Paul Naschy returns as El Hombre Lobo for the sixth time as he searches for a cure to his full moon maddness by visiting the grandson of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. What ensues next is a ... See full summary »
Paul Naschy returns as El Hombre Lobo for the sixth time as he searches for a cure to his full moon maddness by visiting the grandson of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. What ensues next is a lover's triangle, and a savage sadistic Mr. Hyde who roams modern London and transforms into a werewolf on the disco floor. Written by
Paul Naschy has been playing tortured Polish werewolves since 1967, the high watermark being 1970's Werewolf vs the Vampire Women. Made a year later Doctor Jekyll and the Werewolf, if not exactly in the same league is certainly entertaining. After her fiance is murdered by thuggish villagers Justine is saved from death by loner Waldemar. A man with `an illness' Waldemar is of course the hairy side of the title, although the sadistic local villagers seem more violent and pose more of a threat than the beast he becomes. After every distant relative and friend of his has been decapitated or murdered by these apeish normals Waldemar heads off with Justine to a post- swinging London. There he turns to the grandson of Dr Jekyll who tries to help him out by somewhat illogically turning him into a pasty faced eye ball rolling `new' Mr Hyde. Soon all hell breaks loose thanks to Waldemar's triple personality. Let loose on London there is the kinky Mr Hyde who wields a mean whip, and a werewolf attacking Londoners more than a decade before An American Werewolf in London. Despite the Madrid-ish look to some of the London scenes some parts were indeed shot in `Londris', Blimey! Naschy and director Klimovsky found a good locale in Soho, London's notorious red light district back in the days of outdoor bordellos, the neon windmill of the Windmill theatre and sex -education documentary Love in Our Time playing in theatres. Theres a tale Naschy likes to tell about filming these scenes- while dressed as Mr Hyde some Soho regulars, not realising a film was being shot heckled who they thought to be a madman dressed in Victorian clothes. With the shot ruined `Mr Hyde' promptly chased the pesky raincoat dwellers with his cane. Compared to Werewolf Vs the Vampire Women which was a hit world-wide, Dr Jekyll was only fleetingly released in the US and UK, and today can only be found on tape from American public domain companies, releases drawn from badly transferred and tatty looking prints that can't possibly do this 70mm scope production justice. A real melting pot of a film, eclectic doesn't come close- Justine's fiance is built up as a major heroic character, but in a Psycho fashion is shockingly murdered half an hour in, then we settle down for a traditional werewolf picture, then suddenly this becomes a Mr Hyde picture with swinging Sixties overtones before the furballs and claws are brought back for the discotheque set climax. All this was obviously done to avoid routine (this was Naschy's sixth werewolf film). Unfortunately the same factors that made the Werewolf Vs the Vampire Women and the `groovy' Dracula Vs Frankenstein breath taking, seem plodding and unfocussed in Doctor Jekyll and the Werewolf. However the London scenes, the enraged teddy of a werewolf and Naschy's unusual looking Mr Hyde supply the film with more than its fair share of memorable moments, definitely enough to justify digging this up from the grave marked `Spanish horror cinema RIP', its certainly a better film than its obscure reputation suggests.
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