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THE WEREWOLF OF WOODSTOCK (1975).

Don't let anyone tell you that television is worse than ever nowadays. If they do, they're definitely not familiar with ABC's WIDE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT, a mid-'70s Friday-late-nite venue for some of the worst TV-movies and so-called "specials" to ever annoy pre-cable viewers. There were forgettable movies like ROCK-A-DIE, BABY, Playboy-hosted T&A events, and all-star comic showcases like "O.J. Simpson is Alive and Well and Getting Roasted Tonight." Still, one of the more painful presentations was this cheapshit TV-movie, which premiered on January 24, 1975. Set in the aftermath of the famed 3-day concert (with litter still strewn about), Tige Andrews (THE MOD SQUAD's Captain Greer) plays Bert, a beer-swilling Woodstock local, who hates those "lousy hippies". In the midst of tearing down some leftover scaffolding, Bert is struck by lightning, and oddly enough, this electrical jolt somehow turns him into...a werewolf? Meanwhile, a fringe-jacketed rock band who look like rejects from Billy Jack's Freedom School (including 20-year-old Andrew Stevens, in one of his first roles) decides to record their ear-ache-inducing demo at the remains of the Woodstock wreckage and camps out at a nearby crashpad. Of course, when the police get reports of this wandering hairball, they think it's simply some high-on-whatever concert holdover (who happens to howl like a wolf, of course). Harold J. Stone plays the local cop, while swarthy, but seemingly brain-damaged Michael Parks (THEN CAME BRONSON) and Meredith MacRae (one of the 3 Billie Jo's on PETTICOAT JUNCTION) are two visiting L.A. "special youth officers." Tige spends much of the film under facial bandages, ranting (hilariously) about these long haired kids; MacRae babbles about how electrical stimulation can cause cell transformation; Parks hides under an ugly, knitted Rasta cap for much of the movie; while this woolly wolfman (I've seen more convincing costumes on Halloween grade-school kids) kidnaps the ditziest gal in the band -- whose cosmic sense of love allows her to understand his pain. Eventually, Parks comes up with a plan to lure in this rock-music-hating werewolf by using the band as bait. Best of all, it leads to wolfie stealing a dune buggy (!) during the finale. Gimme a fuckin' break! Graced with a flat, video-veneer (so common to soap operas of the era) and plywood sets, executive producer Dick Clark should've been castrated for backing this turd, while director John Moffitt (whose other TV efforts include slop like VAN DYKE & COMPANY) is so untalented that insulting him is akin to kicking a retarded dog. Never as much fun as it sounds, this excruciating, 67-minute production is aimed straight at stoned, late-night vidiots who think Godzilla films are difficult to fathom. Truly, one of the most inept, rock-bottom TV-artifacts of all time.

© 1998 by Steven Puchalski.