June Lockhart stars in the next entry in DK Canada’s highly enjoyable Monsters in the Movies book as I continue working my way through the chapter on werewolves. That being said, there is a distinct lack of lycanthropy in this film, as it is only hinted at, but that’s okay, the film’s runtime, one hour, helps keep that disappoint at bay.
Lockhart plays Phyllis Allenby, a young heiress living with her aunt, Martha (Sara Haden) and cousin Carol (Jan Wiley). When a rash of murders takes place in a nearby park, Phyllis becomes convinced that she may be the culprit as her aunt fans the flames of the legend of the Allenby curse – that she may be a werewolf.
Things are exacerbated by the delightful glee Carol takes in sharing details of the murder, and Phyllis’ fiancee Barry (Don Porter) spending time with Carol, who is attempting to ruin the relationship.
Everything her family does seems to be done with the intent of ruining Phyllis’ life, and cause a descent into madness, but what if there is evidence that she is not responsible, and that the curse may be nothing more than so much hooey?
There’s no real glimpse of a werewolf, and all the attacks are off-screen, though we occasionally get hints of it through sound.
In the end the story ends up being a little disappointing, especially set amidst all the other werewolf movies I’m watching, but it is enjoyable seeing June Lockhart in a role outside of her appearance in the original Lost In Space series, and of course as the mother of Anne Lockhart (whom she looks a lot like in this film).
The film, despite only running an hour, seems to take a while to get under way, and also seems to be rather slow moving, And of course, despite the title, not one part of the film was shot in England, it was all shot on the Universal backlot, and features a number of odd (and off) UK accents. Lockhart doesn’t seem to be bothered with affecting one, so perhaps she is an American branch of the family that is now living in the UK.
With no werewolf featured in the film, this one is a bit of a misdirect by DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies book, but that’s ok, as there is a film coming up shortly that I love, and cannot wait to watch it again.
So don’t worry if this one won’t meet your expectations there are so many other encounters with werewolves in this book that you are bound to meet a pair of claws and fangs that appeal. So pick up a copy today and find something bloody and macabre to watch tonight.