Elvira is travelling through the French countryside with her friend Genevieve, searching for the lost tomb of a medieval murderess and possible vampire, Countess Wandessa. They find a ... See full summary »
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Conrado San Martín,
Elvira is travelling through the French countryside with her friend Genevieve, searching for the lost tomb of a medieval murderess and possible vampire, Countess Wandessa. They find a likely site in the castle of Waldemar Daninsky, who invites the women to stay as long as they like. As Waldemar shows Elvira the tomb that supposedly houses the countess, she accidentally causes the vampire to come back to life, hungrier than ever. Daninsky has a hidden secret of his own, but will it be enough to save the two girls from becoming Wandessa's next victims? Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Paul Naschy, the Werewolf Prince of European cinema, portrays the tortured Waldemar in this film of many titles. The movie kicks off with Naschy resting on a medical table - preparing to be autopsied. Two silver bullets are removed from Naschy's chest, thus reviving him. He changes into a werewolf and slaughters the two doctors performing the autopsy.
Afterwards, we are introduced to a redheaded student, Gaby Fuchs, who takes her friend Barbara Capell out to the countryside to search for the tomb of a fabled governess. Away from modern convenience, the girls meet Naschy who is hiding out in a castle with his depraved sister. He takes the girls in and looks after them while his demented sister takes a liking to each of the girls - physically. The following day, Naschy leads the two girls to the tomb and they dig up the corpse of the governess - Capell cutting her arm and having droplets of her blood fall into the governesses open mouth. Then, the fun starts.
The main draw for this film is the stellar direction. I enjoy horror films of the 70's because they relied more on atmosphere rather than blood and guts to convey terror. Any director can slop red paint on a wall or pull fake entrails out of a plastic dummy, but only the great directors can convey dread through atmospheric methods. The scenes where the governess (Patty Sheperd) and Barbara Capell stalk about the woods at night in slow motion makes for a film-goers delight. Their flowing gowns, slow-moving steps and pale makeup make for true dread. There isn't a single vampire film I would recommend over this treat.
VIOLENCE: $$$ (There is a spattering of violence in this film but nothing on the level of the tasteless trash that Hollywood churns out nowadays. The opening scene is the most violent when Naschy kills the two doctors and then snacks on a damsel in the countryside. The vampires weren't used in the violence department - just the eerie department).
STORY: $$$ (Rather routine, but fun nonetheless. A werewolf, tortured by his curse, tries to keep his new flame (Fuchs) from the clutches of the vampires as well as himself. When he turns, he can't control his bloodlust, thus placing Gaby in a perilous situation. The plot line of students staying in an abandoned castle while on academic furlough is a bit too overused but it works here).
ACTING: $$$ (As with most of these European horror films, it is difficult to tell how good of an actor the thespians are because their lines are dubbed in English. However, it is obvious that Naschy can portray self-inflicted torture with the best of them. Patty Sheperd, who I can't recall having any dialogue, was creepy as the governess and Barbara Capell is tantalizing and sensual in any language).
NUDITY: $ (Very little - of the blink-and-you-missed-it variety. Naschy tears open the blouse of the girl he kills in the country and Capell gets her blouse ripped open by Naschy's twisted sister. It isn't sleazy and you see very little, but it is gratuitous).
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