Werewolf: Season 1, Episode 22

Skinwalker (24 Jan. 1988)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror, Thriller
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 7 users  
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Eric comes into a town looking for Skorzany after hearing about several murders by a 'skinwalker'. He learns from a Native American medicine man that there may be a cure. In the end, Eric finds out that the cure was a lie and he moves on.

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Title: Skinwalker (24 Jan 1988)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Dehl Berti ...
Mr. Indochine
Patrick Bishop ...
George
Eric Hart ...
Gus McGregor
Gloria Hayes ...
Marie Bestle
Henry Kingi ...
Roosevelt
Lance LeGault ...
Don Shanks ...
Joseph Bestle
Jimmie F. Skaggs ...
Jim
...
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Eric comes into a town looking for Skorzany after hearing about several murders by a 'skinwalker'. He learns from a Native American medicine man that there may be a cure. In the end, Eric finds out that the cure was a lie and he moves on.

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Horror | Thriller

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24 January 1988 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Werewolf--Skinwalker
12 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Eric (John J York) had read about a series of slayings to Navajos and believed it was possible that Skorzeny (Chuck Connors) might be responsible for them since the descriptions of how badly mutilated the bodies were sounded very much like werewolf attacks. However, these attacks could have been committed by a skinwalker, even quite possibly a Navajo living in the area. Eric strikes up a relationship with the owner of a popular Navajo bar, where Native American loungers love to hang out, and hopes he might know of a medicine man with the knowledge of a particular ritual that could rid him of the lycanthropic curse that continues to burden him. Jimmie F Skaggs (Puppet Master) is one of the Navajos of this episode with a major ax to grind considering his brother-in-law was a victim of the skinwalker and has a mourning pregnant sister to worry about. There's another Najavo, who went to college and has resentment towards his tribe for "sending him away" to school to be a "White Man's Indian", that is established in this episode of Werewolf. Lance LeGault's bounty hunter, Alamo Joe Rogen, has two quick scenes, a forgettable outing that produces no dividends (he passes off a picture of his quarry to the pregnant Navajo widow, telling her Eric is responsible for the skinwalker slayings--an incorrect assessment that nearly gets Eric arrested by an enraged Skaggs--and he has a brief chance to shoot Eric but the bar owner, our hero befriends, stops him in his tracks).

Overall, "Skinwalker" doesn't quite achieve any level of real success because the running time isn't long enough to allow the mystery of the Navajo killings to have a chance to develop the way it should. There are only a few true suspects to consider, and really only Eric's friendship with the Navajo bar owner has any real merit to speak of. I like the series' nomadic plot of Eric always on the pursuit of the one responsible for his curse, hoping to sever the bloodline by killing the chief werewolf, but because each episode is 22 minutes, stories sometimes have a difficult time building appropriately. I loved the idea of Eric involved in a plot surrounding the Skinwalker and the change of location, having contact with Navajos (and putting the spotlight almost solely on them), seems perfect for this kind of show, but the overall execution is deterred by insufficient time needed to fully flesh out a significant story. It's too bad because I can see a great 54 minute episode here, with Eric joining forces with Navajos to find the skinwalker before it kills again. As usual, the beast is unleashed, and there's the typical werewolf battle that lasts approximately five-to-ten seconds. One episode doesn't define a series, but I wouldn't recommend "Skinwalker" as my first choice as an introduction to Werewolf. In regards to his potential salvation, I can't imagine anyone felt he would successfully find a medicine man who could cure him of his lycanthropy because the show then wouldn't have the same dramatic arc or climactic, week-to-week, werewolf showdown viewers came to expect. Still, it was always cool seeing those werewolf costumes and giant monstrous heads brought out at the end, even if for mere seconds. Eric's use as a "rescue werewolf" was commonplace, here once again halting certain death to his new friend (the bar owner) and pregnant Navajo widow (who had a silver dagger made for the skinwalker with plans to stab it if given the chance). Convenient for Eric, there was always *another* werewolf on the prowl ripping apart humans, giving him an out.


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