The Beast Must Die (1974) *


A big game hunter invites a variety of guests to a weekend house party, before announcing that he believes one of them is a werewolf, and he intends to hunt and kill them.

Mostly lively mix of Gothic mythology, And Then There Were None and The Most Dangerous Game, with a ripe cast of scene stealers and a lively wocca-wocca score to accompany its all-action black protagonist, undone slightly by a couple of unnecessary gimmicks and the basic structural problem that, having once explained the set-up, all that the script can do is try to find enough good distractions and delays until the big denouement.
But the final revelation does have a good surprise up its sleeve, much of the suspense works as intended, and there are some amusing scientific explanations of standard werewolf lore delivered by Peter Cushing in one of the most erratic German accents on record.
Only the beast itself fully disappoints: fully wolverine rather than the traditional wolfish humanoid, and seemingly played by a dog. Overall, though, one of the best of the generally second-rank Amicus horrors, and a commendable attempt to do something a little different. Especially enjoyable when watched in company.