Moon of the Wolf (1972)

Directed by: Daniel Petrie

Written by: Alvin Sapinsley
Leslie H. Whitten (Novel)


David Janssen .... Sheriff Aaron Whittaker
Barbara Rush .... Louise Rodanthe
Bradford Dillman .... Andrew Rodanthe
John Beradino .... Dr. Druten
Geoffrey Lewis .... Lawrence Burrifors
Royal Dano .... Tom Gurmandey Sr.
John Davis Chandler .... Tom Gurmandy Jr.
Claudia McNeil .... Sara

Release Date: Made-for-TV: September 26, 1972



On a southern island called Marsh Island, a county sheriff named Aaron Whittaker (David Janssen) discovers that a woman named Ellie has been torn to shreds by what seems to be a pack of wild dogs.
However, a medical examiner named Dr. Druten (John Buradino), whom he got her impregnated and also discovered that whatever attacked her weren't dogs who attacked her and she was murdered.
Then her family gets suspicious and Ellie's brother named Tom Gurmunty Jr. (John Davis Chandler) thinks that Druten murdered her but Tom gets slayed himself and the sheriff realises that there's something more terrifying out there although Tom still tries to unravel these terrible murders thinking there may be a killer on the loose.
However, he may have to face up to a werewolf.


Watching this made for TV horror flick seemed to be a bit of a mystery cop type drama with all that's going on that involves a dead body with some redneck locals talking about something more ferocious than your typical wild animal doing this in which this looks impressive to a start on a werewolf film. However, there are many dull dialogues with the local sheriff talking to some of the locals to look for some missing clues in which this reminds you of watching one of those boring TV cop shows during this time period. However you spot a nice lake area and forestry as well as a full moon too. It totally looked very southern like which this flick was shot in Luisianna. It looked too peaceful though but again sometimes that can be a good setting until the terror starts.
Yet we spot a nice beginning with a corpse exposed around a bunch of sheriff's and locals. There's a great anxious moment with Lawrence Burrifors trying to leap out to see this corpse getting upset and Sheriff Aaron Whittaker holding him back which looked totally energised.
There's a good moment with Aaron talking to Lawrence about what had happened at his home near a lake which showed a good setting as well as testing his self defense too.
There's a good camera shot on
Tom Gurmandey Sr. and Aaron acting sick and paranoid in bed talking about strange things of the werewolf situations almost not making any sense which looked impressive.
There's a shot on Lawrence punching Dr. Druten which looked a bit fake but again in that time it seemed not too badly done for a TV movie.

There's a great dark camera shot quickly closing in on a deputy in a police headquarters with a shot on him screaming which seemed a bit low on energy.
There's a good shot closing in on Lawrence with him pinned against the wall of a jail cell screaming for his life with freaked out expressions which looked quite good.
There's a good shot on Andrew Rodanthe breaking down which looked pretty good on the camera takes but yet could've been a little more realisitic looking in which this moment slightly lacked a bit.
There's another good shot on his arm growing hairy as well as him jumping on Druten fully hairy which looked quite impressive and the filmmakers certainly made this setting look very old fashioned like with the surroundings.
There's a nice camera shot closing in on a nurse along with a great fearful wide eyed expressions on her.
There's a good moment with Louise Rodanthe looking up and then having a concerned expression on her face when she notices someone approaching.
A nice shot from a distance looking down on Andrew breaking through a door with both Aaron and Louise finding a way to escape from him.
Great shot on Louise sitting in a chair holding a gun with a shot on the door being torn open and her getting emotional.
There's a nice shot on Andrew lying on the floor lifeless looking like his full self.
Bottom line is that the terror doesn't really start until halfway through with a mysterious werewolf attacking a sheriff's office in which this looked cheesy but still entertaining.
Then is does get a bit dark near close to when the film is about to end with the sheriff and a wife of her husband who has just become a werewolf and trying to struggle in order to save themselves from him terrorising a mansion they're in. But yet it doesn't seem very scary at all. The film is a bit of a bore but yet the werewolf effects look too old fashioned which is fun
and the scene's were designed to make this picture almost like a tribute to those old fahioned werewolf flicks such as Lon Chaney's The Wolf Man in which that one is far better. If you're in the mood for an average non scary mysterious werewolf flick then by all means watch this film but it's no award winning material by any means.

The acting is good for a TV movie but would be considered average if this was a motion picture. Lead actor David Janssen (Sheriff Aaron Whittaker) does well as the head sheriff Aaron Whittaker and delivers his lines clearly too. He had a great no BS attitude and his speaking was quite gruff which really suited the role that he portrayed. He showed alot of spunk in his part of the film. Plus had the nice masculine looks to top it all off.
The main cast member that stands out is Barbara Rush (
Louise Rodanthe) with her unusual behavior and does well when she gets frightened by the shocking truth of what is going on. She also knew on how to act calm for the scene's that were necessary too. Also does a good job getting emotional too in a certain scene. To top it off she portrayed a nice wholesome type of image.
radford Dillman (Andrew Rodanthe) had a nice charm to his role as one of those guy next door types. He really brought on a great outgoing type of behavior to what he did and had the good clean cut looks. He was perfect as a victim to a werewolf becoming one himself and knew on how to act menacing when he changes.
Supporting actor Geoffrey Lewis
(Lawrence Burrifors) also stands out quite well as a redneck determined to seek revenge on who killed his sister as his emotions were very good. He really knew on how to act high strung when there were upsetting moments. He was very energetic.
oyal Dano (Tom Gurmandey Sr.) was a perfect key role in the film as a sick man dying and really brought out some craziness into his character. He was very believeable by portraying this type of role in which makes you wonder if he is really like that.
Claudia McNeil
(Sara) knew her stuff as a housekeeper to this backwoods family and brought a good strong and serious attitude to what's going on and also knew on how to behave very firm with the incident of an animal out on the loose. There's a nice stern behavior with her on telling her fellow actor about something unanimal like that's happening and getting downright serious with him. She was a totally worthy character actress and can be well remembered for her part in this film.

Some bloody clawing but hey this is a TV movie so the gore is rated G.

We have the good old classical violin playing composed by the late Bernardo Segall along with piano playing and other interesting music too including some suspenseful clarinet playing and some heavy drum beats too. He does well with all of this. It sounds alot like those 70's cop type mystery flicks.