Full Moon Features: The Boy(s) Who Cried Werewolf

A few years back, Nickelodeon aired a made-for-TV movie called The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, which is about a boy (duh) who comes to believe her older sister is a werewolf (double duh). If you missed it, it can be found in its entirety on YouTube, but then so is the 1973 feature film of the same name, which I strongly suggest would be a much better choice. Directed by Nathan H. Juran — who also made such ’50s classics as The Deadly Mantis, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, among others — The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is about a boy named Richie (Scott Sealey) who is spending the weekend at his father’s (Kerwin Mathews) cabin in the mountains when they’re jumped by a mangy werewolf and Dad is bitten on the arm. (It’s a good thing he had his trusty cane with him or else he wouldn’t have been able to beat the beast off.)

Once they’re back in civilization, Richie persists with his story that they were attacked by a werewolf, so Dad has a chat with the kid’s psychiatrist (George Gaynes) — seems he’s in therapy because of his parents’ divorce — and on his advice takes Richie back to the cabin. His timing is terrible, though, because it’s the full moon again and it isn’t long before Dad transforms, chases his son through the woods, causes multiple motor vehicle accidents, and chows down on the occupants. (The following morning when sheriff Robert J. Wilke arrives on the scene, one of his deputies helpfully tells him, “Except for one missing arm, that’s all the same guy.”) Meanwhile, Richie flees and takes refuge with a young couple (Susan Foster and Jack Lucas) in a camper. Naturally they become Dad’s victims the following night and, through the magic of time-lapse photography, Richie witnesses the werewolf turning back into his father and hides the evidence of his foul deeds from the sheriff. Suitably traumatized, Richie tries to convince his mother (Elaine Devry) that the man she divorced is a monster and she reluctantly agrees to accompany them on their next trip, just missing the front-page news about Gaynes’s murder.

On their way up to the cabin, the family passes a hippie commune led by a self-styled preacher (screenwriter Bob Homel) who was able to pacify the sheriff earlier by claiming they were “freaked out on God.” (He’s also the sort who would claim, “Man is not a beast. Compared to man, beasts are angels.”) As it would be a shame to have hippies and a werewolf in the same movie and not have one attack the other, that night Dad assaults the encampment and the hippies attempt an exorcism to drive the Satan out of him. To their surprise it actually works, but that’s only because they did it at sunrise. The next night, Dad’s back to sprouting fangs and fur like nobody’s business and this time he’s going after his ex-wife and son. Nothing like keeping it in the family, right?