Solid Werewolf Paul Naschy Thriller
D. Steigman | USA | 12/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film I'm giving it 3 stars for a few reasons because not everyone likes Spanish horror. And the movie isn't an all time masterpiece. I like a good portion of these movie offerings and this one I really enjoyed, but I save higher ratings for really,really good films. I know these movies aren't all time classics, but for someone like me that enjoys Spanish horror/beautiful location settings, it was right up my alley. If you like the Paul Naschy series overall this is one of the slightly better offerings where he fights a Vampire woman. That is one of the alternate titles - Werewolf vs the Vampire Women. It is not much of a fight but what really can you do with one female vampire fighting a werewolf. The big plus for me are the horror elements, the monsters, the gore & Paul Naschy was great in his tortured soul role as the Werewolf. Not only was he good in these films he got to direct himself with sexy Spanish ladies always getting some love making scenes in there. What a guy. It wasnt the goriest of the werewolf movies but it had its fair share. The minus parts were basically the weak love interest/characters. The fighting scene with the vampire woman and the werewolf was too brief. And why would anyone remove something that penetrates flesh from a vampire.
The DVD from BCI is a mess as reported on various websites. The characters move awkwardly like an incompatible disc where the movements move like in one of those silent old movies. I will recommend the Anchor Bay DVD because this problem isnt apparent and the differences between the 2 aren't so Earth shattering. I am glad these are on DVD - and more to come at some point.
A fanatastic film from a true horror icon.
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 09/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Lon Chaney Jr., Paul Naschy, Boris Karloff: which is not like the others? Why, it's the oft-overlooked Paul Naschy (born Jacinto Molina); a legend you may not recognize as a household name for all old-time horror fans. Well, that is a crime. Naschy not only starred in a staggering three decade-plus string of horror and exploitation pictures, single-handedly creating the Spanish horror industry out of nothing, but he wrote, directed, and produced many of them as well, drawing inspiration from the classic universal films he loved as a kid. This DVD release gives us (finally!) the original Spanish language feature "Werewolf Shadow" (aka "La Noche de Walpurgis") plus the shorter English-dubbed version generically known as "The Werewolf Vs. The Vampire Women". It's a vampire versus werewolf flick that will satisfy fans of either and thrill fans of both.
"Werewolf Shadow" was the fourth film in the continuous three decade saga of Waldemar Daninsky, a man cursed to spend eternity as a werewolf; killing whenever the moon is full. Think of Chaney's Larry Talbot, but stoic and manly instead of whiny and annoying who turns into a werewolf that actually rips, tears, and bites it's victims rather than strangling them. Hell, I can strangle someone to death; why would I want to see a werewolf do it?. Don't feel the need to catch up on the story; you can jump in and out of this series at will without anything much changing on you. This is Hammer-style 70's horror at it's finest with all the blood, breasts, and bloody breasts a gorehound could ask for. Barbara Capell is a spectacular beauty and makes for a captivating partner for the vampire queen; the satanist Countess Wandesa Dárvula de Nadasdy. The image of the two undead succubi frolicking hand-in-hand through the woods in slow motion towards their intended prey as their ethereal laughter fills the scene with pure dread is one that has stayed with me many years. Lesbianism seems to be a big selling point for this movie, but it is WAY overstated. While there is certainly a sexuality to the feeding of the lady vampires on their nubile prey and the closeness of the Countess and her new companion is suggestive, there is nothing explicit.
When a pair of girls investigating a legendary vampire known as "Satan's favorite mistress" mistakenly awaken the ravenous bloodsucker, it falls upon Daninsky to hunt her down lest she call forth hell on earth on Walpurgis Night. All the while he seeks release from his own curse and must protect the woman he loves from her own best friend who soon falls under Wandesa's sway. The key object of the story is a silver crucifix capable of finally sending the tormented wolfman to rest, but also necessary to defeat the rampaging vampires. Can he have it both ways?
"Werewolf Shadow" is an outstanding film of the era, but not a perfect one. It cribs heavily from Hammer's films and I swear if I see one more idiot remove a stake or cross from a dead vampire corpse's chest and accidentally cut themselves -dribbling blood into the corpse's mouth in the process- I'm gonna freak. The big showdown everyone knew was coming starts out fantastic; savage, frantic, and realistic but it ends quickly and with a dud. More screen-time for the captivating vampiress duo would have been great and if my other favorite scene -featuring the two cackling ladies of the night murdering a character and then twirling together childishly as they fade into nothingness- had not wound up being a dream (LAME!) it would have been a show-stopper.
Now you have a choice to make, my friend. Buy this "special" edition which is annoyingly light on special features or get the older edition with the great bonus features while you can. The older DVD release is mostly English dubbed (though it is a very good dub), but has the full uncensored film nonetheless plus an amazing interview with Paul Naschy himself in which he gives more interesting information about his career and films in 15 minutes than most people do in every feature commentary they ever do put together. Then there is a comprehensive biography/filmography included that spans his entire career and fully illustrates -along with the interview- why this man is among the most prodigious icons of horror cinema in the world. There's also a b!+chin' poster gallery. If you are unfamiliar with Naschy's work; I'd suggest you get that edition before this one. But hurry up because it's out of print. But if you want the true Spanish language version of this fan favorite or want to reminisce about the drive-in days of yore and watch the butchered American version, then this is your disc right here. Either way, you really need to see this film. And if you're one who was not previously aware of Paul Naschy, you've got a whole lot of viewing to do. So do I, for that matter. Enjoy!
4 1/2 stars rounded up for giving us the full Spanish monty (but almost rounded down for skimping out on the bonus features!)
Werewolf shadow is atmospheric genius!
walter ruether | Tempe az | 05/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was and still am a huge Hammer fan, so when i discoverd Paul Naschy i immediatly took intrest and started to watch all or most of his of his films and i have become a huge fan, I first saw the american version of this film Werewolf vs the vampire woman, It reminded me of one of my fav hammer films called the Vampire lovers, cause both of these films are very atmospheric, the slow motion vampire scenes with the fog walking around in old spanish castle is simply amazing, this is one the most atmospheric vampire films ive seen, Paul naschy also does a killer job playing Waldemar daninsky the werewolf that spanned 12 films, and out of those 12 this is one of the best for sure, i suggest to all peeps just getting into naschy get this movie first, anyone else if you truely love horror then youll love this movie."
A Werewolf, Vampires, and a Zombie - You Can't Get Any More
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 08/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Werewolf Shadow" is another high body count thriller written by and starring Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy. Naschy is Waldemar Daninsky, a marauding werewolf who was killed by silver bullets. During an autopsy, the bullets are removed and he rises to kill again and again. He flees to an isolated farm house in a remote, pagan village. He befriends two beautiful girls who are studying vampire queen Countess Wandesa Nadasdy. A silver cross buried in her corpse's chest is removed and she also is brought back to life. Together, the werewolf and vampire begin depopulating the nearby village; gruesome deaths abound. This modern gothic horror film is fun to watch. It has beautiful vampires, silver crosses, swirling mists, decaying burial crypts, and chained victims.
American born Patty Shepard had the role of the evil vampire queen, Countess Wandesa Nadasdy. She reminded me of Barbara Steele (Mario Bava's "Black Sunday" and Richard Corben's "The Pit and the Pendulum") because of her beauty and haughty mannerisms.
"Werewolf Shadow" is just one of many werewolf movies in which Spanish stud Paul Naschy starred in as Waldemar Daninsky. These movies were box office hits in Spain and abroad. Released in 1970, "Werewolf Shadow" is an excellent selection for those who wish to be introduced to the series or have never seen a Paul Naschy horror film. He wrote the screenplays for many of his movies (under the pseudonym of Jacinto Molina); with that in mine, it is understandable why he has love scenes with most of the gorgeous lead actresses. I highly recommend this film for those who love gothic horror. Read my review on "Curse of the Devil," which is another gothic werewolf tale starring Naschy. I hope my hunger for werewolf movies has been cured, but I doubt it. Only silver bullets can do that . . .