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An uproar is caused when some mutilated cadavers are discovered, giving way to the legend of the "Werewolf of Allariz". A traveling vendor rolls through the forest in his old wagon. A woman from every village on his route faithfully awaits him. He's attractive, intelligent, charming.... But he's also the monster feared by all. His most recent prey, Barbara will soon become the one who hunts him down. The film is based on the true-life story of Manuel Blanco Romasanta, the traveling vendor, who confessed to the murders of thirteen people, using their body fat to make soap. Romasanta was tried in Allaríz in 1852 and avoided capital punishment by proclaiming he was a werewolf. Barbara was the lone survivor of four sisters. Written by
Based on the case of serial killer Manuel Blanco Romasanta who murdered 13 people in 1850s Spain. He claimed a curse turned him into a wolf causing him to kill. Because of these claims, Queen Isabella II acquitted him. See more »
He is not a man. He is a wolf who becomes human so that he can seduce and murder his victims.
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The opening Filmax logo, usually a white sphere with three stripes (yellow, red and blue), turns into a full moon. See more »
If you're one of those people who quite enjoyed "La Pacte des Loups" (Brotherhood of the Wolf) a few years back but were left disappointed by some of the more ridiculous historical inaccuracies, then you might want to take a look at Romasanta.
The story of Manuel Blanco Romasanta is quite a well known one in Spain. It happened in the mid-nineteenth century, when a string of violent deaths took place which seemed in some ways like animal attacks, and in others like cold and calculated murder. Eventually a man was arrested -- Manuel Romasanta, and it was found that he used the body fat from his victims to make soap. At his trial he claimed that he became a werewolf, and that it is the nature of a wolf to kill. He was diagnosed with the psychological condition of lycanthropy, and given a life sentence rather than death.
The film itself is based largely on truth, partly on speculation and partly on pure invention for artistic purposes. It's certainly a lot closer to the truth than "Brotherhood of the Wolf" was, anyway. One character is knowingly invented, and some rather unlikely theories are put forward in the place of that which is unknown, but the question of whether or not Romasanta was actually a werewolf is left completely open. Paco Plaza appears to be a competent and innovative director, and the style of the film is really superb. It is quite slow moving, and arguably it's rather light on actual story and plot, but that's about as far as the criticism goes.
There are several great performances, but the standout comes from Julian Sands as the title character, who submerges himself in the role in the way that only outstanding actors can. John Sharian is also very good as the misguided, haunted 'partner' of Romasanta, and both Gary Piquer and David Gant are memorable in supporting roles as those who finally bring the murderer to justice. It also features Elsa Pataky as the leading heroine, who has become a huge sex symbol in Spain and it isn't hard to see why -- think along the lines of a Spanish Keira Knightley.
This is the finest historical werewolf film I've ever seen, and any self-respecting werewolf buff should take a look, but unfortunately there's not much chance of this one being a blockbuster.
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