aka El Retorno Del Hombre Lobo (Original Title)
92 min., 1981
Written by Jacinto Molina Alvarez
Directed by Jacinto Molina Alvarez
My rating: ★★★★
The great Paul Naschy strikes again with another great werewolf movie.
* * *
We come into the movie with the infamous Elizabeth Bathory (Julia Saly) and her evil group on trial and among them is Waldemar Daninsky (Paul Naschy). They are sentenced to death and we see the Mask of Shame being placed on Waldemar and then a silver cross is hammered through his heart. We then jump to the “present” day where a woman named Erika (Silvia Aguilar) is talking to her professor about going to the place where Bathory has been buried. You see he has an amulet that is supposed to be able to bring Bathory back to life and Erika has it in her head that she will be that one. She chokes him, takes the amulet and goes on the road with her two friends, shy Karen (Azucena Hernandez) and tough Barbara (Pilar Alcón), to Castle Cséjthe in the Makavega Region. While this is going on two grave robbers end up freeing Waldemar and are paid by being killed. After a little time the three beautiful (and damn are they fucking hot) women meet Waldemar, Karen starts a relationship with him and Erika finds the grave of Elizabeth Bathory and brings her back to life. Can Waldemar a werewolf defeat Bathory a vampire, and how did they get three insanely hot women into one movie?
The acting is really solid throughout the movie with only a handful of really troublesome spots. Paul Naschy is always great, but sometimes he overdoes it and overpowers the rest of the cast. On the other side is Azucena Hernandez who has a habit of slipping through the cracks and falling into the background instead of being a main cast member. Now Silvia Aguilar is great, having her character as sinister and evil as any male that has ever come on screen. She has no problems using her friends to get exactly what she wants. Another great thing about her is that in the end fight she doesn’t have a stunt double when she gets tossed around and that is a feat even in this day and age.
Now the effects have aged pretty poorly but nothing that really destroys the movie as a whole. The transformation scene is pretty cheesy by today’s standards, but it still looks good and the shots of the arrows hitting the three men are still quite effective.
The best way that I can describe this movie is by comparing it to a buffet salad, you see it great and flavorful but every once in a while you get a wilted piece of lettuce. There are so many good things about the movie but there are some flaws that creep in here and there. Good acting and some really fun effects really help the movie but the biggest problems I had with the movie was with the overall plot/timeline. After getting to the castle there is a very strong lack of time. You have no idea how much time has really passed. It could be hours, weeks or even months. That also brings up my problem with the overall love story between Waldemar and Karen. There was no build up and after a little time passes (again lack of time) they are suddenly in love. She was knocked out and then boom they are in love. It just didn’t really work as well has it could have with some more interaction between the two characters. Paul Naschy is a great man in the horror genre (if not one of the best) and this movie is a great one to watch if you want to get a good introduction to his work. This is actually the ninth movie of a “series” that revolves around Waldemar, but it is also (in my opinion) the best. If you enjoy this you can check out any of his other forty plus movies, they are all pretty good.Have You Read...?