror fan especially fans of Werewolves and Peter Cushing.
The addition of the aforementioned Werewolf break I thought was a neat 70s gimmick, however that is also part of the charm of this film. Sadly Amicus pictures didn’t last for too many years after Beast was released.