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Films: B is for...

Beast Must Die, The

Once again, Amicus Productions come through with the goods. After the splendid Vault of Horror comes their excellent, all-over-the-shop werewolf whodunit. Superfly millionaire Calvin ‘Dynasty’ Lockhart (replete with ‘tache, leather gloves and black polo neck) rigs up the grounds of his stately pile with chopper surveillance, snipers, security cameras, ground mics and an unexplained ‘pressure grid’, all controlled from a big desk of flashing lights, in order to trap a werewolf who he knows (somehow) is among his invited guests (including Charles ‘Blofeld’ Gray, Michael ‘BAFTA’ Gambon, suspect longhair Tom ‘The Changes’ Chadbon and Scandinavian ‘werewolf hunter’ Peter Cushing). Cue a run-through of all the usual horror legends during juicily overacted dinner table confrontations, before the dog attack climax and final heavily-signposted plot twist. Plus points are a swingingly inappropriate wah wah/big band theme tune, and the bizarre ‘werewolf break’, wherein the sub-Vincent Price narrator stops the film and demands ‘you, the audience’ work out which of the guests is the lycanthrope while a clock ticks away – a device which should be employed more often, we think.

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