The Beast Must Die – DVD
Dark Sky Films
The Beast Must Die is a 1973 horror “whodunnit” film that tells the tale of a wealthy Big Game hunter who is after the one big hunt that has eluded him thus far – a werewolf. He narrowed down the suspects to five people who he has invited to be guests of his lavish estate for a couple of days. Little did these folks know when they accepted the invitation that they’d basically be his prisoner while he tries to figure out which one of them in the werewolf.
As he unsuccessfully tries to figure out who it is, night comes and he and one of his security guards are attacked by the werewolf, resulting in the death of his security guard friend. This just adds fuel to his fire of wanting to figure out, and kill, the werewolf and he then steps up his hunting leading to the eventual showdown and finding out who among the group was really the werewolf. For you Star Wars aficionados, Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarken) is in this movie as Dr. Christopher Lundgren, who is an expert in Werewolves as well as one of the guests suspected of being one.
The film was very much suited to drive-in theaters of the old days, so much so that at the start of the movie an announcer comes on challenging you to guess who the werewolf is, and near the end of the film, there is a 30 second break in the action where you are supposed to guess, then it cuts back to the movie and the ending where you find out if you were right. I can picture a group of couples in a drive in setting yelling out their guesses at the screen.
The movie is about 90 minutes long and is in anamorphic widescreen. The sound is the original mono mix. Visually it looks quite good for its age, with only a couple very short scenes of questionable visual quality (I’m talking a few seconds here and there). The sound is pretty evenly mixed and everything is easy to hear. Extras include theatrical trailers for the other two Amicus films that were released by Dark Sky Films on DVD (reviews of these are upcoming), and an interview with the director of the film that was done recently. The disc is packaged in a keepcase and comes with an insert with some interesting liner notes. Overall a really nice package for a rather obscure and forgotten film (I myself have never heard of it before until receiving this disc).
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