I admit it: I'm a Dean Stockwell fan. I mean, the guy played Nick Charles, Jr., right? That should be enough of a street cred for any mystery fan. And he was one of the Carstairs kids in Home, Sweet Homicide. And he was the Leopold (or was it Loeb?) character in Compulsion. Not to mention his role as The Boy With Green Hair or his much-much-later stint as Al Calavicci in Quantum Leap. Stockwell has been in films for longer than I've been alive. Among the many movies he appeared in as a juvenile were Anchors Aweigh, Gentleman's Agreement, The Secret Garden, and (in the title role) Kim. (Stockwell got his acting chops naturally -- both parents were in the business and his father was the voice of Prince Charming in Disney's Snow White.) In the 1950s and stetcching into the 1960s, he was one of those "teen" matinee idols who sent my sister swooning. Among his many television roles were appearances on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The A-Team, Battlestar Galactica (the good one, not the crumby one), Bonanza, Burke's Law, Cannon, Captain Planet, Checkmate, Chicago Hope, Climax!, Columbo, The Commish, The Danny Thomas Show; Dick Powell Theatre, The Drew Carey Show, The Eleventh Hour, Ellery Queen, The F.B.I., The Greatest Show on Earth, Hart to Hart, Hunter, JAG, Johnny Staccato, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Lois & Clark, Mannix, McCloud, Miami Vice, Mission: Impossible, Miami Vice, Murder, She Wrote, Night Gallery, Picket Fences, Playhouse 90, Police Story, The Restless Gun, Ripcord, Simon & Simon, Stargate: SG1, Star Trek: Enterprise, The Streets of San Francisco, Tales of the Unexpected, The Tony Danza Show, The Twilight Zone (old and new series), and Wagon Train.* (Phew! Thank you, IMDB.) No stranger to Lovecraft, Stockwell appeared in both the 1970 (as Wilbur Whateley) and the 2009 (as Dr. Henry Armstrong) versions of The Dunwich Horror.
All of which is a long-winded way to inroduce Stockwell as The Werewolf of Washington.Stockwell plays Jack Whittier, a reporter who has been bitten by a werewolf in Hungary (and we all know what that means). He travels back to the United States to become a press assistant to the President, so we can easliy predict that this is a political horror movie with bite. Character actor Biff McGuire plays the president. Look closely and you might see well-known character actor James Tolkan. Look even closer and you might see Dean Stockwell's father, Harry, among the military. And, as Marion, there's Jane House, an actress I had never heard of, but I do like her name.
This movie is pretty bad. How bad? Well, to quote one on-line reviewer, The Werewolf of Washington is "[P]roof that Ed Wood was by no means the worst director." So, to whom goes that honor? None other than Milton Moses Ginsberg, who has directed only five movies (two of them shorts) in his career. And who penned this turkey? Why, none other than Milton Moses Ginsberg, whose only five writing credits are for the five movies he directed.
Put a clothespin to your nose, click on the link below, and watch Dean Stockwell try to give some class to a very bad flick.
*How he missed appearing on The Love Boat is anyone's guess.
For a much better selection of today's Overlooked Films and Such, saunter on over to Sweet Freedom, where linkmaster Todd Mason will do his stuff.