Werewolf: The Black Ship starts as a washed up salty old sea dog named Renfield (Stefan Gierasch) makes contact with Eric Cord (John J. York) whom has made it known he is looking for Janos Skorzeny (Chuck Connors). Renfield claims that himself & Skorzeny used to ship out together & that he can help Eric find him, knowing in order to end the Werewolf curse he needs to kill Skorzeny the source of Werewolf bloodline Eric goes with Renfield but quickly discovers that it's a trap arranged by Skorzeny. Trapped behind steel bars Eric helplessly waits for Skorzeny to arrive & kill him...
Episode four from the first & only season of Werewolf this story originally aired in the US during August 1987, directed by James Darren this episode goes back to the main story about Eric trying to kill Skorzeny & ending his Werewolf curse after the strange departure that was the previous episode The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Firstly it has to be said that The Black Ship is a continuation of a story that if you haven't seen at least one of the first two episodes you simply won't be able to follow, The Black Ship is an almost entirely character driven episode which fleshes out the Skorzeny character in particular from the point of view of two people who don't like him very much. This one is really well written with some nice dialogue, before & after he is caught Eric & Renfield discuss Skorzeny at great length as Renfield recollects his time with the evil Werewolf & the things he saw & how he felt about them. It's just a nicely written piece about two people discussing the only thing they have in common even though they both hate that thing. There's a decent twist & some good Werewolf action in this episode too, certainly the most enjoyable episode so far. While Skorzeny sat out the last episode The Boy Who Cried Werewolf here it's the turn of bounty hunter Rogan not to feature at all in The Black Ship.
Unlike in the previous episodes the Werewolf transformations are shown here & for the first time we see why Skorzeny wears an eye-patch when he takes it off (he doesn't have any eyelids for his left eye). The usual Werewolf transformation tricks are used here, sharp fingernails bursting from fingertips, fingers elongating & a cool scene where Skorzeny grabs his top lip & literally pulls the skin from his face back & clean off to reveal a cool looking Werewolf underneath. As usual the Werewolves look impressive & suitably savage. The Black Ship unsurprisingly takes place almost entirely on a dark rundown ship which is pretty atmospheric & spooky while the production values are high.
The Black Ship is an enjoyable Werewolf episode & maybe my favourite single one so far, however it develops the already introduced character's a fair bit so it's advisable to have seen the first two episodes before you see this one. Certainly if you have never seen an episode of Werewolf this would not be a good place to start.
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