In the Eighteenth Century, in Spain, a beggar comes to the castle of a cruel marquee on his wedding day to beg for food, and the marque locks him in his dungeon, where he is forgotten. The mute daughter of the gaoler feeds him along the years. When she grows-up, the widower marquee unsuccessfully tries to shag her and locks the servant in the dungeons with the beggar that rapes her. When she is released, she kills the marquee and flees to the forest. She is found living like an animal in the woods by Don Alfredo and he brings her home. Soon his servant Teresa finds that she is pregnant. When she gives birth to a boy on Christmas, she dies and the boy Leon is raised by Don Alfredo and Teresa. A few years later they learn the curse that the boy carries with him, and the local priest advises that he must be raised with love. What will happen to Leon?
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Did You Know?
With the exception of the opening titles, Oliver Reed
does not appear until roughly halfway through the film and his screen-time as the werewolf is even less (first appearing at just over an hour into the 93 minute film). See more
In Spain the Catholic innkeeper would have had a crucifix rather than a plain cross (and indeed his wife calls it a crucifix). The plain cross (without Jesus on it), such as was shown in the film, is used primarily by Protestants. See more
The film had considerable problems with the BBFC on its initial cinema release and was subsequently cut by around 5 minutes before release. Much of the edits were made to the beginning of the film and involved the complete removal of the scenes where the servant girl is attacked in the castle dungeon, and her later confrontation with the Marquis (which results in his fatal stabbing). Other cuts included heavy edits to the murder scenes and a shortening of the bedroom scene between Leon and the prostitute. The 1995 Warner VHS featured a print often shown by BBC which featured different cuts. Much of the above was intact (bar for a reduced stabbing) though additional shots were missing including scenes showing dead bodies, shots of dead goats, and much of the climactic killing of the werewolf, including his deafening by the bells, the bloody gunshot wound, and some shots of his dead face over the closing credits. The film was later completely restored with all the missing footage intact and first shown on BBC in 1994, and this version was released (on Region 1 DVD only) as part of Universal's "Hammer Horror Series" 8 film box set. The 2010 12-rated DVD features the same restored and fully uncut print. See more
Referenced in Micro-Shocks: Schadenfreude