The Beast Must Die
The Beast Must Die – 1974 | 93 mins | Horror | Colour
Intriguing Amicus horror whodunit based upon SF writer James Blish’s story ‘There Shall Be No Darkness’. The Beast Must Die is a stolid mixture of William Castle b-movie gimmick and a variation on Agatha Christie’s ‘Ten Little Indians’ as the guests are disposed of one by one and the viewer must identify the killer. Director Paul Annett puts in a ‘werewolf break’ and provides 30-seconds in which the audience is invited to guess who the werewolf is. The werewolf, in fact a real wolf, is disappointing and excellent actors like Peter Cushing, Charles Gray and Michael Gambon are criminally underused in this run-of-the-mill mystery horror.
A millionaire big-game hunter, Tom Newcliffe (Calvin Lockhart), aided by onlooker Pavel (Anton Diffring), hope to discover the identity of a werewolf by inviting an assortment of his rural neighbours to spend a weekend at his isolated hunting lodge during a full moon. All the guests have past associations with bizarre murders involving flesh eating, and sure that one of his guests is the werewolf, he intends to smoke out the lycanthrope via a closed circuit television hunt he has devised.
Amongst the guests are Newcliffe’s wife Caroline (Marlene Clark), concert pianist Jan Jamokowksi (Michael Gambon), his socialite girlfriend (Ciaran Madden), an ex-UN delegate (Charles Gray), a medical student (Tom Chadbon) once imprisoned for eating human flesh, and Swedish Dr. Christopher Lundgren (Peter Cushing) who has studied the subject. The first victim is Pavel, Newcliffe’s ‘eyes and ears’ in the surveillance room, and with him gone the beast is free to roam the estate unseen.
Paul Annett: Director
Jack Hildyard: Cinematography
Peter Tanner: Editing
Bobbie Smith: Makeup Department
Paul Rabiger: Makeup Department
Douglas Gamley: Original Music
Milton Subotsky: Producer
Max Rosenberg: Producer
John Stoll: Production Design
Michael Winder: Script
Richard Langford: Sound Department
Ken Ritchie: Sound Department
Ean Wood: Sound Department