Some times a horror movie title is begging to be on a marquee because it’s an obvious play on well known saying. Love At First Bite, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and My Blood Valentine are great examples. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is a popular story told to children to get them to understand how making false reports can make people think you’re a liar when the real thing happens. Thus it was obvious that a movie called The Boy Who Cried Werewolf would hit theaters in 1973.
Richie (Scott Sealey) is going through a lot of changes. Beside the trauma of his teen years, Richie’s parents have divorced. He’s adjusting to his split life. Dad (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad‘s Kerwin Matthews) wants to make the summer fun by heading up to their lake cabin. The area is nice although religious hippies have camped out nearby making the place a little bit busy. One night while father and son are out in the woods, they get attacked by a hairy beast. The father saves his son by killing the monster, but the body turns out to be a human drifter. Dad got cut in the attack. After the trip, Richie keeps telling mom (With Six You Get Eggroll‘s Elaine Devry) that it was a werewolf that attacked him. She doesn’t believe him. They drag in the child psychiatrist (Police Academy & Punky Brewster‘s George Gaynes) to see why the son could think such things. Well turns out that the son is right. Dad has been infected. Richie knows his dad is transforming into a werewolf. But nobody wants to believe him. Dad doesn’t want to confess to his medical issue. Richie doesn’t want to do anything with his father. This leads to the ex-wife going up to the lake with son and dad to prove nothing is wrong. But there’s no calm when the moon comes out. The only question is if wolfdad will eat the hippies or his ex-wife first.
While the movie played on TV in the mid-70s, this is the first time The Boy Who Cried Werewolf has been released on home video. There’s been no VHS, Beta or even Selectavision version of the PG rated thriller. It’s hard to figure out why the massive delay since the movie deals with an important subject: children dealing with split lives thanks to divorced parents. Sure dad is going through a rough transition between being human and werewolf, but that only happens on full moon nights. The kid has deal with two parents who hate being in the same room for the rest of his life. This divided reality is explored in the film by Richie. The only positive is that the kid isn’t automatically killed by silver bullets.
This was the final feature film from director Nathan H. Juran. The Oscar winning art director turned director is best known for teaming up with Ray Harryhausen on 20 Million Miles to Earth, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and First Men in the Moon. Juran made the gigantic hits The Deadly Mantis and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. The special effects are PG rated. Dad’s werewolf make up looks good, but isn’t quite a nightmare. This is far from the graphic transformation audiences would see in during American Werewolf in London. The movie does a fine job of putting the catchy title to work and making sure a boy can watch it.
The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the details in the werewolf make up and the hippie lifestyle. The audio is DTS-HD MA mono. The mix is fine for all the times dad howls at the moon. The movie is subtitled.
Trailer (2:24) has the hairy flick teamed up with the reptilian Sssssss (also available from Scream Factory). Werewolf gets the short end of the running time. This was the last time Universal released a double feature.
Photo Gallery (3:32) are the promo pics and items for the movie.
Scream Factory presents The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. Directed by: Nathan H. Juran. Screenplay by: Bob Homel. Starring: Kerwin Mathews, Elaine Devry, Scott Sealey & Robert J. Wilke. Running Time: 93 minutes. Rated: PG. Released: July 26, 2016.