The Werewolf Reunion, Supernatural 1977 (Ep3)

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The Werewolf Reunion will please horror fans who prefer spooky atmosphere to violence and gore, writes RICHARD MARKWORTH

The Werewolf Reunion

TITLE: The Werewolf Reunion
DIRECTOR: Simon Langton
25 June 1977 BBC1

Review of The Werewolf Reunion

Episode three of the Supernatural anthology series, The Werewolf Reunion, concludes the story which began with Countess Ilona. Following a brief recap, the action picks up where the preceding instalment left off.

It is the morning after the first night of the bizarre anniversary celebration organised by Countess Ilona (Billie Whitelaw) at her Gothic castle. The mutilated body of Hugo Hoffman (John Fraser) lies covered by a rug, one bloodied arm protruding from beneath, having been discovered by his fellow guests. The young man’s ghastly end is ascribed to an attack by “some marauding beast”.

Baron Josef von Haller (Edward Hardwicke), the fourth man invited by the Countess, finally arrives at the isolated castle after failing to attend the evening before. Von Haller is a successful but corrupt politician who, like his fellow attendees, is one of Ilona’s former lovers.

He is greeted by his political rival, the arms dealer Zoltan Vinzenz (Ian Hendry) who, after a brief bout of verbal sparring, informs von Haller of Hoffman’s death. The pair are soon joined by serial seducer Dr Felix Kraus (Charles Kay) and von Haller demands to know further details of the incident.

The trio discuss the tragedy with varying degrees of empathy. Kraus vocalises the suspicion they all harbour, claiming “it is possible Hoffman was murdered”. At dinner the previous evening the Countess had expounded the possibility one of the four invitees could be the biological father of her son Bela (Stefan Gates) and the men theorize Hoffman may have been punished for being the errant parent.  

Von Haller demands Kraus’ opinion on the cause of death and the retired doctor confirms the attack was carried out by “a ravenous wild beast”. He also appraises von Haller of the fact Ilona’s late husband, the vile Count Tyrrh, had believed he was a werewolf prior to his death.

 Von Haller assumes command of the situation and instructs Ilona’s servant Andras (Charles Keating)  to summon the Police. He is told “they will not come”. Furthermore, it soon becomes abundantly clear the men are all but trapped at the castle as the only local coachman “met with an accident” the night before.

A scene from The Werewolf Reunion
A scene from The Werewolf Reunion

Meanwhile the mysterious creature responsible for Hoffman’s dismemberment continues to prowl the vicinity of the castle while creepy young Bela begins to ask awkward questions such as “what is undead?” much to the consternation of his ancient nurse Sylva (Molly Veness). 

What follows is reminiscent of Ten Little Indians, but with added werewolf, as the guest list begins to rapidly diminish and the remaining fear-ridden visitors, their historic transgressions against Ilona revealed, attempt to escape their gruesome fates via increasingly desperate means. 

The Werewolf Reunion is an enjoyable closing chapter to the two-part story. The principal cast continue their good work from the opening episode and the addition of Hardwicke injects a further element of class to the distinguished ensemble. Whitelaw as central character Ilona is excellent, proving equally convincing as both doting mother and merciless seeker of vengeance. Her performance instantly commands attention with each on-screen appearance.

The attacks on the various victims do prove somewhat formulaic with each comprising of a meeting with Ilona, the reveal of the characters historic poor behaviour and finally a visit by the shadowy lycanthrope. Nonetheless, director Simon Langton handles these scenes well and still manages to imbue them with the requisite level of tension.

Despite its low budget trappings and occasionally leisurely pace, this tale of supernatural revenge is sure to please lovers of period-set horror who prefer mood and atmosphere to excessive gore and graphic depictions of violence.

Tell us your thoughts on The Werewolf Reunion, Supernatural 1977 Episode 3, in the comment section below!

Read Richard Markworth’s reviews of Supernatural 1977 episodes on Spooky Isles.

Read our Supernatural 1977 Episode Guide with reviews of all the episodes!


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