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THE WEREWOLF OF WOODSTOCK (1975)

Directed by John Moffitt

THE FILM
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 buggy. Now 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.

FINAL THOUGHTS
"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.