Night of the Werewolf (1981)

Posted: December 29, 2011 in Movie Review
Tags: , , , , ,

Night of the Werewolf (1981)
{El Retorno del Hombre-Lobo}

Directed By: Paul Naschy

Starring: Paul Naschy, Julia Saly, Silvia Aguilar, Azucena Hernandez, Beatriz Elorrieta

Subgenre: Gothic, Werewolves, Vampires


Synopsis: Two college girls find the tomb of the in famous Countess Bathory, one with intentions to bring her back to life.

Thoughts: For the uninitiated, Paul Naschy brought gothic style horror to Spain and the World, much like Hammer Films did.  His movies deal with many of the classic monsters and gothic atmospheres that Hammer did, including vampires, witches, zombies and werewolves.  His most famous character was Waldemar Daninsky, a man cursed with Lycanthropy.  Night of the Werewolf is one of the twelve movies featuring Daninsky, but it is also packed with witches, vampires and an undead gladiator.  Another important note as that most of Naschy’s films are meant to stand alone, so feel free to jump in anywhere.

Naschy is a jack of all trades, as he often wrote, directed and starred in his own movies.  He does the same here and has quite a demanding screen presence.  Personally, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for being a pioneer of the genre.  It is also very typical for a Naschy film to star very beautiful women who tend to shed their clothes with ease.  In Naschy’s heyday, Spain was experiencing many new found freedoms, as their government was in transition, and Naschy used this freedom in his films.

The story, at its core, is good.  It does get a little convoluted, so pay attention.  Naschy wasn’t always concerned with an airtight plot, but rather on giving viewers atmosphere you can cute with a knife and plenty of practical FX.  You get both here.  Many of the scenes take place in castles or in catacombs, with fog and auxiliary lighting to ramp up the atmosphere.  Personally, I would have cut out the disfigured girl and patched up the story a little bit, but I was still very entertained.

If you are a fan of 70s Hammer, you will probably dig Naschy’s stuff.  This is one of my favorites and really gives you a feel for his work.  I consider it a great place to start exploring the world of Paul Naschy.


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