Thursday, 4 June 2015

Werewolf Shadow aka La Noche de Walpurgis (1971, Leon Klimovsky)

My first ever exposure to the world and works of the late Jacinto Molina (aka Paul Naschy), "Werewolf Shadow" made quite an impression on my younger self, due to its heady cocktail of Wolf Man, hot Euro babes, sexy vampire chicks and needless gore. I was around 13 years old, and thought that i had discovered the greatest movie ever made by the hands of mortal men. Perhaps not, but it sure is good fun.

Molina / Naschy here portrays the eternal werewolf Waldemar Daninsky for around the third or fourth time - not that these movies have any real continuity between them at all - reanimated by a foolish pathologist removing the silver bullets from his heart. Our hairy hero this time round gets involved with a pair of hot French girl students (who can blame the guy? Elvira and - especially - Genevieve could bring out the growling beast in any man) who are searching for the grave of an 18th century vampire, Countess Wandessa (flagrantly based upon Elizabeth Bathory). Wandessa is revived, and rises from the grave to do battle with heroic lycanthrope Waldemar, but not before putting the bite on the lovely Genevieve in a decidedly Sapphic deadly embrace. Sadly, our furry friend has to dispatch this newly created Gallic ghoul, as well as his own vampirised sister in a gruesomely fun scene of staking and beheading. It's hard to feel sad at this fraternal strife however, as said sister was partial even when human to a spot of incoherent rambling and lesbian rape. It takes a lot to make your werewolf brother look like the acceptable sibling.

After slashing up a forest-dwelling hobo, and eating the throat of handyman Unlucky Pierre who does kidnap and rape on the weekends, Waldemar has his final showdown with Wandessa: the "Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman" battle of the movie's less than subtle US title. These twin titans of terror engage in a fight to the (un)death in the final reel. I advise any sensible viewer to stop the tape or disc before Genevieve's annoying cop ex-boyfriend (I think he's called Marcel, but he's known in our house as "Sneb") is magically released from his chains. I prefer to think he was left there chained to the wall of the tomb to rot.


  1. Memory fails as to why, but Marcel is indeed known as 'Sneb'. I have asked my brother, and he doesn't know why, but nodded and said 'Sneb'. So - Sneb. Fuck knows.

  2. The problem with starting to spell 'Genevieve' is that you don't know where or how to stop...