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In "El Retorno del Hombre-Lobo" (called "The Craving" in English), Paul
Naschy returns as his most famous character, werewolf Waldemar
Daninsky. This time, he gets executed along with alleged vampire
Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Julia Saly). But, as always seems to happen
in horror flicks, they both get resurrected and go on a rampage.
Specifically, they get resurrected by hot students Erika, Karen and
Barbara. In fact, Daninsky turns against Bathory. You can probably
guess what happens from there.
If you watch any of the DVDs of Paul Naschy's movies, the special features include an interview with him about his life. He talks some about growing up under Franco. One gets the feeling that he knew first-hand about horror, far more than a werewolf movie could portray. But no matter; this movie will surely please Naschy's fans.
Like many Euro-horrors, this film can be bought under a variety of
different names. I picked this little gem up via Amazon.com for a
couple bucks, under the title The Craving, and was not letdown.
The film opens with Paul Naschy getting staked in the heart with a silver cross while his cohort, Elizabeth Bathory (Julia Saly) is sent to death for witchcraft and murder. Fast-forward several centuries and we get three college girls trying to locate Bathroy's tomb while some grave robbers find Naschy's tomb and remove the silver cross in his heart. Of course, once the cross is removed, Naschy is able to terrorize the countryside as a werewolf again.
Paul takes up residence in a castle and offers lodging to the college girls while they search for the tomb. The ringleader of the girls, the ravishing Silvia Aguilar, has desires of her own: bringing Elizabeth Bathory back to life. Paul, who is a decent guy when not a werewolf, tries to thwart Silvia's plans while he falls for her friend Azucena Hernandez. But when Silvia resurrects Miss Bathory, all the fun begins.
STORY: $$$$ (We've see his premise before: lovely college girls searching for ruins and falling into evil and the manly clutches of Paul Naschy, but this doesn't detract from the entertainment value. Paul Naschy, who also directed this feature, spices up the genre with more baddies. We get werewolves, vampires and undead Goliaths here).
VIOLENCE: $$$ (While in full werewolf get-up, Paul gets to devour some poor folks. The vampire babes make a few attacks but they aren't as gory as the scenes with Naschy in face makeup).
ACTING: $$$$ (Paul Naschy is first rate here. He also shows a good hand for direction, creating some creepy images. His ladies are quite good as well. Julia Saly is terrific as Elizabeth Bathory and Azucena Hernandez is wonderful as the good girl that Naschy must keep safe from all the supernatural bumps in the night. Silvia Aguilar is the best of the lot as the twisted twist determined to bring evil back from the grave. Her menacing looks are cold and sensual at the same time, making her a perfect actress for this role of desirable vixen).
NUDITY: $$ (Paul kills a topless broad who was about to get naughty with her man in an abandoned castle. Also, Silvia Aguilar shows her amazing breasts when she washes them in a basin before heading off to bed).
THE CRAVING is possibly the most satisfying (if still flawed) Paul
Naschy film I've watched so far: the fact that Waldemar Daninsky here
originates from the Middle Ages gives the character a true mythic
quality which is not possible with his usual modern-day persona;
besides, his medieval 'wardrobe' (beard, coat-of-arms, crossbow and,
briefly, an iron mask) is pretty cool - as is the vicious werewolf look
which Naschy comes up with for this one, certainly the creepiest of his
that I've seen...though, ironically enough, it doesn't see a lot of
action (still, I guess, there's really so much can be done differently
from one film to the next). The atmosphere (fog, candlelight, color
gels) is really laid on thick here and the score, too, is pretty varied
for this type of film (I even liked the rock theme heard during the
opening and closing credits).
What prevents THE CRAVING from getting a *** rating from me, which would make it a solid and good picture, is a rather muddled storyline (though still the most interesting yet penned by Naschy): when the film opens, Waldemar is supposed to be Elizabeth Bathory's lieutenant but when they are revived centuries later, he is somehow hellbent on destroying her (and the army of women - there's a plethora of female characters here but, alas, very little nudity - which she manages to vampirize)!; the evil Erika, well-versed in the occult and who has no qualms about murdering her mentor, and later sacrifice her best friend in order to restore the vampire lady whom she idolizes, is set up initially as a quite formidable villain - even seducing Waldemar when a vampire - but her role gradually deteriorates to nothing, apparently so as to allow the Bathory character to take center-stage for the climactic duel between the werewolf and his arch-nemesis. Unfortunately, this sequence comes off as anti-climactic because one can hardly discern anything that's going on: either the print is too dark or it was simply filmed that way; however, the ending of this one is really bleak as Waldemar's love interest, already on her way to becoming a vampire, is infected with the curse of the werewolf as well(!) but she is quick to bring the house down in a conflagration which decimates the evil pervading the entire manor...
Again Waldemar stricken by ancient curse that turn into Werewolf at the
full moon. Middle Age, Waldemar Daninsky (Paul Naschy or Jacinto
Molina) and a sorceress , the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory
(Julia Saly ,usual producer of Molina films) are executed by the
authorities for murdering young girls . At the Dark Age she pronounces
a curse against their future heirs . Modern time , several hundred
later , Daninsky is relived by two gravediggers (Rafael Hernandez ,
Ricardo Palacios). Then Waldemar continues a murderous rampage every
time the moon is full . An evil young (Silvia Aguilar) brings back to
life Elizabeth Bathory and going on bathing in young women's blood .
Daninsky contacts a student (Azucena Hernandez) who falls in love with
him and she tries to cure his Lycanthropy with love .
Acceptable Werewolf movie with the unforgettable Waldemar Daninsky-Jacinto Molina ,under pseudonym Paul Naschy . Continental Europe's biggest horror star again with his classic character and frightening to viewer . He returns as El Hombre Lobo for the umpteenth time and once again battles enemies . Jacinto Molina Aka Paul Naschy ,who recently passed away, was actor, screenwriter and director of various films about the personage based on fictitious character, the Polish count Waldemar Daninsky. The first film about Waldemar was ¨The mark of the Wolfman (1967)¨ by Enrique Eguiluz , after that , went on the successful ¨Night of Walpurgis¨ by Leon Klimovsky , ¨Fury of the Wolfman¨ , ¨Doctor Jekill and the Wolfman¨ ,¨The return of the Walpurgis¨, ¨Howl of the devil¨, ¨The beast and the magic sword(1982)¨ that was filmed in Japan and finally ¨Licantropo(1998).
After ¨The craving¨ it was such a box office disaster that Jacinto was bankrupt . He was forced to turn to Japan for making artist documentaries, as he filmed ¨ Madrid Royal Palace and Museum of Prado¨ and he gets financing from Japanese producers for ¨The human beasts¨, the first co-production Spanish-Japan and followed ¨The beast and the magic sword¨ that was lavishly produced for the Paul Naschy standards.
¨The night of the werewolf¨ or ¨ El Retorno del Hombre-Lobo¨ is a B series entertainment with abundant sensationalistic scenes and a Naif style . The movie has a bit of ridiculous gore with loads of blood similar to tomato and is occasionally an engaging horror movie full of slow-moving fights, witchery , beheading , and several other things . This time Paul Nashy/Jacinto Molina exhibits little breast but he was a weightlifting champion . Here Waldemar takes on vampires in some unforgettable fighting scenes . Pretty slow going, but hang in there for the Werewolf versus witches , vampires and spirits. In the film appears numerous secondary cast who starred innumerable films of Spaghetti and horror genres during the 60s and 70 as Ricardo Palacios, Tito Garcia ,Rafael Hernandez, Charly Bravo , Luis Barboo and another terror icon named Narciso Ibañez Menta ( Chicho Ibañez Serrador's father). Good cinematography by Alejandro Ulloa (Horror Express) is accompanied by a correct remastering. Eerie and atmospheric musical score with some sound ripped from ¨Ennio Morricone's One upon the time in the West¨ .The motion picture is professionally directed and played by Jacinto Molina , a slick craftsman and average actor . The flick will appeal to Paul Naschy fans and terror genre enthusiast. Rating : 6, passable and entertaining.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Night Of The Werewolf aka El Retorno Del Hombre Lobo aka The
Craving is a revamped update on Paul Naschy's original film, Werewolf
vs Vampire Woman.
The film is a visual feast for Gothic horror fans. It's most memorable scene takes it's inspiration from the resurrection shown in Dracula Prince Of Darkness , while rendering it in a seductive if slightly misogynistic fashion. It's opening credit scene is reminiscent of Black Sunday, as an iron mask is used as a means of torture. And so it goes, until the climactic battle with Elizabeth Bathory herself.
Horror fans that have found their way into the world of Naschy's Waldamar Daninski already know that they have ventured so far into the genre that there is no turning back. You can throw plot and logic out the window, it's really not what matters here. The eccentric Daninski is a Wolf Man chick magnet displaced out of time who is in an eternal struggle with the blood Countess Bathory, the stuff of Warren's old Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella comic books genuinely realized on screen. While at times some scenes begin to slow with romantic interludes it never takes long for something interesting and horrific to happen.
Very much a throwback to 60's Gothic Euro and Hammer horrors, The Night of The Werewolf might still delight the more modern fan with it's pounds of flesh tearing, buckets of bloodletting, and it's sexy vixen vampires.
I liked this movie, although I enjoy most of Paul Nashys movies anyway I found this one special. I starts at the beginning when Countess Bathory and Nashy who is accused as a warewolf are being executed only to be brought back to life 400 years later. I liked the switch with the vampire going after the warewolf and each being enemies instead of alies with eachother. I could do without the terrible love scenes of Nashy and his lady who falls in love with him only to be bitten by the vampire and bitten by Nashy. It's worth a look, but it's not a classic.
I have to admit that I'm not a very big fan of Paul Naschy's
"Homo-Lobo" series of films, and have disliked most of the ones I've
seen. This one, however, was rather good. The film is set apart
somewhat from the rest of the series because of the fact that lead star
Paul Naschy also directed the film. The film was made in the early
eighties; but Naschy retains the seventies feel of the previous films
in the series and this one doesn't feel out of place with the rest of
them, although the central character is slightly different as this time
he originates from the middle ages. The film kicks off with a scene
that sees Naschy's character Waldemar Daninsky and Countess Elizabeth
Bathory, executed. We then fast forward a few hundred years and focus
on a woman into black magic that wants to rejuvenate Elizabeth Bathory.
However, upon reaching the resting place with her friends; she
discovers Daninsky already awakened. She proceeds with her mission
anyway, and ends up bringing the Countess (apparently a vampire) back
The film could basically be summed up as 'werewolf vs vampires', as that is effectively what it turns into. I really do like Naschy's decision to feature the infamous Countess in the film; although he has been a bit liberal with the way she is used in the story. The style of the film is really great; the cinematography is interesting and the use of music is good; although slightly odd, it must be said. It does also have to be said that the film is more than just a little bit uneven; some of the set pieces are brilliant and really well worked, while other moments of the film are turgid and rather boring. The film also gets a bit sluggish towards the end and it seems like Naschy might have ran out of paper to write his script on as the final third contains hardly any dialogue. The werewolf effects are rather poor also; especially when you consider that An American Werewolf in London and The Howling were released in the same year. The film is slightly disappointing overall because with better handling it could have been really great...but even so, Night of the Werewolf is still worth a look.
Ah, the first Daninsky movie of the eighties ... here I refer to
Midnight Video's version entitled "Night of the Werewolf", which is
pretty good quality but has annoying non-removable subtitles.
When a movie opens with a bunch of satanists being sentenced to gruesome deaths including buried alive, tortured, hanged, beheaded, and so forth ... you know you must be in for good, clean B-movie horror. The chief witch in question of course swears a terrible revenge (haven't we already been here in Molina's "Curse of the Devil"?), and among the condemned is the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky himself, sporting a rather stylish beard. He gets off comparatively lightly, being made to wear an iron mask and having a silver dagger driven through his heart. Centuries later, an evil witch finds a medallion in order to resurrect the ancient chief witch, and as fate would have it a couple of grave-robbers remove the dagger of Daninsky's heart at exactly the same moment. Time for a "Werewolf vs the Vampire Woman" rematch ...
Jacinto Molina opted to direct this one himself, as well as the two other Daninsky movies made in the eighties. This means he has more control over the project than ever before, and contrary to what some say, I think he's actually a very good director. Probably the best ever to direct a Daninsky movie, anyway, and obviously he can capture his own artistic vision like nobody else could. This is probably why it feels more conventional and competent than most movies in the series. The sets are great, the special effects are good for it's time and the whole movie has a fantastic atmosphere to it. There is more gratuitous nudity and gore than in most Daninsky movies, and I'm surprised it hasn't been a bigger hit with fans of the genre. There are certainly enough werewolves, witches, vampires, zombies and horrible sacrifices to keep them entertained! Maybe I'm going overboard with the praise, but if you've seen the earlier Daninsky movies, you'll know that in most ways this is pretty damn good comparatively. The dubbing is actually pretty good (although dubbing is always a crime, of course), and they've tried to make the dialogue as hip as possible. Man, I just love the eighties mentality. The soundtrack is also very cool. Okay, okay, so the storyline is pretty much the same predictable stuff all over again. And once again it has no real consistency with the previous movies. But that's why we love it! Obviously it's not an easy movie to watch, it's arguably slow and there's some particularly dark stuff going on even for a Daninsky movie. Daninsky himself is something of an anti-hero, saving maidens in distress but also allowing his wolf side to run around slaughtering innocents. The vampires are very creepy and unearthly, as Molina has always been good at knowing how to portray them.
"El Retorno del Hombre-Lobo", "The Craving", "Night of the Werewolf" ... call it what you like, this is my favourite Daninsky movie yet. It's "The Werewolf vs the Vampire Woman" as it should have been, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I love Paul Naschy's movies. At least his catalog of horror films. In these
gems he has portrayed every classic monster (including Dracula), and never
cheapened or belittled their impact on our culture. Because all of his
films are Spanish productions, they all do suffer one common problem: They
have to be dubbed into English to be distributed here. What's interesting is
that most do translate well, and the onscreen action lends itself to
understanding. Most of the time.
I first caught "El Retorno del Hombre-Lobo" late one summer evening after a trip to the video store. I was in search of B-movie excitement, and found it. The American title was "The Craving" and the box art and plot desription were amateurish at best. The movie teetered on the brink of being equally thin, but redeemed itself somewhat with the lead performances.
Naschy once again portrays Waldemar Daninski, Polish nobleman who, in this this universe, was consort to Countess Elizabeth Bathory (yes, that Countess Elizabeth Bathory). The Countess , Daninski and their followers are dragged before the local Federales and charged with the usual "unspeakable acts of depravity and witchcraft." Waldemar wimps out and accepts the judgement of the court, while the Countess hurls curses before they are all executed.
The slow pace doesn't let up. Waldemar's resurrection and subsequent full moon forays put a dent in the population and add some zest to the stagnant feel. Elizabeth's return is also a highlight, with old-school style thunder and lightning and appropriate symphonic music. Unfortunately, the excitement soon bogs down in tepid melodrama and acting class homework. The plot falls into way too familiar territory. Lead vamp resurrected; collects band of followers; menaces hero and his sweetie; comes close to actually taking sweetie away; is vanquished in knock down-drag out with hero. Slightly misogynistic overtones crop up throughout the movie: the women are evil, and that evil is the source of their power. Erica, one of the trio of hotties who come looking for Bathory's grave, is a devoted follower bent on bringing her back, while Karen, Daninski's love interest, is an ineffective crybaby. The other two women, Barbara and Mikaiya, are there for vampire fodder,and of course, end up assisting the evil. Although he nightly pillages the countryside, in gory Italian-Zombie-Flick fashion, Waldemar's affliction ain't his fault. Getting involved with the wrong woman led to his downfall. And when Karen is visited in the wee hours by Elizabeth, she gives in quite easily to the darkside (granted, this was probably an attempt by the creators to pay homage (read: rip off) Hammer's lesbian vamp movies).
This particular entry into the Daninski saga suffers from two very big problems: continuity and lighting. There were several scenes that left me going "Huh?", like the delivery of coffins in the dead of night by curious villagers. What? They just up and deliver to anybody, anytime? It was also curious that the werewolf's attacks caused so little concern, while the vampires feastings were worthy of a town elders powwow with Waldemar. The lighting was atrocious. Granted, electricity isn't too readily available in most of your Balkan countries, but still, eyestrain is not something you want viewers to leave your films with. That is, if you expect them to come back. The dubbing surprisingly didn't detract from the film; some of the translation actually fit in with the onscreen stuff.
A word about the actors. Paul Naschy/Jacinto Molina is very much Lon Chaney with a matinee idol's looks. He scripted most of these movies (and rewrote others during filming), but never cut out the other actors around him. His Waldemar Daninski is a real tragic hero, despising his condition, but so in love with life he can't put himself down. In all of the "Hombre-Lobo" flicks, no matter how he became a werewolf, he had to find and lose true love to stop the beast within. Julie Saly, who starred with Naschy in several other films, gets kudos for gracing Elizabeth with viciousness and charm. My one complaint is that she only turned up in scenes involving blood. That aside, another excellent performance. Silvia Aguilar is the real star as the conniving Erica, intent on reviving Elizabeth, and, even after being vampirized and ordered about by the Countess, taking control of several situations. The other ladies provide decoration, especially Azuncen Hernandez as the brainless Karen.
"The Craving" is an unbelievable mishmash of folklore, black magic and melodrama. But that's the beauty of these movies, I guess. Not only is belief suspended, but all forms of natural and unnatural law as well. Like the Hammer films of the 70's, each Daninski film was released in America with more and more gratuitous nudity. Most were, of course, filmed with nude scenes, and those were excised for distribution. Pretty much all retailers now offer "original and uncut" versions. I need to snag the uncut version of this one. If only to figure out why Bathory resurrected some moldy guardian that was so easily dispatched. Jeez! Why didn't you just get a dog?
This is the 9th of 13 films in the Hombre Lobo series featuring the
eternally cursed Waldemar Daninsky played by Paul Naschy. His work will
soon be much more well known as Fangoria is releasing Werewolf, a brand
new, fully painted series of graphic novels based on the film series
and its title character.
Vampires versus werewolves. The vampire, Elisabeth Bathory (Julia Saly) controls the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky (Paul Naschy) until they are executed in the 18th century. Two grave robbers (Ricardo Palacios & Rafael Hernández) remove the silver cross from Waldemar and he comes alive, free of the Countess.
Meanwhile, three women (Silvia Aguilar, Azucena Hernández & Pilar Alcón) are searching for the Countess' grave.
While Erika (Aguilar) and Barbara (Alcón) are preparing to revive the Countess, Karen (Hernández) is falling in love with Waldemar. He needs her to kill him to remove his curse.
Erika even sacrifices her friend in the ritual to gain power. Meanwhile, Waldemar is heavily snacking as it is a full moon.
The Countess even manges to use Waldemar's servant Mircalla (Beatriz Elorrieta) to attack him, but Karen is right there to save the day. Too bad, he wasn't there for her.
The next full moon brings forth the battle. Rock breaks scissors, and paper covers rock, and all is well.
Good acting, and a high quality DVD.
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