Werewolf of Woodstock, The (1975)

You can mess with Dick Clark. You can mess with Dick Clark’s friends. You can even mess with Dick Clark’s family. But you can’t mess with Dick Clark’s dune buggy. That’s crossing the line.

The Werewolf of Woodstock is “A Dick Clark Teleshow” from 1975. The mastermind behind American Bandstand didn’t make it to the top just by showcasing music. When the chance arose to present a forceful shot-on-video (SOV) statement that would both skewer hippies AND depict a werewolf commandeering a dune buggy, the writing was on the wall. America needed a 65-minute wake-up call. On January 24, 1975, Dick Clark picked up the phone.

Woodstock is over. Still, farmer Bert refuses to calm down. Since his house shared the field with all the “dirty freaks” and “hippies,” Bert seeks retribution — a revenge like no other. Smash the garbage cans! Snap the lumber! Yell a lot! Naturally, a bolt of lightning turns Bert into a werewolf, but he always remembers to change out of his pajamas before leaving the house. When a hot lickin’, cat screamin’ band visits the abandoned Woodstock field to record a demo, Werewolf Bert blows his stack. Again. Thunder and lightning constantly bellow, but it never rains. Cops talk. Werewolf Bert jumps through a window (in slow motion) and kidnaps a girl. She looks at him and says, “I understand your pain.”

What a concept. Feeling like an episode of Filmation’s Ghostbusters as interpreted by David “The Rock” Nelson, The Werewolf of Woodstock does not rip you off. Cheap werewolf action and perpetual ridiculousness make sure of that. Phaser sound effects bloat the soundtrack. Werewolf Bert looks like a giant Shih Tzu puppy. Everybody plays it dead straight. Attack scenes in the woods are surprisingly creepy. The padding dried things up at times, but I wasn’t particularly thirsty anyway. On the contrary, I was constantly satiated.

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