Archive for paul naschy

Favourite Five Series: PAUL NASCHY

Posted in Favourite Five Series, movies with tags on March 9, 2014 by goregirl

With the exception of the favourite fives I did for a recent Something Weird Video feature I have been concentrating on directors. Paul Naschy will be the first actor to grace my favourite five series. Paul Naschy has one hundred and four acting, forty-four writing and fifteen director credits. The Spanish Lon Chaney as he is sometimes referred has played a host of classic monsters but he is best known for playing the wolfman; a role he played eleven times. Naschy was born Jacinto Molina Álvarez in Madrid Spain in 1934; his stage name is Paul Naschy but his birth name is what he uses when he is in the director’s chair. Naschy had a long career in the film industry and sadly, died in 2009 at the age of seventy-five with several unfinished projects on the go. Naschy never lost his enthusiasm for his work in the industry despite receiving little if any critical acclaim. Finally in 2001 he received one of Spain’s highest honors; the Gold Medal in Fine Arts. I have met many folks online with similar taste in film to myself and even much of this crowd are barely familiar with the films of Paul Nashcy. Paul Naschy was a multi-talented, charismatic tour de force who loved his fans and his work; I hope that this list will at least pique your interest in checking out his films. As well as the five films listed below I love and adore and love some more: Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) directed by Carlos Aured, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse (1974) directed by León Klimovsky, Death of a Hoodlum (1975) directed by León Klimovsky, The People Who Own the Dark directed by León Klimovsky, Inquisition (1976) directed By: Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy) and The Traveler (1979) directed by Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy).

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THE MUMMY’S REVENGE (1973)
Directed By: Carlos Aured

The Vengeance of the Mummy

Amenhotep rules his kingdom with an iron fist and kills in order to provide blood as a sacrifice to his god. Tiring of Amenhotep’s bullshit his servants poison him. In present day a relative Assad Bey is determined to bring back his relative. Along with his lover Zanufer they make the sacrifices necessary to bring back Amenhotep. Meanwhile they have befriended a young woman named Helen who bares a striking resemblance to Amenhotep’s lover Amarna and Professor Nathan Stern and his assistant Abigail threaten to ruin their plans. When I compile these lists I simply pick the films I enjoyed most; it ain’t brain surgery. It is purely a coincidence that three of the five films here were directed by Carlos Aured; I obviously dig the director’s stuff. Aured directs with style. The sets are simply superb and the colors are lush and appealing. I loved how the draping of the sacrificial maidens matched the gauzy fabric of the curtains that adorned the room. The costumes and makeup were as vibrant and creative as the sets and there is plenty of unnaturally red blood to adorn the films multiple throat cuttings and head squishing. The amount of throat-cutting and head squishing is not insignificant. Naschy plays two roles; Amenhotep and his distant relative Assad Bey which he plays with a cocky menace. Jack Taylor is excellent as Professor Stern, María Silva is charming as Abigail, Helga Liné gives her usual oozingly sexy performance and Rina Ottolina who plays both Helen and Amarna is empathetic and gorgeous. Aured’s yummy and stylish take on the mummy mystique is made that much more delicious by the presence of Paul Naschy.

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BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1974)
Directed By: Carlos Aured

blue eyes of the broken doll

An escaped convict named Gilles is hitchhiking his way across Spain in search of work. A woman named Claude offers him work at her home where she lives with her two sisters; Nicole and Yvette. Gilles arrival coincides with the grisly murders of women who have had their eyes plucked out, making him the most obvious suspect. But Gilles is not the only one with secrets in this sordid tale including the trio of lovely ladies, the doctor, the suspicious new nurse, the bitter barmaid and even the police captain. Blue eyes of the Broken Doll or more appropriately House of Psychotic Women (It’s alternative title) is a Spanish Giallo. It has all the adornments of your classic Italian Giallo including sexy women, grandly staged deaths, red herrings and a great soundtrack. It also has an excessively macho Naschy striking Captain Morgan-like poses. Of course all three of the sisters have their eye on Naschy’s Gilles. The interaction between Gilles and the ladies is quite entertaining! Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll has a fabulous cast! The trio of sisters played by Diana Lorys, Eva León and Maria Perschy were perfectly chosen. Naschy is in top form as the mucho macho maintenance man. There is sex, nudity and violence all delivered with considerable style. There are some well-executed moments of suspense and a particularly fabulous finale. I especially enjoyed Gilles dreamy flashbacks where he strangles a woman in an empty room as well as the shots of two black gloved hands dumping two freshly-plucked eyeballs into a bowl of water! It keeps you guessing right up to the end. Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll is terrific, trashy, Giallo-licious fun; Naschy is simply the cherry on top.

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THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (1981)
Directed By: Jacinto Molina Alvarez (Paul Naschy)

THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF

Waldemar Daninsky is staked to death and Elizabeth Bathory executed for the crime of practising witchcraft. Fast forward to modern-day 1981 and we meet three attractive female college students who are seeking the grave of Countess Bathory as part of their studies. Little do the trio know that the gentleman who has invited them to stay as guests in his home is the wolfman Daninsky who was awaken a short time before by grave robbers. Meanwhile one of the women intends to bring Countess Bathory back from the dead. This is one of Naschy’s eleven appearances as the wolfman. Naschy does double duty as director and lead actor in The Night of the Werewolf. The Night of the Werewolf has a werewolf and a vampire; vampires, plural to be precise. Naschy does a fabulous job of directing and the film looks great! The werewolf makeup and transformations are top-drawer and there is a decent amount of blood spilled throughout. It is loaded with cool sets and props, groovy wardrobes and nudity. Paul Naschy also gives a bang up performance as the strong and troubled Daninsky. The Night of the Werewolf is one of my very favourite werewolf films and was number four on my top ten favourite werewolf films list.

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PANIC BEATS (1983)
Directed By: Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy)

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After Paul Marnac’s wife is diagnosed with a heart condition they move to the Marnac family castle in the countryside. The castle once belonged to a relative by the name of Alaric De Marnac who murdered his wife and children, practised the black arts and terrorized the population with his trusty flail. That’s right, a flail! I learned something new today; I learned what a flail is when I looked up medieval weapons! You do not want to get hit with a flail; and you certainly do not want to get bashed to death by a flail. Not a nice way to go my friends. The Marnac Castle is the ideal location at least until the nasty dead relative starts to make appearances. It is a pretty straight-forward story that services the film quite well and a really electric atmosphere with some primo moments of intensity. Best of all it has some amazing gore! Some of the best gore I have seen in any Naschy film. Alaric De Marnac sports a suit of armour and beneath that suit of armor is one ugly rotted sonofabitch (I posted a grand set of Alaric on my tumblr page)! Panic Beats is well shot, bloody, gory, sleazy, sexy and has superb effects and makeup. Naschy is in the director’s chair and once again boasts dual roles as Paul and the brutal and sadistic Alaric. Naschy is a force of nature in this 80s-licious gore fest!

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CURSE OF THE DEVIL (1973)
Directed By: Carlos Aured

CURSE OF THE DEVIL

Countess Elizabeth Bathory swears vengeance on her executor Irineus Daninsky warning him that one of his descendents will befall a terrible accident and will be forever cursed. Several years later the accidental shooting death of a gypsy man by Waldemar Daninsky results in the gypsy’s people scarring him with the “mark of the wolf”. Simultaneously an escaped serial killer is knocking off women all over the countryside. This is good news for Waldemar as the murders he is committing as a werewolf have gone unnoticed; unnoticed, that is until the serial killer’s dead body is found. Another one of Naschy’s eleven wolfman roles and this one also has Satan-worshipping gypsies, a serial killer and a Countess Elizabeth Bathory tie in! The way that Waldemar is marked with the wolf curse was pretty unique. Paul Naschy gives another angst-ridden, hand-wringer of a performance as the wolfman Waldemar Daninsky and is particularly animated in this turn. The scenes where he transforms are a real treat with Naschy knocking shit over right left and center and clutching at himself furiously as he turns into the thing he hates. Waldemar falls in love with two of the film’s female characters instantaneously and love is a strong theme in the story. Love apparently can save a man from a werewolf curse; doesn’t happen, but it could. Curse of the Devil boasts lovely location shots, delightful makeup and transformations, gore, nudity and a particularly spirited and excellent performance from Paul Naschy.

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THE MUMMY’S REVENGE (1973) – The Dungeon Photo Review!

Posted in horror, movies, Spain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2013 by goregirl

I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again; I love Paul Naschy. As is often his shtick; he plays multiple roles in The Mummy’s Revenge. Here he plays Amenhotep (both manly and moldy mummy form) and Assad Bey a wealthy modern-day descendant. I have no complaints about any of the cast; Jack Taylor is excellent as Professor Stern, María Silva is charming as Abigail, Helga Liné gives her usual solid and sexy performance and Rina Ottolina who plays both Helen and Amarna is empathetic and gorgeous. Carlos Aured (who directed one of my other all-time favourite Naschy flicks Curse of the Devil) directs with gusto. The sets are simply superb! I loved how they went to the trouble of draping the sacrificial maidens in the same gauzy fabric as the curtains that adorned the room. Nice touch! The costumes and makeup were also a real treat. There is a significant quantity of throat-cutting and head squishing adorned with nice bright red paint-like blood. This DVD was a lovely clean print and it was a real treat to see some Naschy subtitled! There is only one way to honor a film like The Mummy’s Revenge; a picture review.

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Amenhotep rules his kingdom with a ruthless hand! Here he is with his favourite concubine Amarna enjoying some torture and death while they feast.

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The blood is a sacrifice to their god.

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Needless to say; the people are unsatisfied with Amenhotep’s rule.

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Sure Mr. Amenhotep, I would be more than happy to fetch you a drink. 

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“They’ve poisoned me!”

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“One day I will be free and I shall unleash my hatred upon the world.”

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Amenhotep in his fancy sarcophagus.

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Professor Nathan Stern and Abigail discovering Amenhotep’s sarcophagus.

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These two might be up to no good.

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Landsbury Foundation – Ancient Art Collection (they keep art there).

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“This is one of the greatest archeological discoveries…”

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Reading from the papyrus found in a box near Amenhotep’s body: “We will bury him alive so that his black spirit roams without peace or tranquility”.

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“You’ll have to forgive me, my head hurts badly.” She thinks her head hurts now! 

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“…Then when the confluence of the stars is propitious…” I felt the need to include this partial sentence.

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Three maidens walking alone at night; this one fell down. “Anne, Marie! Come here please!”

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Back to sacrificing…must bring back Amenhotep!

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“Horus, Favourite of Osiris…” Blah blah bring back Amenhotep!

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“It’s horrible, horrible Mr. Commissioner, the three have disappeared.”

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Now to give the blood to Amenhotep… Zanufer, you hold the incense.

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It’s alive!

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I’m squishing your head!

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“That’s absurd, incredible; a mummy can’t come back to life!”

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“…to free me from my millennial immobility…” I can’t deny, millennial immobility would suck.

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Holy shit! Is that a freaking mummy?!

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After millennial immobility Amenhotep sure knows how to get around!

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“There is something perverse about Assad Bey, disquieting.”

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Cool peephole shot of Professor Stern and Helen as they drop by uninvited to the Assad Bey household.

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Peephole shot from their perspective.

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Helen (who bares a striking resemblance to Amenhotep’s favourite concubine Amarna) falls under the trance of the moldy mummy who wanders nearby.

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The crippled Sir Douglas Carter alone.

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The mummy approaches…

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Assad Bey and Zanufer discuss double-crossing Amenhotep.

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Professor Stern and Abigail surprised in the dark by Amenhotep.

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The final scene…I will leave you guessing.

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Fin.

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Carlos Aured

Starring: Paul Naschy, Jack Taylor, María Silva, Helga Liné, Eduardo Calvo, Fernando Sánchez Polack, Luis Gaspar, José Yepes, Juan Antonio Soler

BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1974) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, Spain with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2012 by goregirl

I know most of you will never ever enjoy Paul Naschy films like I do. Paul Naschy is a perfect fit in the world of low-budget Euro-trash. Whether he is playing good or evil Naschy always gets the ladies! Even when he is a wolf-man he gets laid! Some of Naschy’s films feel like a porn flick without the pornography. Naschy exudes macho confidence; it is not uncommon to see him strike a Captain Morgan-like pose, sometimes with his shirt off. It is a bonus when he does the cocked eyebrow thing. Boom-chicka-chicka-boom! Sure, he can pour it on thick at times but that is all part of his charm. Naschy is not just an actor, he is also a director. One of my favourite Naschy films, The Night of the Werewolf stars and was directed by Mr. Naschy. I won’t deny that some Naschy films are plagued by poor continuity, awful dubbing and logy pacing but there are definitely some seriously entertaining gems in the mix. Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll is extra special because it is a Spanish Giallo! Not only do we get a shirtless Naschy who is seducing a household of psychotic women (the film’s alternative title is House of Psychotic Women!); we get death dramatic jam-packed with red herrings! Boom-chicka-chicka-boom!

Gilles is an escaped convict hitchhiking his way across Spain in search of work. After enjoying a cheese sandwich and a glass of wine he is picked up by a local woman named Claude who offers him work at her home where she lives with her two sisters; Nicole and Yvette. Gilles arrival coincides with the grisly murders of women who have had their eyes plucked out, making him the most obvious suspect. But Gilles is not the only one with secrets in this sordid story including the trio of lovely ladies, the doctor, the suspicious new nurse, the bitter barmaid and even the police captain.

All three sisters have their eye on Gilles but it is the youngest sister Nicole who aggressively pursues him. She even has her own plucky-porny music when she is on the prowl! In one scene she just plants herself a few feet away from Gilles as he is doing some yard work. Naughty Nicole apparently doesn’t get out much and complains she is being kept at home like a prisoner by her sister Claude. Claude has a badly disfigured arm and wears an ugly prosthetic hand. She is a severe looking woman with her hair tightly pulled back and conservative clothing. She is painfully self-conscience and stand-offish but Naschy breaks down her tough facade (it is all about how you caress the prosthetic!). Before you can say boom-chicka-chicka-boom Claude is letting her hair down and donning a mini-skirt and go-go boots! Finally we have the beautiful wheelchair-bound sister Yvette. Dr. Phillipe believes her paralysis is psychological. Poor Yvette doesn’t really get to have much fun at all! Enter foxy lady number four; Michelle the replacement nurse. Michelle shows up with a letter for Dr. Phillipe allegedly explaining why she has come in place of another nurse. It’s all fun and games until someone has both of their blue eyes plucked out!

I could not help but notice Gilles only took one sip of wine from his glass before leaving the roadside cafe. Who does that? Yeesh! Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll actually has a fairly jaunty pace for a film of its ilk. Granted, it takes a little while before the first corpse shows up but there are plenty of curiosities to keep you occupied in the meantime. We are treated to Gilles spontaneous dreamy flashbacks where he strangles a woman in an empty room. I assume this was the woman he killed to land himself in prison. The interaction between Gilles and the ladies is quite entertaining, even if some of it was unintentionally funny.

I rather enjoyed the cast of Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll. The trio of sisters played by Diana Lorys, Eva León and Maria Perschy were perfectly chosen. Do I need to say anymore on Mr. Naschy? I love him! There is sex, nudity and violence, although it is relatively tamed, even for 1974. The film looked quite decent and at times is actually quite stylish. There are some well-executed moments of suspense and a particularly kooky and fabulous finale. I especially enjoyed the shots of two black gloved hands dumping two freshly-plucked eyeballs into a bowl of water! It keeps you guessing right up to the end. Some of that might be due to the ideas that are introduced and simply abandoned or the key plot points that never receive a substantial explanation; but hey! I never said the film was perfect.

I really really dug Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll! It had everything I have come to expect from Euro-trash of the 70s; sex and nudity, lovely ladies, a convoluted plot, a black-gloved killer, red herrings and a mucho macho performance from one of my favourite men of the era Paul Naschy! Despite some flaws Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll comes highly recommended. Boom-chicka-chicka-boom!

Dungeon Review: 4/5

Directed By: Carlos Aured

Starring: Paul Naschy, Diana Lorys, Eduardo Calvo, Eva Leon, Inés Morales, Antonio Pica, Luis Ciges, Pilar Bardem, Maria Perschy

Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: TOP TEN FAVOURITE WEREWOLF FILMS!

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2012 by goregirl

This is it! Drum roll please…my top ten favourite werewolf films! I realized when I started this project that I had not seen as many werewolf films as I thought. I watched a lot of werewolf films over the last few months. Many were first viewings, others were re-watches. Besides the top ten and the seventeen films I posted reviews for, I watched another six Howling sequels (I reviewed Howling V) and there were another three films I didn’t get reviews done for. The three films were: Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001), Kibakichi Bakko-yokaiden (2004) and Werewolf in a Women’s Prison (2006). Brotherhood of the Wolf is an action film, not horror. It is a period piece with over-the-top matrix-esque like fight scenes, with a decent story and acting. It is an enjoyable film, but as mentioned, it is not a horror film (and it isn’t exactly a werewolf film either). Kibakichi is a werewolf/samurai film! I love Kibakichi’s 60s samurai film vibe, but sadly, there was not nearly as much action as I was expecting. Granted, the action scenes they include are terrific! The story is rather on the dreary side but not unappealing. Kibakichi also leans heavier towards an action film than horror. Kibakichi left me a bit unsatisfied, but I did like it. Finally we have the super low budget Werewolf in a Women’s Prison. I really should have made the time to review this one! This is definitely horror, and it certainly delivers on its title. You get a werewolf in an all women’s prison with plenty of boobs, gore and general naughtiness! The effects are cheap and sometimes downright hokey and much of the acting is bad but there is plenty of fun here for those who like a more Troma type horror film. I liked Werewolf in a Women’s Prison and would give it a recommend. There were another twenty-six werewolf films that I had seen in the last few years that I remembered well enough to know they wouldn’t make the list; An American Werewolf in Paris, Wolf, Bad Moon and Skinwalkers to name a few. A total of 62 films isn’t a very deep pool to draw from! IMDB had 236 films listed with a “werewolf” tag; 183 of those were horror. Of those 183 werewolf horror films, several of those were not exclusively werewolf films. For instance, Cabin in the Woods, Monster Squad, Trick R Treat and House of Frankenstein; all four feature a werewolf but it is not the film’s focus. I disqualified at least half the list for this reason. And finally there was another smaller chunk of mainly post-1989 entries that just didn’t seem worth bothering with. I would like to give a howl out to my three favourite werewolf films that didn’t make the top ten: Curse of the Devil, Ginger Snaps: Unleashed and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man! At the bottom of the top ten list are links to all seventeen werewolf films I reviewed this month.

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#10 WEREWOLF WOMAN (1976)

Directed By: Rino Di Silvestro

I only read a few short IMDB reviews for Werewolf Woman that completely tore the film to shreds. Yeesh! Daniela Neseri was raped at the age of 13 and has become a lonely, troubled woman living in her father’s home in the country. Daniela finds some family heirlooms and learns of the strange history of a relative to whom she bares a striking resemblance. Turns out the relative was believed to be a werewolf and was chased down by a lynch mob and killed. Daniela begins having vivid dreams that she too is a werewolf and it isn’t long before she is ripping out throats. We are never led to believe Daniela is a werewolf; but Daniela wholeheartedly believes it! Daniela’s fevered dream of ritualistic naked dancing and the transformation which consists of covering her naked body with fun fur is something you are not likely to see twice. Two words for you…furry boobs. Lycanthropy, full frontal nudity, sex, masturbation, graphic violence, rape, revenge, furry boobs; Werewolf Woman has it all! Chocked full of Italian horror regulars including Dagmar Lassander, Tino Carraro, Howard Ross and a bold performance by Annik Borel as the title Werewolf Woman. Some questionably hilarious dialog (which may to some extent be a case of bad dubbing) would be my only complaint. Sure, Werewolf Woman is Euro-trash of the highest order, but that is what makes it so freaking awesome!

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#9 WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935)

Directed By: Stuart Walker

In Werewolf of London a botanist returns from a trip to Tibet with a rare flower and the ability to turn into a werewolf. The story is simple but wonderfully effective, taking more of a scientific approach to the werewolf myths than a supernatural one. The beautifully filmed black and white movie has amazing effects and great werewolf makeup; as good as anything I have seen in the classic horror! The wonderful Henry Hull is terrific as a man whose shaky marriage to a younger woman is further complicated by the appearance of her childhood friend, a stranger who is a little too curious about his rare flower, not to mention, he is a bloody werewolf! I could take or leave some of the characters they add for comic relief but it certainly did not hurt the film any. There are some impressively creative shots; one of the best is the werewolf transformation among the columns! And what an ending!! If you dig the classic horror, Werewolf of London is a definite must see!

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#8 THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984)

Directed By: Neil Jordan

If you follow this blog, you might recall The Company of Wolves appeared on my top 10 favourite horror films from 1984. The Company of Wolves is a dreamy, surreal nightmare from the mind of a girl just about to enter into womanhood. The film is a collection of interesting and original short stories symbolizing sexual awakening, puberty, male domination, and the like. It is not exactly an anthology, it is more accurately stories told within a story. It is well written, well acted, and the effects are quite impressive and unique. There is a cornucopia of different visual variations of the werewolf! Some of them are surprisingly nasty too! While The Company of Wolves definitely has a fairy tale vibe and is loaded with sexuality and no actual sex it is nonetheless adult-friendly. Don’t let the appearance of Angela Lansbury scare you off. She plays granny (of course), but she does come with considerable bite. I also enjoyed Terence Stamp’s cameo as the devil! The pubescent female lead is perfectly played by Sarah Patterson. The Company of Wolves is a film I have re-watched a few times over the years, and it never fails to entertain me.

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#7 DOG SOLDIERS (2002)

Directed By: Neil Marshall

Show them how it’s done Neil Marshall! Marshall’s two entries from the past decade The Descent and Dog Soldiers gave me renewed hope that the horror genre still had some life left in it. Why oh why has he not made another horror film? Absolutely every last detail of Dog Soldiers is near perfect. Dog Soldiers has a solid story, excellent cast, well-written and natural dialog, great setting, outstanding mood and atmosphere and beauty practical effects. There is plenty of blood and gore; the werewolves make short work of their prey leaving nothing behind but entrails and blood. That stuff can really stick to a boot! The werewolves are extremely impressive from a distance and cast an intimidating shadow. The only ever so minor complaint I have is that some of the close shots look slightly less than perfect. I absolutely love the fact that Marshall opted for costumes over CGI. Dog Soldiers is freaking awesome! To read the full review click here.

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#6 THE HOWLING (1981)

Directed By: Joe Dante

Joe Dante loves furry beasts. Before he made Gremlins, he created a film with a different sort of furry beast; an R-rated furry beast! Dante’s The Howling is a balls to the wall, kick ass horror film with nudity, gore and some bad-ass nasty werewolf effects that have held up beautifully! The Howling has a strong story, solid acting and a pitch perfect mood and atmosphere with a nicely escalating tension. I have read the odd complaint about this movie starting out slow, but I actually found The Howling to be well-paced. When the film goes “werewolf” it does so with grand style, and as a bonus, you get more than one creature! I have always been a fan of The Howling, but on my recent re-watch I found myself enjoying this even more than I recalled. I enjoyed every aspect of The Howling, but even impatient viewers should be impressed by The Howling’s spectacular werewolf effects and its seriously ass-kicking finale.

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#5 THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961)

Directed By: Terence Fisher

If you know me, you know I love my Hammer films! If a Hammer werewolf film exists there is a good chance it would make my list. Surprise! Hammer does have a werewolf film in their catalogue helmed by one of Hammer’s best directors; Terence Fisher! The Curse of the Werewolf is lushly filmed, with stunning sets and costumes and a stirring mood thick with atmosphere. Its enthralling story and wonderfully unique spin on the werewolf origin, and an absolutely superb and empathetic performance from Oliver Reed is what landed it in the top ten. It is a shame to spoil the peculiar but original origins of the werewolf but they do adhere to most of the classic werewolf hokum. There is a love story, transformations by the full moon, and a compassionate and empathetic central character that is on par with my number two pick. The effects and makeup are awesome; I really love the light coloring for the werewolf. The Curse of the Werewolf is beautiful, mesmerizing and mysterious mayhem at its most masterful!

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#4 THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (1981)

Directed By: Paul Naschy

I adore Paul Naschy! Mr. Naschy has played a werewolf 11 times. Naschy does double duty as director and lead actor of The Night of the Werewolf; he totally rocks in both roles! It is not the first Paul Naschy film to open with Elizabeth Bathory and an execution, but it is the best one! The film moves to current day 1981 with a trio of attractive (duh) female college students who are seeking out the grave of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. This one serves up vampires with its werewolf; but the film’s focus is definitely the werewolf. Okay, I admit, I made somewhat of an exception here for Mr. Naschy. Naschy plays the Waldemar Daninsky character in most of his werewolf films. He is great as the strong and troubled Daninsky and he always puts everything he’s got into his werewolf performance. I loved the werewolf makeup and the transformations and there is plenty of blood spilled! The film looks great all around; cool sets, nifty props, groovy wardrobes, nudity, gore, vampires, and a freaking werewolf! What the hell is not to like? Paul Naschy and The Night of the Werewolf is wickedly sweet, hardcore howlingly good entertainment!

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#3 GINGER SNAPS (2000)

Directed By: John Fawcett

If you have been following this project, you probably already guessed Ginger Snaps was going to make the list. I reviewed both Ginger Snaps sequels and went on and on about my love for the original; I actually referred to this film as an “epiphany”. That is some strong language for me to use when I am talking about a film from the past decade. Ginger Snaps is smart, well-written, has great effects and an absolutely brilliant performance from its two lead actresses; Katherine Isabel and Emily Perkins. The two women have the most amazing chemistry; you do not question their relationship or motivations for a second. Much credit does belong to the writers who create two of the most interesting and likable teenage characters to appear in a horror film in bloody eons. This is the second film on this list where sexual coming-of-age symbolism is used to great effect. Everything about Ginger Snaps is effective. Ginger Snaps is not only an amazing werewolf film, it is one of the best horror films to come out of the past decade.

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#2 THE WOLF MAN (1941)

Directed By: George Waggner

When I started this blog it was my intention to discover more classics of the black and white variety. I’ve seen numerous titles since, and The Wolf Man, without a doubt, has been one of my personal favourites. Visually the film is flawless. Fog shrouded forests, gypsy caravans, beautiful massive estates, eerie crypts and a dark moody vibe full of mystery and horror. The entire cast are outstanding, but it is Lon Chaney Jr’s portrayal of the tragic Lawrence Talbot that stays with me. I love the simple but engrossing story which would pave the way for many a werewolf film that followed. I love the idea of werewolves; man’s struggle with the inner beast, human instinct and animal instinct colliding! It is a big part of what appeals to me about the sub-genre. Universal’s The Wolf Man captures this conflict so brilliantly. I’ve mentioned several times throughout this project that I prefer the half-man, half-wolf type werewolf and Chaney’s timeless portrait of the tortured Talbot and the solid creature makeup will forever be engraved into my heart. The Wolf Man is one of the most endearing horror films I’ve ever seen; an absolute classic!

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#1 AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)

Directed By: John Landis

There are a few movie going experiences one never forgets. One of those for me was An American Werewolf in London. It is the one and only time I snuck into a movie before I was old enough to get in. We missed the first 15 minutes and I was so freaked out I made myself nauseous and couldn’t eat my popcorn. But it was so worth it! The effects in An American Werewolf in London blew my mind back in the day! I’ve watched this film many times since and the effects still blow my mind! Without a doubt, it is one of the most visually arresting uses of practical effects to ever grace a horror flick. It is a fantastic looking film all around. The Wales countryside is a beautiful location that also offers an eerie and intimidating vastness. An American Werewolf in London has the perfect marriage of comedy and horror. The film has some great laughs but still manages some serious intensity. David Naughton and Griffin Dunne are the perfect duo and both deliver great performances. And bloody hell!! What an ending! An American Werewolf in London has long been a favourite horror film and will have a place on my top 100 list forever. I will love this movie until I die.

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Films reviewed during this project:

Romasanta

Howling V: The Rebirth

Curse of the Devil

She-Wolf of London

The Werewolf of Washington

I was a Teenage Werewolf

The Mad Monster

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning

Ginger Snaps: Unleased

The Wolfman

Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory

The Fury of the Wolf Man

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man

The Beast Must Die

Werewolves on Wheels

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Goregirl’s Werewolf Project: CURSE OF THE DEVIL (1973)

Posted in horror, movies, Spain with tags , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by goregirl

My werewolf project is coming to an end! I have seen everything on my list with the exception of just one title; Hercules, Prisoner of Evil. I can not find this damn film anywhere. Hercules battles a sorceress who turns men into werewolves…and it’s Italian! Hello! Thanks to Wednesday’s Child for suggesting this title! I plan on seeing it some day, some how (I still owe you a shrine WC). Curse of the Devil was briefly shortlisted but was knocked off the list by another Paul Naschy title. Curse of the Devil is more than just a werewolf film! It also has Satan-worshipping gypsies, a serial killer and a Countess Elizabeth Bathory tie in!

Irineus Daninsky is responsible for the execution of Countess Elizabeth Bathory and her female followers. Before the Countess is burned at the stake she lays down a bad-ass curse on the Daninsky’s lineage; in the future a terrible accident will result in the curse being exacted. We jump ahead several years later and meet Waldemar Daninsky who is hunting wolves and accidently shoots a gypsy man. The gypsies conduct a ritual where a woman is chosen to seduce Waldemar and leave him scarred by the “mark of the wolf”. The woman is successful in her endeavour but is immediately snuffed out by a serial killer who has recently escaped incarceration. The serial killer and the werewolf are simultaneously killing folks but with the news of a serial killer on the loose, Waldemar’s crimes have gone unnoticed. Unnoticed, that is until the serial killer’s dead body is found.

Curse of the Devil opens with Irineus Daninsky in armour fighting Bathory’s hubby. Upon slaying the evil count he arrests the countess and her followers post-haste. The women are promptly executed; the followers are thrown off the castle bridge with nooses around their necks and the Countess gets the old “burned at the stake” treatment. Wow! That is one hella-stylish and enthusiastic opening scene! One of the best non-werewolf openings of a werewolf film ever I would say! The story is fairly wacky, but it is more coherent than many of the werewolf films I’ve seen during this feature. Most of you are probably familiar with the history of Countess Elizabeth Bathory; those who are not; the bloody lady of Cachtice was allegedly responsible for the torture and death of hundreds of young women whose blood she apparently bathed in to maintain her youth. This has absolutely no relevance to this story whatsoever. In Curse of the Devil, Bathory appears to be engaging in some manner of satanic ritual when Irineus Daninsky and his men come to arrest her. Furthermore she has the ability to enact a curse suggesting she is possibly a witch. Bathory is generally associated with vampirism not witchcraft and werewolves, but what the hell, worked for me!

Waldemar feels deep regret about the unfortunate death of the gypsy. So much regret he can’t even give his condolences and instead sends his lackey to give them a small bag of coins. Of course, the curse has been foretold so he is screwed regardless. Can’t undo a foretold curse ya’ll! I must say the gypsy’s method of “marking” Waldemar with the wolf curse was a unique one. It is the first and only instance I can recall of spilling one’s own blood on the skull of a wolf and than clamping said wolf’s jaw onto the chest of the intended! I love it!! I really dig how all these Spanish werewolf films mix in all manner of other sub-genres but still manage to make the werewolf the focus. Paul Naschy always gives a real angsty, hand-wringing performance. I love the classic half-man, half-wolf makeup he sports. He always puts his heart into his performance; knocking shit over, destroying furniture, clutching at himself as he transforms into the thing he hates. Waldemar falls in love with the first attractive woman he meets and she curses him. Than he falls in love with the second attractive woman he meets. It is often said in werewolf films that love can save a man from the werewolf curse. Frankly I’ve yet to see it ever happen! Waldemar’s woman does stay by his side right up to the end however. Some Naschy flicks have some rather dubious dubbing, but Curse of the Devil is not bad at all. I would prefer to hear it in Spanish with subtitles, but alas, this has been a difficult task finding subtitled Naschy films. I thoroughly enjoyed Curse of the Devil. It is well shot, has great sets and costumes, an entertaining story, nice werewolf makeup and transformations, gore, nudity and the fabulous Paul Naschy. If you are a fan of Naschy, you have probably already seen Curse of the Devil. But if you are looking to discover my man for the first time this is a great place to start. Carlos Aured’s delightful Spanish horror film is one of the best of its breed in my opinion. Curse of the Devil comes highly recommended!