Sometimes I feel a bit nostalgic, so revisiting things from my past is fun for me. I make connections with certain times in my life to music/movies/TV Series. So, now when I hear something, sometimes it takes me back. That is the case here. I was giving a guy a ride and we were talking about old tv series. He mentioned the series Werewolf from 1987. I immediately chimed in with "I used to watch that". Well, throughout the night, I'm remembering this show and by the time I get home @ 2 am, I wanna watch it.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I watched the whole series on my plex server. Even though it means something to me because it is part of my childhood, I wouldn't recommend this show unless you are an avid fan of Werewolves. The general viewer will think this is tacky and they would right but a Werewolf fan will see the great effort that was made by Fox to make this realistic.
Synopsis: Werewolf is an American horror series, and one of the original shows in the Fox network's broadcast line-up during its inaugural season of 1987–1988. Eric Cord is a college student whose average life comes to an end on the night that his roommate Ted hands him a gun loaded with silver bullets. Ted is a werewolf who has been killing people and tells Eric to kill him, seeing this as his only way out. A red pentagram on Ted's right palm is the sign that the metamorphosis is coming. Confronted with Eric's disbelief, Ted decides to prove his situation and asks Eric to tie him up in a chair and wait until midnight, at which time he'd either see for himself or call in professional help. When midnight comes, Ted transforms into a werewolf, forcing his friend to shoot and kill him-but not before he manages to bite Eric. Before long, Eric discovers a pentagram on his palm, and soon after undergoes his transformation into a seven-foot-tall werewolf. Now on the run for his friend's murder, Eric Cord spends the remainder of the series on a quest to find and kill the originator of his bloodline, the mysterious Janos Skorzeny, which will break the curse.
The series was similar in tone and formula to shows like The Fugitive and The Incredible Hulk but achieved a contemporary feel by mixing a decidedly rock soundtrack with suspense-themed music. Eric wandered from place to place, hitchhiking, taking odd jobs and befriending various characters whose paths he crossed along the way, before invariably being transformed by his werewolf curse just in time to save his new friends from the clutches of some evildoer. Though Eric appeared to have no control over his actions while in werewolf form and typically retained no memory of them afterward, he seemed to prey almost exclusively on villainous characters, never attacking or killing an innocent person. There were hints as the series progressed, however, that this self-control was slowly eroding, as indeed Ted had warned him it would, threatening to destroy Eric's conscience/will if he could not end the curse soon.
Near the end of the series' run it was revealed that the originator of Eric Cord's bloodline was not, in fact, the evil Janos Skorzeny, but rather an even more powerful and malevolent werewolf named Nicholas Remy (played by Brian Thompson). The series ended before Eric could be rid of his curse.
The special effects techniques used in production were considered first-rate and impressive for the time, specifically, the transformation sequences, in which, for example, the pentagram-shaped scar on Eric's right hand would rise, thicken and grow three-dimensionally, and begin to bleed.
The show is a half-hour, although it should have been an hour. Half an hour is just not long enough to tell a story like this properly. Many scenes are shortened or left out because there just isn't enough time, transformation scenes, et cetera. Example: From episode to episode it seems like a lot of time has passed. Eric is a drifter in one, then the next he is working at a residence as a gardener. It is left out how he got to be there and why he is working there. In another episode, he is on a train headed east (I think). How did he get there? Why is he there? This happens several times during the series and this gives the series a feel that every episode is a new story, instead of a continuation.
The budget for this show was HUGE and because of this a lot of transformation scenes are reused. In the 2-hour pilot, the scenes from Ted's (Eric's friend) transformation are reused throughout the series. In today's times, you could easily do a transformation just because of the technology we have but back in 1987, everything was done longhand if you will. The reusing of scenes wasn't limited to just the transformation scenes. There is a scene from the pilot of Ted, as a werewolf stalking people in a parking lot. The view you see is from Ted's perspective. That scene is used later in the series for the same purposes. The werewolf (not Eric), is stalking people in a parking lot.
Somethings don't add up during the series either. Growing up and via research, over the years I've learned a few things about Werewolves. They don't age, they can only die by pure silver, they only change during a full moon (although some stories say they can change anytime). The Fox Werewolf series seems to go against these things. It is stated that Skorzeny was a young man when he got bitten but in a later episode it is said he was older. If you are a seasoned werewolf such as Remy, you can change parts of your body while the rest remains human (kind of strange, cool but strange). The Werewolves in this series can think like their human selves. Eric shows the ability to not attack certain people after transformation. My learning is that, when you are a werewolf, you have zero control over your actions. Anything and everything is fair game. Eric even says this throughout the series but then after changing, he can make choices about who to attack and not attack. It is also known that if you get scratched or bitten, you are then a werewolf but in this series being scratched doesn't do it, only being bitten does.
If you are a Werewolf fan in general, this is worth seeing if you can find it. You probably won't make it through the whole series because after 10 episodes or so, what's the point. Each episode after that is regurgitated transformation scenes and the same storyline. In all reality this would be better as a mini-series of 5 or 6 episodes, each being an hour or so in length. What would be great is if Netflix bought the rights a redid it to be a mini-series. You could stretch it out to 10 one hour episodes but I wouldn't do more than that. With a better budget like Netflix could offer, we could get better transformation scenes and werewolves that have different expressions besides the same one all the time.