Directed By: Tom Clegg & Peter Sasdy
Written By: Murray Smith
Starring: Christopher Cazenove, Celia Gregory, Diana Dors, Jacob Witkin ...
Running Time: 60 min
Air Date: 01/11/1980
It's that old plot device again, the one that has served many, many horror writers over the years ... a couple travelling through the countryside has car trouble, pulls over, and discovers a secluded house in the middle of nowhere. Either the house has no phone or they simply can't reach anyone, so they are forced to stay the night.
So cue the vampires, ghosts, demons ... or in this case a family of werewolves. The supposed owner of the house is an unnervingly friendly old lady played excellently by famous actress Diana Dors, just a few years before her death. She is step mother to eight creepy children. The couple become increasingly worried as strange things start happening. The husband is attacked by a strange creature in the woods, the wife has some odd encounters with the children, and eventually they are locked in their room. He tries to climb out of the window and ends up unconscious on the floor below while she is raped by a werewolf.
Already there's some pretty twisted stuff going on, enough to make me think this could be a great werewolf story. Anyway, the couple then end up in a hospital, the wife seems to have no memory of the events, claiming they simply crashed the car, and the husband thinks it was a dream. Over the next month or so she begins to act strangely, eating lots of meat and increasing her sexual appetite. They then discover she's pregnant, and the fetus is growing at an extraordinary rate. She returns to that old house to give birth, and he pursues her. And just as it starts to get interesting ... it's the end of the episode. D'oh!
I understand that there's only so much you can fit in to an hour-long episode, but if they'd just cut down on the boring scenes it could have all led to a great climax and ended up as a well-constructed, original werewolf story rather than just an interesting idea. Oh, well. I guess if you have nothing better to do, you might want to give this one a look, but don't go out of your way.
Considering we only see the wolf in a few shots, the makeup is very well done. Kind of fuzzy, but very detailed (see bottom photo). Muscular actor Jacob Witkin makes a great werewolf, and his short performance is fairly memorable. For the transformation scene where he begins to change into a werewolf, the camera simply cuts away and when we cut back he has a little more hair and behaves in a more vicious way. There are no silver bullets, no pentagrams, and from what I remember we don't even see the full moon at all, despite the title of the episode.
We never see the children themselves turn into a werewolves, but the episode does open with a fairly disturbing scene in which one of the girls is seen eating a lamb while surrounded by big dogs (see top photo). It's a pretty twisted image, that definitely stays with you more than anything else. Little girls are creepy. Ick.