The Werewolf Filmography: 300+ Movies. By Bryan Senn. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017. 408 p. $55.00 (ISBN: 978-0-7864-7910-8). E-book available (978-1-4766-2691-8), call for pricing.

Every field of knowledge has its “bible,” or should. Werewolf movie aficionados can now claim such an authoritative publication as their own. From Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman! to Zombie Werewolves Attack!, this volume presents over 300 well-written reviews of films depicting lycanthropy. As the reader might well guess, examples of this cinematic staple are legion, so horror maven Senn established the following criteria for inclusion: there had to be a transformation appearing on screen (an actor can’t just show up in a fur suit and fake fangs fully formed—he or she must change from human to animal), the films in question have to be feature length, and they must have had a legitimate distributor. Each entry contains full particulars, including cast list, quotations from the actors and directors concerned, and tag lines from advertising campaigns and concludes with a rating between one and five stars.

In addition to the core synopses, there are two supplementary sections containing more concise critiques. “Pseudowolves” concerns those films where said creatures make only a “guest appearance,” as opposed to being a central character, or in which a delusional character merely thinks he or she is a werewolf. “Other Were-Beasts” cover those films in which characters transform into some other animal, such as Cat People (1982, starring Nastassia Kinski). Special features include a thought-provoking overview of the werewolf subgenre of horror films, a werewolf film chronology, a list of films in series, and a bibliography of werewolf literature. The volume is well illustrated with black-and-white photographs.

Senn has certainly done his homework and one wonders how many thousands of hours he spent watching these films, which include not only classics of the genre, but many obscure and foreign films. He writes in a conversational yet authoritative style, simultaneously entertaining and informative. Senn is the author or co-author of five previous books, all published by McFarland, dealing with the horror genre. He undertook to produce this work since, as he states in his introduction, “to date, there has never been published a comprehensive werewolf filmography” (1). A literature search bears him out on this point.

In view of the fact that horror movies generally, and werewolf films specifically, have had a devoted following over many years, this volume is strongly recommended for purchase by all public and academic libraries.—Michael F. Bemis, Independent Reference Book Reviewer, Oakdale, Minnesota


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