October 25, 2016
Review #855: Wolf Blood.
George Chesebro (Dick Bannister), Marguerite Clayton (Miss Edith Ford), Ray Hanford (Dr. Eugene Horton), Roy Watson (Jules Deveroux), Milburn Morante (Jacques Lebeq), Frank Clark (Old Pop Hadley), and Jack Cosgrave (Edith's uncle and manager) Directed by George Chesebro and Bruce Mitchell.
Wolf Blood (also known as Wolfblood: A Tale of the Forest) is the earliest known surviving werewolf film in existence, as The Werewolf (released in 1913) is now lost to history. This was made by an independent company named Ryan Brothers Productions. The werewolf in this film is not one that comes from a werewolf bite, but a transfusion of wolf blood into an injured person, hence the title. Halfway through the movie (which is only 67 minutes) is when the transfusion happens, though he doesn't actually turn into a wolf, as it is all in his head. There is some fairly decent location work, with the wilderness and all. The movie is more about the love triangle romance between Chesebro-Clayton-Hanford (yes, a love triangle...which is quite strange), which is somewhat entertaining, but nothing special. There is some decent music and color tinting, at least. The plot isn't really that much about the wolf, but it is serviceable for the drama genre of the silent era. There really isn't too much werewolf action (aside from a dream part with wolves), so in that sense the movie is disappointing if one is looking for horror. I suppose one could look at the film from a psychological standpoint (though the twist at the end isn't really that surprising), or study the dynamic of how one falls in love with someone really quickly despite being engaged (par for the course, I guess). From a historical aspect, there is some importance to the movie, but it isn't a seminal piece of film to write home about. It's an okay silent drama (if you haven't seen a dozen of them already and don't have high expectations), but it's not much of a horror film to pick out of the numerous ones with wolves.
Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.