Hammer surely got it right when they chose Oliver Reed to play their only werewolf (judging by his subsequent notoriety). Rather than tackle the Universal Studios version of the story, however, Terrence Fisher and his team go for a different take on the legend. Here, lycanthropy has possibly genetic origins and we are treated to a nearly 45 minute preamble involving Reed's parents (mute servant girl and insane begging man) and his childhood (sneaking out to kill local goats). Apparently, being loved can keep the dark side at bay, but, unfortunately, Reed's true love is thwarted - but you expected that. Hammer's usual production values are present and Reed's anguish is clear but there is only really one scene with full-on werewolf make-up.