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The Beast Must Die (1974)

PG  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  April 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,865 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 72 critic

Eight people have been invited to an island estate for the weekend. One of them is a werewolf. Can you guess which one?



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Complete credited cast:
Tom Newcliffe
Dr. Lundgren
Marlene Clark ...
Caroline Newcliffe
Anton Diffring ...
Ciaran Madden ...
Paul Foote
Sam Mansary ...
Butler (as Sam Mansaray)
Andrew Lodge ...
Carl Bohen ...
1st Hunter (as Carl Bohun)
2nd Hunter


Tom Newcliffe, a rich businessman and expert hunter summons six guests to his huge country estate which he has rigged up with video cameras and a high-tech security system. He tells them and his surprised wife that they are all to stay over a weekend and that all of them will be kept on the estate during that weekend. For each guest, dead bodies have followed in their wake and the way that the dead have been murdered means that one of the guest is a werewolf and Tom has summoned his guests here to discover who it is and to hunt it down... The film has a clip at the beginning asking people in the audience to try to identify the werewolf and near the end there is a 30-second "Werewolf Break" for the audience to think over the evidence... Written by Lee Horton <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One of these eight people will turn into a werewolf. Can you guess who it is when we stop the film for the WEREWOLF BREAK? See it ... solve it ... but don't tell!


Horror | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

April 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Werewolf  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The two British horror studios - Hammer and Amicus - produced a number of scary movies involving ghosts, vampires and devils over a period of 20 years. Both of them, however, only ever produced one werewolf movie each. This was Amicus' effort. Hammer's was The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), an early starring vehicle for Oliver Reed. See more »


When the alarm shows that the werewolf has left the estate and is prowling in the woods, Tom has his surveillance expert help him track the beast. He could have taken a few seconds to look in on all the guests via the spy cameras to see which one was missing from their room and so discover the werewolf's identity, but it doesn't seem to occur to him. See more »


Jan Jarmokowski: [Holding silver candlestick] Why don't we pass this around? If one of us does drop dead, we can continue our weekend in peace.
See more »


Featured in Directing the Beast (2003) See more »


Moonlight Sonata
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Douglas Gamley
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User Reviews

Decent werewolf mystery.
8 May 2005 | by (Bromsgrove, England) – See all my reviews

"This is a murder mystery in which you are the detective ... but instead of 'who is the murderer?', the question is 'who is the werewolf?' ..." And so we have an eccentric millionaire who gathers together a group of six people, including his wife, in his mansion and states that one of them is a werewolf. How does he know this? Well, we don't question such things. There is a newly-reunited couple, an ex-United Nations delegate, an eccentric biologist, and an expert on werewolf folklore. Over a period of three terrifying nights, he narrows down the list of suspects to discover who the beast is ...

The movie opens with Calvin Lockhart running through his estate, being pursued by commandos and monitored by the new high-tech security system which he is testing. That opening sequence goes on and on, and there are many such tedious 'chase' scenes in the movie which make it something of a chore to watch. Ultimately it took me three attempts to finally get through this whole movie, and that's never a good sign. It's a shame, because there are some really great scenes as well ... the climax inparticular is suitably thrilling. We have pretty much an all-star cast in this movie, so if you're a fan of Peter Cushing, Sir Michael Gambon (currently playing Dumbledore), Charles Gray or 'blaxploitation' actors Calvin Lockhart and Marlene Clark, then you'll probably want to see this. Thanks to this casting, the acting is slightly above average for a B-movie, but nothing spectacular. It almost fits into the blaxploitation category itself, thanks to the jazzy, funky soundtrack and the alternative marketing title "Black Werewolf".

As for the 'guess the werewolf' element, as far as I can tell you can only narrow it down to three characters before the 'werewolf break' comes along, and then it's just a case of guessing between them. I guessed wrongly (although the character I chose would have made for a better ending), but as I suspected, the werewolf break was something that was added later by the producers and it wasn't the director's idea. The film wasn't made with this in mind, so it's actually impossible to guess for sure who the werewolf is. In fact, Paul Annett hated the idea of the 'werewolf break'.

Overall this is a fairly entertaining werewolf B-movie, and werewolf enthusiasts will probably enjoy it, but it could have been better.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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