Our story begins at the La Tour museum of the occult and supernatural, which is always a good start. A (la) tour guide leads a captivated group around the place, giving lectures on such subjects as vampirism and voodoo. He also explains that the previous owner of the house, Marie Latour, was a werewolf who killed her own husband.
Doctor Morris, the owner of the museum, is planning on writing a book about the life of Marie Latour. However, when a gypsy princess hears about it, she is determined to prevent that story from ever being told to outsiders. For, you see, she is none other than the descendant of Marie Latour! And from the looks of it, she may have inherited some of her "attributes" ...
This is a very intriguing set-up indeed. In the end the film is let down by some extremely awkward scripting and acting in certain places, as well as a distinct lack of spookiness - though not for want of trying. In comparison with the other Wolf Man knock-offs of the 1940s, it's generally regarded as being better than "The Mad Monster" but not as good as "The Undying Monster", which is probably a fair assessment of this very mid-range B-movie. There are some very good ideas here, but the final execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Ultimately, "Cry of the Werewolf" is neither good enough nor bad enough to be especially noteworthy. However, if you're a completist - or if you just happen to be in the mood for some very average 1940s horror cinema - then there are certainly worse ways to spend an hour.
"The tradition of werewolves and vampires dates back almost to the world's earliest recorded history. Of the two, the werewolf is perhaps the most horrible because the instinct for evil is so strong that they cunningly and willingly assume the shape of a beast in order to kill. It was during these times that farmers complained of seeing a wolf with flashing eyes that killed their cattle and sheep ...
"Every effort was made to track the creature down, but it was George Latour who learned the truth at least. He discovered the muddy footprints of an animal leading to his house. He followed them to his wife's room ..."
This is the beginning of the story told by the museum curator. It's an interesting one, because it is based on a real folk legend which has been told in various forms across Europe. In this film, it is also tied into old gypsy legends - partly in reference to The Wolf Man, no doubt.
A real "wolf" is used in this film, and its obvious that the film-makers struggled with it. In order to get the poor doggy to show its teeth for the camera, a rubber band was placed around its snout - which is clearly visible in several shots, and looks rather silly anyway. The animal looks more like its chewing on a rubber toy than snarling.
We are treated to several transformation scenes. In the first, the camera pans across to a woman's shadow which then cross-fades into the shadow of a wolf. It doesn't really work, but it's a decent attempt at some low-budget innovation.