Waldimar Daninsky, a lone survivor of a Tibetian expedition, returns home to find his wife has been unfaithful to him. Carrying the curse of the pentagram (or pentagon, as stated by the monk who nursed him back to health), the fury of the wolfman is unleashed! After disposing of his cheating spouse, he finds himself captive in a castle by a female mad scientist conducting mind control experiments. In a vein attempt at escape, he discovers the freaks left over from past experiments dwelling in the dungeons. Written by
"La Furia del Hombre Lobo" forms a completely stand-alone storyline which doesn't seem to fit in at all with the previous Waldemar Daninsky movies. Some have commented that this movie is supposed to take place before the events of "Werewolf Shadow", although it was released afterwards ... they may be right, I'm not sure. Anyway, in this movie Waldemar Daninsky is bitten by a yeti-like creature in Tibet (great dialogue here -- "It was a yeti. But that's impossible. I'm a scientist and these things don't exist. It was a hallucination. That's all.") and although marked with the sign of the pentagram, he is able to prevent the change into a werewolf until he discovers that his wife has been cheating on him. Changing into the beast one night, he kills both her and her lover before running out into a storm and being electrocuted. It's not long before he's resurrected by a dominatrix university professor who is conducting some kind of unfathomable experiments with mind control. He is taken to the underground cellar of a castle where the subjects of these experiments live like chained animals.
First of all -- Jacinto Molina, Paul Naschy, whatever you want to call him, he's a fine actor and cared passionately about his work. No matter how flawed these movies are, you can always rely on him for a decent performance. The rest of the cast seem good enough, but it's hard to tell when they have a half-assed voice-over dubbed over all their lines. And that was really the main problem for me ... many of the voice-over artists they used were just awful, awful, awful. Whenever I chuckled during the movie it was at the inept way that they delivered their lines (they seem to constantly refer to the hero as "Waldeman"). But unfortunately it's almost impossible to find subtitled copies of Naschy movies, although they're sometimes available in the original language without subtitles.
The directing of Jose Maria Zabalza seems sort of hit-and-miss ... there are some great visual ideas in some scenes, while others are badly constructed and poorly edited, particularly in the final scenes when it really counts. The reason for this, was that Zabalza was apparently drunk most of the time while on set. He allowed his fourteen year old nephew to rewrite Molina's dialogue, used extras without his permission, and spliced several shots from Molina's earlier movies. All of this pretty much ruined any chance this movie had of being one of Molina's best works, and it's no surprise that the two of them never worked together again.
But it's not all bad news, as there are some good ideas here. Some aspects of the storyline make an interesting psychological drama with the werewolf as a metaphor for jealousy and rage. The 'werewolf as a yeti' idea is one that returned in Molina's later work. Some pretty horrific and surreal stuff goes on down in the cellar, and there's also a very memorable sequence about half way through the film where Daninsky runs from house to house through a village, slaughtering or molesting innocents as he goes -- one scene is particularly intense, but it's actually lifted straight from Molina's first movie, "La Marca del Hombre-lobo" along with a few other shots. I actually found the movie on the whole to be very entertaining, although there are some problems with the Front Row Entertainment version, such as pretty obvious cuts (although some of it may simply be due to the director's lack of continuity). Gods knows what omissions there are -- I'll probably try to get my hands on the uncut version at some stage in the future.
This is a overall a decent piece of vintage Naschy which experienced fans might enjoy, but it could have been much better and so probably wouldn't make a great introduction.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?