Werewolf Concerto (1992)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on January 6, 2018 in 4 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Tales from the Crypt

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Werewolf Concerto (1992)
Werewolf Concerto (1992)

Main cast: Timothy Dalton (Lokai), Dennis Farina (Antoine), Walter Gotell (Mr Hertz), Charles Fleischer (Carl Rechek), Lela Rochon (Mercedes), Reginald VelJohnson (Mercedes’s Husband), Wolfgang Puck (himself), Jason Iorg (Peiter), Beverly D’Angelo (Janice Baird), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Steve Perry

In an unnamed resort, a guest is found murdered in a gruesome manner. Everyone is aghast, and one of the guests, Carl Rechek, is convinced that there is a werewolf among them. Antoine, the manager, calms the guests down by pointing out that he has been contacted – anonymously, of course – by one of the guests who specializes in werewolf extermination. This guest will eliminate that pesky hairy thing, he promises the guests, and then announces that there will be lots of fun activities to be had on the week ahead. Everyone to the ballroom now, it’s going to be fun! Our protagonist, the rugged Lokai, rolls up his eyes but Antoine’s charm seems to be working on those silly fools.

Werewolf Concerto is not concerned about telling the story in a believable manner. The guests all treat the increasing body count as something to speculate in idle horror, not caring to do much other than buying wholesale Antoine’s claims that nobody can leave because a storm the night before had caused the highway to be blocked. Yes, no cops are coming for the time being, but nobody seems to care aside from Lokai, who shows some idle curiosity on the matter at least.

What this episode is more interested in doing is to present an intriguing game in which the viewer is invited to guess which of the guests is the werewolf. Is it the abrasive Mr Hertz, the only sane man who wants to leave despite Antoine’s assurances that things will be so fun this week? Carl, who seems to know a lot of werewolves and is hostile at Lokai for wanting to poke his nose into where it doesn’t belong? The cheery Mercedes or her affable husband? Or maybe it’s Antoine himself, rounding up the guests for his personal nightly buffet? Then there’s Janice Baird, the celebrated pianist who is also a guest of honor – she flirts back when Lokai makes his move and invites him to come to her room at midnight. Hmm, what can she be planning?

This is a memorable episode, if only because it is pretty clever in playing with the viewer’s assumptions and expectations. It leads me to think that Lokai – smug, arrogant, so sure of himself while carrying himself like a rugged hero – is hunting down the werewolf when it turns out, he is the werewolf, and he’s actually hunting down the mysterious werewolf hunter that is among the guests. Really, I am taken by surprise by this twist, and I raise my imaginary hat to these people for making it feel so good to be caught unawares like this. Also, I like that this episode is a spiritual sequel to a previous episode. Just like in The Secret, this episode showcases the natural feud between vampires and werewolves, only this time the vampire comes up on top when Janice cheerfully shows Loki that he is nowhere as smart as he thinks he is.

Much about this episode feels artificial and even contrived, but damn if Werewolf Concerto isn’t a sneaky, cleverly constructed little teaser of a show that keeps me entertained from start to finish.

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