“This figure was dark wasn’t it?” “Alright, it was dark, it was very dark.” “A black man.” “No, it was a werewolf you racist pig.”
Jack Whittier (Dean Stockwell) and his girlfriend Giselle (Katalin Kallay) are in a hurry trying to get to the airport. Jack doesn’t want to miss his flight back to the US. He is currently in Hungary on assignment. When the car goes off the road Jack goes for help. On his way back to the car he is attacked by a dog. He kills the dog using the silver headed cane given to him previously by Giselle. Jack realizes that the creature he thought was a dog was actually a man. A gypsy he had seen earlier. Jack reports the death to the Hungarian police.
The police tell him that there is no dead man. Jack thinks it is a conspiracy by the Pentagon. He then meets an old gypsy woman that gives him a talisman and tells his to wear it. Jack knows that it was her son he killed. The old woman tells him that he did not kill her son but that he released him. Giselle, matter of factly, tells him that he was bitten by a werewolf and know has the mark of the beast, ergo, Jack is a werewolf. Jack poo poos everything and returns to America.
The president of the United States (Biff McGuire) makes Jack his press secretary. Jack had been having an affair with the president’s daughter Marion (Jane House) until he went to Hungary. Back in the US he still has feelings for her, but Marion has become engaged to someone else. At a party he is introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Captree (Ben Yaffe, Nancy Andrews). Sitting on the sofa with Mrs. Captree he sees in her palm the sign of the pentagram. He gets a little spooked by the image. That night Mrs. Captree is murdered.
Pretty soon, Jack is seeing pentagrams in palms all over the place. By now he is convinced that he is a werewolf and is starting to freak out. He tries to quit his job, but the president won’t let him. The president thinks it's a conspiracy by the Pentagon. Jack then tries to tell Dr. Commander Salmon (Beeson Carroll) that he is a werewolf. Salmon just thinks he’s a bit loony.
“The Werewolf of Washington” was released in 1973 and was directed by Milton Moses Ginsberg. The movie is a horror/comedy that satirizes aspects of the Nixon presidency. The story is told soberly and somberly. If you don’t know the movie is a satire it can seem quite slow and plodding. If you look at the movie as just a horror movie it’s not all that good, but if you look at the movie as a political satire that happens to have a werewolf then you might enjoy it more.
As far as werewolves are concerned, Stockwell looks more like a furby with fangs than a werewolf. I think furbies are cute so Stockwell’s werewolf is kind of adorable.
At one point, while a werewolf, Jack runs into Dr. Kiss (Michael Dunn) in the basement of the white house where Dr. Kiss has a secret lab. It appears that Dr. Kiss is working on some secret scientific projects for the government that even the president is unaware of. Dr. Kiss is fascinated by Jack the werewolf and wants him taken alive. In the lab you can see a couple of Dr. Kiss’ projects. One appears to have Frankenstein feet. The whole Dr. Kiss portion of the movie is a little weird add-on to the film. It doesn’t add anything to the story and goes nowhere which is too bad. I would have liked to have seen it go somewhere. It seemed more interesting then the main movie.
It’s a strange film. Bad and good at the same time. Either way by the end you may just sit there as the credits roll and go “What the hell was that?” Especially if you never lived through the Nixon period. Still you may wonder if it really is a conspiracy by the Pentagon.