Horror On The Lens: The Werewolf of Washington (dir by Milton Moses Ginsberg)


Werewolf of Washington (1973)

Since this October began, we have featured ghosts, vampires, a sadist, and some Cambodian zombies.  Therefore, it makes sense that, for our latest horror film on the Lens, we should feature a werewolf.

In The Werewolf of Washington, a manic Dean Stockwell plays an aide to the President of the United States who, during an assignment in Hungary, meets some gypsies, and ends up getting attacked by a werewolf.  Soon, Stockwell is back in Washington and turning into a wolf under the glow of the full moon…

The Werewolf of Washington features a memorable performance from Stockwell and the werewolf effects are fairly effective.  However, The Werewolf of Washington is mostly memorable as a document of its time.  The film was first released in 1973 and it’s meant to be a social and political satire along with being a traditional werewolf movie.   Admittedly, this is a low-budget and frequently uneven film but it’s worth seeing just for the scene where Stockwell gets his finger stuck in a bowling ball.

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5 responses to “Horror On The Lens: The Werewolf of Washington (dir by Milton Moses Ginsberg)

  1. Quite possibly the most delightfully goofy film poster I’ve seen–a werewolf in an Uncle Sam hat!–and check out that tagline:

    “Makes it perfectly clear.”

    Makes WHAT perfectly clear? In its apparent effort to underscore some sort of pre-existing clarity, the tagline only serves to befuddle its potential audience.

    In addition to the above, Dean Stockwell play the title role! I’m going to have to enquire about this at the video store.

  2. Man, that was scary. That astronaut did NOT wash his hands after using the toilet in that scene with the President. The horror.

    Mark – I think that seemingly cryptic tagline is actually part of the political satire Ms. Bowman mentioned. One might have to be an old American bastard to recognize it, unless one is a political history junkie. President Richard Nixon had become known for several catch phrases, one of which was, “Let me make one thing perfectly clear”. Another was, “Let me say this about that”. I think that tagline is a reference to the former. But I agree – it would work well seen as a mysteriuos or possibly pseudo-deep statement.

    Here is a sample quote from Nixon in which he used that phrase – “Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I wouldn’t want to wake up next to a lady pipefitter.” (1971 – quoted in Ms. magazine) I’m not sure, either.

    • Thanks for saying this about that (or is it that about this?)–you’ve made it perfectly clear!

      PS: I recall an episode of “Welcome Back, Kotter” where ‘Boom Boom’ Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs III) says “Let me say this about that”–I believe it was in the school president episode. I’ve always liked the line–it’s even funnier now that I know he was lampooning Tricky Dick.

      • You picked up Nixonese very quickly.

        Wow – what a reference. Old bastard that I am, I remember “Kotter”, too. I’m surprised you are so familiar with that show, (and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs). It was actually a pretty funny show for the first season or so, until it became the Vinnie Barbarino show. I don’t remember that scene, but I’m sure Freddie was invoking Nixon, as you now infer.

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