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THE WEREWOLF OF WOODSTOCK (1975)
Directed by John Moffitt
You can mess with Dick Clark. You can mess with Dick Clark's
friends. You can even mess with Dick Clark's family. But damn it,
don't mess with Dick Clark's dune buggy. That's crossing the line.
OK, enough of the fast talk.
The Werewolf Of Woodstock is "A Dick Clark Teleshow" from
1975. Get it? The mastermind behind American Bandstand didn't make
it to the top by throwing money out the window. When the chance
arose to articulate a forceful shot-on-video statement that would
both skewer hippies AND depict a werewolf commandeering a dune
buggy, the writing was on the wall. America needed a 65 minute
wake-up call. On January 24, 1975, Dick Clark picked up the phone.
Woodstock is over. Still, farmer Bert (TV superman Tige
Andrews) refuses to simmer down. Since his house shared fieldspace
with all the "dirty freaks" and "hippies," Bert seeks retribution;
a revenge like no other. Smash the garbage cans! Snap the lumber!
Yell a lot! Naturally, a bolt of lightning turns Bert into a
werewolf, but he always remembers to change out of his pajamas
before leaving the house. When a hot lickin', cat screamin' band
visits the abandoned Woodstock field to record a demo, Werewolf
Bert blows his stack. Again. Thunder and lightning constantly
bellow, but it never rains. Cops talk. Werewolf Bert jumps through
a window (in slow motion) and kidnaps a girl. She says, "I
understand your pain." Mr. Clark, you've got my number.
What a concept. Feeling like an episode of Filmation's
The Ghost Busters as interpreted by
David "The Rock" Nelson,
The Werewolf Of Woodstock does not rip you off. Cheap
werewolf action and perpetual ridiculousness make sure of that.
Phaser sound effects bloat the soundtrack. Werewolf Bert looks like
a giant Shih Tzu puppy. Everybody plays it dead straight. Wooded
attack scenes are strangely shivery. The air dried up at times with
the ol' talk 'n' walk padding, but I wasn't particularly thirsty.
Ergo, I was constantly satiated.
I just found out that Dick Clark doesn't even own a dune
that's crossing the line.
AUDIO AND VIDEO
The Werewolf Of Woodstock hasn't been broadcast since the
late 1970s. It also missed out on the VHS shake-up that followed
soon after. Therefore, expectations run pretty low. Although the
picture quality was smudgy and slightly doubled at times, I was
anticipating much worse. Colors were still there and the sound was
a bit muffled, but audible. Absolutely no compression was evident.
Big plus. There were a few tape rolls, but the source was obviously
a broadcast master, as fades are present for commercial breaks.
"He hated everything!" Bert's pissed, but you won't be.
Though never mind-blowing,
The Werewolf Of Woodstock balances hilarity, surprising
wildness, and odd late-nite chills quite nicely. Dune buggy not
required, but strongly recommended.