Jan 16, 2015

The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman

Presented by The Movie & Music Network

1971 Spain
Directed by: Lèon Klimovsky

Waldemar Daninsky lies dead, shot by silver bullets, because he was believed to be a werewolf. During his autopsy the doctor removes the bullets and Waldemar awakens as a bloodthirsty werewolf and escapes from the hospital.

Later two young women Elvira and Genevieve are researching the occult history in France when they decide to check out the legend of an Hungarian countess believed to be a vampire.
They set out to find the countess' resting place when they stop in a remote village and meet Waldemar, who lives in his secluded castle on the outskirts of the village with his deranged sister Elisabeth. He claims to be a historical writer and offers to help the two women in finding the tomb of the vampire countess. They find the grave near some ancient ruins, and as they unearth the tomb, Genevieve manages to cut herself as she pulls a silver cross out of the cadaver. As blood spills into the grave, the horrifying countess comes back to life. As night falls the vampire strikes at the two women, and kills Genevieve, leaving it up to Elvira and Waldemar, with his dark secret, to battle the vampires before its too late.

Starring the late Spanish Horror Icon Paul Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky, a role he would reprise in
over a dozen sequels, The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman is pure trash horror heaven. Naschy does a great job as the titular werewolf and reclusive who has to live with his painful secret, and its always a pleasure seeing him on the screen, either as man or frothing werewolf.

The vampires float around cemetery's and corridors in slow motion creating a dreamlike state whenever the evil countess shows up to suck blood from one of her victims. The pacing in the film i spot on and it literary drips of gothic atmosphere. Crumbling graveyards, foggy corridors, ancient castles and a perpetual wind howling, the mood is fantastic. There is even a bit of gore thrown in for good measure.

There are a couple of downright bizarre moments in the film; a skeletal specter that attacks Elvira during her trip into the ruins is never explained, yet helps give the film an almost surreal quality.
And there's the lunatic villager who drives Elvira to town. This scene is filled with a long monologue from him about everything from werewolves to his preference in women's hair length.
The whole subplot about Waldemar's sister Elisabeth falls in to the bizarre category as she randomly attacks the two women to protect her brothers secret. In the end though it ends up giving the film an even more creepy and bizarre vibe.

Nothing short of a moody monster mash, and pure trashy fun, The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Women is up to par with Naschy's best work and would serve as a great double feature with Horror Rises from the Tomb. I can't recommend this enough for fans of trashy horror films!

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