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Night of the Werewolf (1981)

El retorno del Hombre Lobo (original title)
R | | Horror | 1985 (USA)
An evil witch brings back to life the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, who was executed several hundred years previously for murdering young woman and bathing in their blood.


Paul Naschy (as Jacinto Molina Alvarez)


Paul Naschy (as Jacinto Molina Alvarez)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Naschy ... Waldemar Daninsky / Werewolf
Julia Saly Julia Saly ... Countess Elisabeth Bathory (as Jully Saly)
Silvia Aguilar Silvia Aguilar ... Erika
Azucena Hernández Azucena Hernández ... Karen (as Azucena Hernandez)
Beatriz Elorrieta Beatriz Elorrieta ... Mircaya
Rafael Hernández ... Second graverobber (as Rafael Hernandez)
Pepe Ruiz Pepe Ruiz ... Second thief
Ricardo Palacios ... First graverobber
Tito García ... First thief (as Tito Garcia)
David Rocha David Rocha ... Young bandit
Charly Bravo Charly Bravo
Luis Barboo ... Bandit
José Riesgo ... (as Jose Riesgo)
Manuel Pereiro
Ramón Centenero Ramón Centenero ... (as Ramon Centenero)


An evil witch brings back to life the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, who was executed several hundred years previously for murdering young woman and bathing in their blood.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It used to be only a myth




R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night of the Werewolf See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dálmata Films S.A. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The music playing during the opening and end titles is taken from Stelvio Cipriani's soundtrack for Tentacles (1977). See more »


When vampire Erika is seducing Waldemar, the mirror above them is supposed to show no reflection. When he lifts his arms, they are not reflected at all, but the same arms. The mirror is a projection of the same scene taken without Erika in the shot. See more »


Karen: Waldemar, why don't we go for them in the monastery and try to destroy them?
Waldemar Daninsky: Only during the night of the Holy Moon will I have sufficient power to destroy her.
See more »


Followed by El aullido del diablo (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Choppy editing and nonsensical translations only slightly dampen the proceedings.
26 September 2001 | by kifaruSee all my reviews

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?

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