The Beast Must Die (1974) starring Calvin Lockhart, Peter Cushing
In The Beast Must Die, a wealthy hunter invites eight individuals to spend the weekend at his rural estate. He has a hidden motive, however. He believes that one of them is a werewolf. Which intends to track down and kill.
Pavel: All this expense. Why? Protection? Against whom?
Tom Newcliffe: I have many enemies. What big man doesn’t? In this world, you’re either the hunted, or the hunter.
Pavel: And… You… Are the hunter?
Tom Newcliffe: Always.
The Beast Must Die is a surprisingly entertaining werewolf movie. Cross the werewolf genre with Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, and this is what you get. The reclusive millionaire has brought eight guests to his remote English manor for the weekend. He knows that one of them is a deadly werewolf. But he doesn’t know which one. And neither does the audience, until the very end.
It’s very well done, with good acting all around. People act realistically — imagine if you were invited by a millionaire for a weekend, and he announces that he plans to kill one of you over the weekend …. Because one of you is a werewolf! That’s frankly how the various individuals react. One thing to keep in mind: the werewolf curse can be passed on by a bite from the infected individual.
Also: Peter Cushing’s character gives a fairly detailed, yet sympathetic, description of the poor person suffering from the disease. It literally makes the audience feel sorry for the creature …. Whomever it is.
- Calvin Lockhart (Predator 2) … Tom Newcliffe. The wealthy, reclusive, eccentric millionaire. He fancies himself a great hunter, and has arranged the weekend in order to have the greatest hunt of his life. To track down, and kill, a werewolf.
- Peter Cushing (The Brides of Dracula) … Dr. Christopher Lundgren. archaeologist and a lycanthropy “expert”. He provides the information on the pseudoscientific werewolf explanation.
- Marlene Clark (Enter the Dragon) … Caroline Newcliffe. Tom’s lovely and gracious wife. She’s put upon to be not only hostess, but all the waitstaff when Tom sends them away for the hunt. A truly nice lady, who deserved a better ending.
- Charles Gray (Diamonds are Forever) … Bennington, an older man. A disgraced diplomat.
- Anton Diffring (The Man Who Could Cheat Death) … Pavel. Tom’s employee, in change of the cameras and motion sensors. A man who doesn’t believe in werewolves.
- Ciaran Madden … Davina. Jan’s wife, and former student of his.
- Tom Chadbon … Paul Foote. An artist, recently released from prison.
- Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) … Jan. A famous pianist.
Editorial review of The Beast Must Die courtesy of Amazon.com
Wealthy sportsman Tom Newcliffe has bagged every sort of big game trophy, except one–a werewolf! Newcliffe has summoned six guests to his isolated country estate for the weekend. Once they have arrived, he announces that one of them is a werewolf and they are all part of a deadly game he has devised. The game will end when the moon is full and the cursed soul is hunted down and killed. Horror superstar Peter Cushing leads the cast in this edge-of-your-seat chiller that will keep you guessing right up to the last blood-curdling scream–a must-see for fans of mystery and the macabre.