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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Paul Naschy is back as Waldemar Daninsky the cursed werewolf who has to
stop a resurrected Satanic Witch turned Vampire, The Blood Countess
Elizabeth Bathory before her evil spreads throughout that Carpathian
Mountains. The Night of the Werewolf known in the states in its edited
version as The Craving does a solid job of bringing us
Werewolves,Vampires and a Zombie to boot and is a fun watch for fans of
such films. Especially fans of the old school effects department as we
get prosthetics and time lapse photography sequences like the original
There is a story though fans of Naschy previous Werewolf opus Werewolf's Shadow will notice there is a lot of similarities so if you can get past that then your fine. The movie chugs along fairly nicely and I did not find myself bored at any time throughout. Saying that however fans of gore and the like my find themselves disappointed as there is no true gore scenes other than a lot of blood spilling, no hacked off limbs or the like on screen. Fans of monster films will have a fun time with this if they are in the right frame of mind for an old fashion monster romp or are fans of Naschy. Others use to modern effects work and those in the need for an elaborate plot should look elsewhere.
In the end this is a solid monster fans movie and a love letter to the classic Universal and Hammer films. Though not entirely on par with them it still entertains and Naschy's Werewolf never looked better. For the monster fans (myself included) I give The Night of the Werewolf: 6/10 above average, fun for the monster fans.
Deimos as released this in an Uncut Anamorphic Widescreen (1:85:1) HD mastered DVD which is the first time the original uncut version has been in the states. For that fact alone it is worth the pick up. The DVD has some nice features such as an intro by Naschy, deleted scenes, U.S. Trailer, Spanish Credit Sequence, Still Gallery and Liner Notes with rare photos and stills. Also the film has the original Castilian language track with Subs or English Dub. Overall a nice package and a good reason for fans with boots to trash them and pick up the best release of the film to the States to date.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Anguished werewolf Waldemar Daninsky (beefy Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy) and wicked vampiress Elizabeth Bathory (a deliciously evil portrayal by the ravishing Julia Saly) are both condemned to death in the Middle Ages for their crimes against humanity. Waldermar gets revived in the 20th century by a couple of no-count grave robbers. Bathory is resurrected by her loyal and depraved witch servant Erika (the lovely Silvia Aguilar). Waldermar needs the love of the sweet and pure Karen (the stunningly gorgeous Azucena Hernandez) to lift his infernal lycanthrope curse. But Bathory has other more malevolent plans in store for Waldemar. Writer/director Naschy ably creates a vivid, misty, potently brooding gloom-doom Gothic atmosphere. In addition, Naschy maintains a steady pace, an eerie tone and a total sense of flesh-crawling dread throughout. Moreover, he stages the ample shock scenes with considerable skill and aplomb. The genuinely frightening and impressive werewolf make-up, a nice smattering of sex, nudity and gory violence, Alejandro Ulloa's sharp, vibrant cinematography, the breathtaking mountainside scenery, a delectable bevy of hot babes (Hernandez in particular is a real looker), the fun generic ooga-booga spooky score, some laughably profane dialogue, and the truly wild and exciting last reel no-holds-barred physical confrontation between Waldermar and Bathory all make this picture one of the best, most effective and praiseworthy horror films Naschy has ever starred in.
Night of the Werewolf is quite an achievement for Paul Naschy. It is
pretty much the same type of movie he always makes, but a few things
really clicked to make this movie work.
First, the actresses in this movie were absolutely terrific. Julia Saly as Countess Bathory was particularly effective. Her interpretation was a female equivalent to Nosferatu. Something about her eyes made her seem absolutely rat-like. Her eyes were black, beady, and nearly lidless. She could've been a worthy successor to Barbara Steele...
Second, the photography and effects for the vampire women was exceptionally beautiful. I think Naschy was inspired by Jean Rollins' 'Thrill of the Vampires' in his use of fog and spotlights for the night scenes featuring the women.
Lastly, the film benefited greatly by having Naschy direct it himself. Daninsky is his creation, and Naschy's direction really captures performances and scenes that have gone lacking in previous Werewolf movies...
'Vengeance of the Zombies' is the release getting the attention, but this movie is very much worth buying on its own right.
The Night of the Werewolf was made in 1981, during the midst of the
slasher craze, but actor/writer/director Paul Naschy was either unaware
of or just didn't care much about the contemporary horror scene,
because once again he happily camps it up as werewolf Waldemar Daninsky
in this cheesy Euro-horror monster-mash that throws in every last
creaky Gothic horror cliché imaginable.
In the film's 16th century prologue, sorcerer Countess Elisabeth Bathory (Julia Saly) is executed for witchcraft, along with her cousin Otava, her loyal followers, and werewolf slave Waldemar Daninsky. Cut to the present day and sexy scientist Erika (Silvia Aguilar), who is under the spell of Elisabeth Bathory's spirit, has arranged a trip with her equally beautiful boffin pals Karen and Barbara (Azucena Hernández and Pilar Alcón) to examine the recently discovered tomb of the evil countess; once there, she intends to use the blood of her friends to bring Bathory back from the dead. Daninsky, having recently been revived by grave-robbers and subsequently fallen in love with Karen, attempts to thwart Erika's plans...
If you're already familiar with Naschy's earlier Daninsky efforts, then you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect from The Night of the Werewolf, which offers absolutely nothing that we haven't seen many times before from Spain's numero uno horror star: crumbling cobweb-covered, corpse-strewn castles; stormy nights; dusty rat infested dungeons; topless babes; vampire maidens; bad werewolf make-up; hammy acting from Naschy; old-school transformation effects; and cheapo gore. All present and correct!
I've never been a huge fan of Naschy's particular brand of Gothic horror, finding it all rather silly, and in this case, extremely 'old hat'Hammer did it all so much better a decade or so earlierbut if the star's other werewolf movies happen to have tickled your fancy, I guess there's no reason why you shouldn't enjoy this one too.
I thought this movie was really cool with all the shots filmed right in
Europe and the weird music that sounded like distorted symphonies with
singing done by choir singers on LSD in some medieval cathedral. There
are scenes of mist & eerie hallways & passageways and I always liked
these kinds of movies and it wasn't until later that I realized all the
good horror movies were made in Europe & had low budgets so that's
proof big studios in America still can't churn out a horror movie that
I think is worth watching.
Too bad most of these movies aren't available in DVDs. It' s even worse to think that now Hollywood is making all the horror movies instead of Europe. All these European Vampire movies seem to emphasize the exhibition of medieval European clothing & settings appropriate to a tale based on medieval folklore but unlike Hollywood movies, they don't look idiotic or freakish.
These types of movies are always denigrated as being "camp" or whatever the vogue word is to dismiss the creativity involved in these movies, but these films made an impact on me and that's something Hollywood horror movies never could. This is a great movie. It needs to be redone and only in Europe by European artists and using European film studios & styles.
This film is a 1980 follow-up another film with Paul Naschy from the early 1970s which is based on the Elizabeth Bathory folklore also. I actually thought this film was made in the early to mid 1970s when I first saw it on a VHS tape almost 20 years ago.
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