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Juan Diego Botto,
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 »
Good - though marred by an ugly historical inaccuracy
An interesting story, with good acting, well told. Good direction, visually appealing, atmospheric.
However, scientifically, and/or historically literate viewers will find one nagging, glaring blunder; at one point in this story, which is supposed to be set in the mid 19th century, there is a reference to a person being controlled "by his genes". Come on! The term "gene" wasn't even proposed until half a century later, and additionally, around mid 19th century the mechanism of inheritance was entirely unknown; Mendel's work lay undiscovered until early 20th century, and even Mendel didn't use the word "gene" (so it couldn't have been a case of some exceptionally insightful scientist having discovered the term in some ).
That sort of a slip may not seem much, but for someone aware of this history, it does brake the illusion of an authentic world in which the events are set, making it harder to enjoy the movie. I'm surprised that anybody reviewing the script didn't pick up on it... but then again, the state of scientific literacy among filmmakers is often abysmal. In a movie set in a historical period, accuracy should be more of a priority though, I think.
The story proceeds almost languidly, punctuated by moments of violence and terror; perhaps too slow for most horror fans to appreciate, and those who do appreciate the subtlety are likely to be bothered by the "gene" mishap. The score is beautiful, and lighting is used to good effect; the combination makes for a visually and auditorily pleasing experience.
Perhaps because of how the movie is portrayed as a werewolf movie, the people who might best enjoy it, aren't likely to see it, and the people expecting a traditional supernatural horror movie might feel a bit let down.
In conclusion, Romasanta is a movie not as good as it could have been, and somewhat misleadingly advertised on the cover, but well worth seeing nonetheless. I was torn between 7 or 8 stars, and decided to be generous. :)
12 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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