Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Frankenstein's Bloody Terror"(1968/71)d/Enrique López Eguiluz

Tonight, we explore the colorfully gothic pioneer effort by the late barrel-chested Spanish writer/actor/director Jacinto Molina, or Paul Naschy, as he's globally recognized; the man who carried the baton of lycanthropy in the horror reel-ay of the seventies and eighties.Originally released as "La Marca del Hombre-Lobo"(The Mark of the Wolfman, por supuesto), then repackaged for American audiences in glorious 70 mm Chill-O-Rama 3D by Sam Sherman, who inserted a groovy bleeding animated pre-title sequence into the film that explained the total lack o' Frankenstein in the flick, despite the misleading title.Though there's no Tall, Green, n' Sewn-together-out-of-corpses to be found, fans of cheesy horror can rest assured there's still plenty for them to wrap their glassies around here, not excluding:climactic werewolf v. people, werewolf v. werewolf, and even werewolf v. vampire battles that all seem to transpire upon classically eerie locales, and even a hint of the grue and sexuality that viewers would find buckets n' knickersful in the later film chronicles of Molina's tragic hispanic, Waldemar Daninsky.Naschy's werewolf, besides having a propensity for awkwardly leaping upon his victims, was a damned sight more brutal than the lycanthropic portrayals of earlier actors like Lon Chaney, Jr., Henry Hull, or Steven Ritchie(!), borrowing more from Oliver Reed's snarlingly memorable turn(I think, anyway), with goopy blood seemingly ever-dripping from his plastic dimestore fangs(!!).The whole sordid affair has been lovingly restored on dvd by the fiends over at Shriek Show/Media Blasters with extended and deleted scenes(from the original Spanish cut of the film), trailers, interviews, tv spot, easter eggs, and still gallery.If you're too high brow to include shlocky fun of the highest order in your snooty movie shelves, and you're too much of a skirt-wearin' Mary to slam your own head in the refrigerator for me(I fucking hate most snoot-bags), then just rent this one out and give it a shot, it might leave you howling, if only for the wrong reasons...
Just tease the head, baby.You know how I gotta have it.
After some nonsense about the Frankensteins being cursed for their crimes with the mark of the werewolf, and thus, becoming Wolfsteins, we're transported to a masquerade ball as held at a count's mansion, where a swarthy stranger decked out in a red Robin Hood outfit strolls up and cockblocks the countess' boyfriend while telling her that he's none other than "His Satanic Majesty" himself.No, he's really Waldemar Daninsky(Paul Naschy)in flashy disguise, and all of her sex is belongs to him now, plix.The countess and her less barrel-chested beau, Rudolph, decide to explore castle ruins near Waldemar's digs, but he cuts their Scooby Doo antics short with long-winded legends about the silver crucifix-staked corpse of Lord Wolfstein located in the family crypts.Daninsky then invites a gypo couple to seek refuge within the walls of the abandoned castle.As gypos often do, they repay his kindness by pilfering wine and attempting to rob the tomb of the lord of the manor.You remember, the one with the dagger eternally shanked into him?Probably a bad move.No sooner than the greedy tramps can pull the blade from the remains, they're set upon by a vicious werewolf.Faced with the murder of a couple of fellow aristos, the Count organizes a hunting party for the lycanthrope now terrorizing the land that consists of Waldemar and Rudolph, who's nearly wolf-bitten in the ass, but saved in the nick by his new pal, who, unfortunately, isn't as lucky.Suddenly grateful, Rudolph speeds the pentagram-scarred Daninsky back to his pad, for to chain his ass up before the full moon rises.Yeah, I 've got a funny feeling those chains'll never hold him once he goes all Shaggy D.A....
That's right, Waldemar(Paul Naschy).It's the turtleneck dungeon for you.
Once the lunar rays hit Waldemar, he turns into a snarling bundle of crepe wool fury via psychedelic bleeding screen effect, making short work of his shackles and even shorter work of two unfortunate peons nearby(the male gets his monkey ass handed to him, throat ripped out in the process, then set afire like a pile of debt collectors notices at one of Smith's Bonfires of Irresponsibility).The countess searches for her new love interest, despite the disapproval of her old love interest, only to find him chained up in the dungeon and pleading to be eighty-sixed before he treats anymore peasants like Rodney King on a Friday night bender.They discover some forty year old letters from Wolfstein to a Dr. Mikelhov(Julián Ugarte), concerning a cure for lycanthropy, while rummaging through the castle study.They contact the good doctor, who agrees to help the ailing Daninsky, but when he arrives with his wife under the cover of some timely, atmospheric fog, he helps to chain the poor bastard to a dingy dungeon wall instead.Rudolph is seduced n' tapped by the doc's wife, and the countess suffers a similar fate at the hands of Mikhelov, who also chains Lord Wolfstein into the cell with Waldemar.Doctor, my balls, he's a sassy aristo-vampire, and so's his old lady!Both prisoners transform into werewolves and square off in a Spanish dungeon deathmatch that proves fatal for the hairy lord, who gets gnawed on like a moldy strip of teriyaki beef jerky by the younger, more virile crepe wool-face.The next night Waldemar stakes Mrs. Mikhelov betwixt the chest circles, but as he's about to likewise oblige her blood-drinking husband, he's got the nerve to rise from his coffin.There's an artsy slo-mo sequence contrasting the vampire's grace and the werewolf's brutality, after which the wolfman does the poor man's Dracula like a roid raged barbarian a'snatch-pursin' Granny Clampett.The countess then helps her love to store some hot silver in his chest, freeing him from both the curse and his tragically short lifespan.Roll the credits...
"Jou wan' soam o' dis, ese?Doan choo know I'm lobo?!!"
Naschy would follow this effort up with 1970's Assignment Terror and The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman in 1971, La furia del Hombre Lobo(1972), Dr. Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo(1972), Curse of the Devil(1974), Night of the Howling Beast(1975), Night of the Werewolf(1981), La bestia y la espada mágica(1983), Licántropo: El asesino de la luna llena(1996), and finally, the direct-to-video Tomb of the Werewolf(2004), all with some incarnation of his Waldemar Daninsky character.He died on November 30th, 2009, at the age of 75, after a long career in genre film spanning 100 films, while enjoying an unexpected resurgence in popularity.Predating the vampire-werewolf battles of the Underworld series by several decades, tonight's entry won't make anybody forget those movies, but it is a good, empty-headed time to be had for fans of lycanthropy-based horror movies and b-movie bad/goodness.On the scale, don't let the single Wop score fool you.Add to your query, you know you wanna...
"...derecho entre los melones!Ayiiiiii!"


beedubelhue said...

Where barrel-chested guys are concerned, it takes one to know one.


Kev D. said...

Long live Naschy!

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