Thursday, 26 November 2015

Cinema & TV: The Werewolf Cinematic Timeline, Part III: 1970-1979

Hello everyone and welcome to what should probably be the analysis and review of The Wolfman, but is, instead, the third part of the Werewolf Cinematic Timeline!

Quite frankly, I have been taking much longer that I thought I would with the review, because I've been busy with many other things both in real and virtual life and so haven't had the time to enter the right mindset to sit down and continue writing. That's where the Werewolf Cinematic Timeline Part III comes in. The nature of this series of posts allowed me to keep working on the short summaries for the movies listed during short periods of time during which I was free to do something for the website. It was a pretty long process, too, because this time the number of titles increased to 28, compared with 17 titles included in Part II. It did not help that it was sometimes a little difficult to find information about the plots of some of the movies, so some extra digging was required here and there. Additionally, I was right in my assumption that I would have to cut Part III on year 1979, because there were just so many productions that came out in the 70s that the post would just be too long. Not that it's not pretty long as it is right now! So, all in all, I think sticking to the decade-by-decade division will be the best course of action.

Researching all these movies, year by year, has proven very educational for me, and a lot of fun, too. I hope that you who are reading this will also share in my experience and find something that will pique your interest. Enjoy!


1970


El Bosque del Lobo

An adaptation of a novel by Carlos Martinez-Barbeito, the movie is partially based on the life events of Manuel Blanco Romasanta, a 19th-century Spaniard who claimed that he was a werewolf after murdering many men, women, and children before he was brought to justice. The movie is said to very well portray the reality of the times, when criminal impulses were often easily misunderstood as symptoms of lycanthropy.


Los Monstruos del Terror 
(The Monsters of Terror / Dracula vs. Frankenstein / Reincarnator / Assignment Terror)

The third instalment in the series of films about the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky, played by Paul Naschy. Aliens (yes, you heard it right) that run a travelling circus as a cover for their much more insidious plans decide to revive a werewolf (Count Daninsky, from whose body they extract the silver bullets he was shot with in the first movie in order to revive him), a vampire, a mummy, and Frankenstein's monster in order to use them to take over Earth. Their plan is to discover the reason why these monsters are so frightening to the inhabitants of Earth and then use them to conquer the planet. However, their plot is foiled by Daninsky, who single-handedly gets rid of the other monsters and subsequently blows up the aliens' base, after which he ends up shot with silver bullets fired by a woman that loves him enough to end his torment (AGAIN).

Nympho Werewolf 

(no poster available at the moment)

This is one of those movies that seems to have vanished from the pages of cinematic history. I remember hearing something or other about it ten years ago, back when my interest in werewolves was still new, but I have lost whatever information I might have had from that time and the only thing I could find so far is that this was a low-budget and low-quality Portuguese werewolf movie. I will post an update should I manage to find something more.

La Furia del Hombre Lobo 
(The Fury of the Wolfman / The Werewolf Never Sleeps)

The fourth movie in the series about Count Waldemar Daninsky, played by Paul Naschy. Although it was filmed in 1970, it wasn't released until 1972 because of problems its makers had to find a distributor. It is still classified as a 1970 movie, so here it will stay. Fury of the Wolfman presents a different origin story to that shown in Mark of the Wolfman of how Count Daninsky became a werewolf. Here, the Count travels to Tibet, where he is bitten by a yeti, which somehow causes him to become a werewolf. As a werewolf, Daninsky kills his wife and her lover, but then dies during his escape attempt. After that, he is revived by a mad scientist, who wants to use him in her mind control experiments. Additionally, she brings back to life Daninsky's wife, who is now a werewolf as well after her husband's fatal bite from earlier, and pits the two werewolves against each other. Daninsky kills his wife once again and is in the end shot dead by the scientist's assistant, who loves him (they could have really come up with a different end to each of these stories if they were to make sequels). 


La Noche de Walpurgis 
(The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman / Werewolf Shadow)

The very successful fifth part in the series of movies about the werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky, played by Paul Naschy, which picks up after the events of Fury of the Wolfman. Here, Daninsky is brought back to life after two doctors remove the silver bullets he was "killed" with in the previous movie while performing an autopsy on his (not-so-dead after all) body. As expected, the werewolf escapes from the morgue, killing the doctors on the way. He then returns home to his castle (the one from the first movie perhaps? But this is supposed to be a different continuity... I don't think there's any point in trying to make sense of all this...). This causes the townsfolk of the nearby village to start spreading rumours that a werewolf lives in the castle. While there, the count is visited by two women who are looking for the grave of a notorious murderess and, reportedly, vampire. Once they find her resting place, which happens to be in the vicinity of Daninsky's castle, they accidentally revive the vampire and become her servants. The werewolf count is then forced to battle and defeat the vampire, after which - you guessed it - he is shot dead (oh really?) by one of the mentioned women, who somewhere on the way has fallen in love with him.

1971

Beast of the Yellow Night

During World War II, the devil saves a man from death on condition that he become his servant and carry out his will for the next twenty-five years. As such, the man gains the ability to possess people and bring out the evil inside them. This evil, as it turns out, makes them turn into a hairy werewolf-like monster that stalks and kills other people.

Dr. Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo 
(Dr Jekyll and the Werewolf )

The sixth part of the series where Paul Naschy plays Count Waldemar Daninsky. Our protagonist (who, once again, is somehow alive after the previous film) sets out on a quest to find a cure for werewolfism. To this end, he visits the grandson of the famous Dr. Jekyll. The man gives him a serum that splits his personality similarly to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He hopes that this will subdue the werewolf inside the Count, but as it turns out it only leads to the creation of an even more savage monster.

O Homem Lobo
(The Werewolf)

(no poster available at the moment)

A Brazilian black-and-white film about an orphan boy who transforms into a werewolf at night during the full moon and causes panic among the inhabitants of a small country town.

Santo y el Blue Demon Contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo
(Santo & Blue Demon vs. Dracula & the Wolfman)

Santo and Blue Demon - two of the most famous Mexican luchadores of the time - work with a couple of detectives to stop the grandson of Dr Frankenstein from performing wicked brain transplant experiments, which apparently involve turning someone into a werewolf.

Werewolves On Wheels

During a ride, a group of bikers comes across an old church, in which they decide to take shelter for the night. It soon is revealed that the church is home to a satanic cult, which drugs the bikers, making them quickly fall asleep. The same night, the cultists cast a curse on the biker leader's girlfriend, which makes her turn into a werewolf every subsequent night and one by one kill off other bikers every time they stop to rest for the night. Her curse soon spreads to her boyfriend. The two werewolves are eventually confronted by the gang in the movie's climax.


1972

Moon of the Wolf

The mauled body of a young woman is found by the police in a small Louisiana town of Marsh Island. Although she looks like she was killed by an animal, the woman's brother is convinced it was her boyfriend who murdered her. The local sheriff conducts an investigation and interviews the girl's dying father who warns him of the "loug garog" (which, later on, turns out to have been a mispronunciation of the French term "loup garou", meaning "werewolf"). Subsequently, he visits the plantation estate of a man and his sister, who are the last remaining members of their family. Asked about the night of the murder, the man answers that he suffered an episode of malaria and doesn't remember anything. After a couple more people are killed, the plantation owner's sister reveals to the sheriff that the curse of werewolfism runs in their family and that her brother has probably inherited it. In the end, she is forced to kill her brother once he turns into a werewolf during a full moon and tries to kill her.

The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!

This American production tells the story of a family of natural-born werewolves - the Moonies (hur, hur, hur), for that is their name - who live in rural England of the early 1900s. The father, who claims to be nearly two hundred years old, has spent many years researching possible ways to lift the family curse, but to no avail. When the youngest daughter returns home from medical school, she is hailed as the last and only hope for the family, because she is the only member of the family who does not turn into a werewolf during the full moon. However, as it turns out, she secretly has an agenda of her own and lifting the family's curse is just an excuse for pursuing her own goals.

El Retorno de Walpurgis 
(The Return of Walpurgis / Curse of the Devil The Black Harvest of Countess Dracula)

The seventh part of the saga of Count Waldemar Daninsky, the werewolf. This time, we once again are presented with a different origin story of how the count became a werewolf. Daninsky, a wealthy man who lives in his castle, one night kills a wolf on his castle's grounds. After death, the wolf transforms into a human and it is revealed that the werewolf was a member of a band of Gypsies that were camped nearby. When the news reaches the camp, one of the Gypsy women casts a curse on Waldemar for killing one of their brethren. The woman devises a plot to punish him and sends a beautiful young Gypsy to seduce the count, which she succeeds in doing. While he is asleep, the woman gives him a bite using a wolf's skull she managed to smuggle into the castle, and the count thus becomes a werewolf. In addition to this, it is revealed that one of Daninsky's ancestors was a member of the Holy Inquisition and was cursed to become a werewolf by a woman he sentenced to burn on a stake. Said woman is then revived and the confrontation between her and the werewolf Daninsky constitutes the movie's climax.

1973

Chabelo y Pepito Contra Los Monstruos

A Mexican comedy in which two young boys decide to sneak out of their boy-scout camping trip in search of treasure and adventure. They find a cave, in which (somehow) they end up surrounded by all the classic Universal Studios monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Wolf Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, who they have to all outsmart in order to not get eaten.


The Boy Who Cried Werewolf

A boy named Richie is taken by his divorced father to a desolate mountain cabin for a father-and-son weekend. During a hike at night, the two are attacked by a werewolf, which the father manages to kill, but not before being bitten. Upon examining the creature's body, it appears a human once again, so the father dismisses his son's ramblings about a monster. The local police cannot identify the body, so the man is labeled as a mad drifter and the case is quickly closed. Richie, however, insists that his father killed a werewolf, which makes his mother send him to a psychiatrist. As therapy, Richie returns to his father's cabin for another few days, during which the man unknowingly transforms into a werewolf (because, of course, it's the full moon at the time) and chases after him. Richie manages to escape and finds shelter for the night at a newlywed couple's camper. He tells them he saw a werewolf in his father's cabin, but they don't believe him. The next morning, Richie's father arrives at the camper and takes his son home. That night, expecting to see the werewolf again, Richie hides inside the cabin and witnesses his father turn into the monster from the day before. When the boy tells his mother that he's afraid to be alone with his father because he's a werewolf, another visit to the psychiatrist follows. The doctor advises that the whole family spend time together in the mountains and they agree, which leads to the movie's climax where everything, and more, is revealed.

The Werewolf of Washington

An American horror comedy which is a satire on a couple individuals from the surroundings of Richard Nixon during his presidency. A reporter, who happens to have an affair with the president's daughter, is sent to Hungary. While there, he is bitten by a werewolf and contracts lycanthropy. After returning to the US, he is given the position of the president's press assistant. Having discovered that he is a werewolf, the reporter tries to tell others about it, but nobody believes him. Needless to say, soon afterwards people start getting killed off by a mysterious creature.

Blood

(no poster available at the moment)

In the 1930s London, Dr. Orlovski, who is a werewolf, keeps a garden full of man-eating plants. He teams up with Count Dracula's daughter and together they release swarms of blood-sucking bats into the city, which transform its citizens into vampire-like monsters. As is to be expected, total chaos ensues.

1974


Scream of the Wolf

An adventure writer (played by Peter Graves) is called by the police to investigate a series of murders that the authorities can't solve. The murderer leaves no clear trail and the only clues around the scenes are wolf pawprints that end abruptly and turn into human footprints. Unable to solve the mystery, the writer recruits a retired big-game hunter to track down whatever preys on the local townsfolk. Together, they begin to suspect that the killer is more than just a human.


The Beast Must Die
(Black Werewolf)

This horror is perfect for those who enjoyed playing Cluedo as kids. A millionaire invites a group of people to spend some time at his mansion in rural England. Upon their arrival, he reveals that one of them is a werewolf and must be killed before he kills the others. The people are then subjected to various tests that aim to bring out the werewolf inside - these include touching silverware, being exposed to the light of the full moon (you'd think that would work, right?) and the scent of wolfsbane. When these experiments don't bring any results and people start dying, the mansion's owner becomes increasingly desperate in his search. He makes his guests undergo a final test - to place a silver bullet in their mouths. During this test, one of the women transforms into a werewolf and jumps at the host, who kills her by shooting her with a silver bullet. However, it turns out she is not the only werewolf in the mansion and that she contracted the curse accidentally. The hunt for the original werewolf begins and once he's found, he is killed by the millionaire, but the latter gets bitten in the process. Not wanting to become a werewolf himself nor infect anyone else with lycanthropy, the man returns to his mansion and commits suicide. The movie originally included a 30-minute break where the viewers were encouraged to guess who the werewolf is, but it was later re-released under the title Black Werewolf, in which the break was skipped.

1975

La Bête
(The Beast)

A French pornographic erotic fantasy horror which (loosely) tells the story of a noble family who have financially fallen on hard times. A light of hope appears when the head of the family's best friend, a wealthy businessman, offers to marry his daughter to the noble's son. Upon arrival, Lucy (for that is her name) questions the family about some rumours she heard about ghosts and monsters appearing in the estate's vicinity, to which she is told a story of Romilda who was said to have battled a beast in the local forest two hundred years earlier. On the night of the wedding, Lucy retires to her room and dreams that she's the Romilda from the story. In the dream, she follows a lamb into the forest, only to find that it has been torn apart by a black-furred werewolf-like beast. She runs away, but the beast follows, finally catching up to her. The two then proceed to have sex. Lucy wakes up with a start and goes to the room next to hers to check if her husband-to-be hasn't visited her, but she finds him fast asleep. She then returns to bed and keeps dreaming about making love with the beast, waking up and checking on her intended two more times. Eventually, her dream ends with the beast's death (apparently from exhaustion). When she visits her future husband's room for the final time, she discovers that he is lying on the floor, dead. Having raised alarm, everyone comes to inspect the body and it is revealed that the estate owner's son is the beast from Lucy's dream.

La Maldición de la Bestia 
(Curse of the Beast Night of the Howling Beast / The Werewolf and the Yeti / Hall of the Mountain King)

The eighth part in the saga of the werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky (Paul Naschy). Similarly to how it was done before, this movie cuts itself off from the continuity of its prequels and provides a new origin story of the main character. A yeti also appears in this one, but, unlike in the Fury of the Wolfman, is not related to Daninsky's lycanthropy. Instead, here the count becomes a werewolf after he is bitten by two female vampires (somehow, this works). Daninsky travels to Tibet in search of the yeti and is captured by two vampire women who turn him into a werewolf. In the movie's climax, he is pitted against a yeti, but fights it only briefly. This, in addition to an increased amount of nudity and gore than in the other movies in the series, disappointed the fans and Paul Naschy did not return to the silver screen as Count Daninsky for the next five long years.

Werewolf of Woodstock

A farmer who hates hippies tries to destroy some leftover equipment when Woodstock ends. As a result, he is electrocuted, which turns him into a werewolf (don't ask me how that works...). Now, every time there is a thunderstorm, the farmer transforms into a hairy beast and stalks the vicinity. Meanwhile, a band of hippies arrives in Woodstock to record their album on the famous stage so they can boast about it on the album's cover. While there, they come across the werewolf, who first attacks their dog and then abducts one of the girls and locks her up in an abandoned building. Subsequently, the farmer-werewolf also kills the local policeman and a doctor, so the authorities finally take notice. Two officers sent to investigate the scene soon figure out that the culprit is a werewolf and, in order to dispatch the beast and save the kidnapped girl, try to lure it out in the open using rock music, which it so much hates. The plan fails, however, and the werewolf escapes with the girl and heads for the nearby power station, where, after a struggle, it is put to rest with a silver bullet.

Legend of the Werewolf

Incorporating some elements of Guy Endore's novel The Werewolf of Paris, this British horror film tells the story of an orphan boy who is raised by wolves and eventually is taken in by a travelling circus and put on display as a "Wolf Boy". Once he grows up, the boy kills one of the troupe's members during a full moon and flees to Paris, where he finds a job as a zookeeper. While there, he develops a crush on one of a group of prostitutes that regularly visit the zoo. Meanwhile, he  transforms into a werewolf during the full moon and starts murdering the locals. One night, he visits the brothel where his crush works and sees her with a client, which angers him to the point that he transforms into a werewolf and kills the client and wreaks havoc at the establishment. Rejected by the prostitute, the werewolf kills even more visitors of the brothel. Soon after, a police surgeon (played by Peter Cushing) starts following the trail of murders and aims to catch what he thinks is a wolf that has escaped the local zoo.


Nazareno Cruz y el Lobo
(Nazareno Cruz and the Wolf)


The story of this movie is based on the Guarani monster of legend, the Luison, which over time, with the arrival of European settlers in America, gradually lost many of its original traits and took on the characteristics of the werewolf. The titular character is a young farmer who lives in the countryside. Just like the Luison, he was unfortunate enough to be born as the seventh son of his parents and so is widely regarded as a victim of the werewolf curse by the townsfolk. As he grows up, Nazareno falls in love with a girl named Griselda. When he turns twenty, however, the Devil appears before him and tells him that his curse is real and that he will turn into a wolf during every full moon. He gives the boy an ultimatum: if  he gives up his love for Griselda, his curse will be lifted. Nazareno refuses to do so and becomes a werewolf during the full moon and starts murdering people.

1976

La Lupa Mannara 
(Wolf Woman / The Legend of the Wolf Woman / She-Wolf / Terror of the She Wolf / Naked Werewolf Woman)

A girl who is a rape victim develops a hatred for men. As she grows up, she finds out she resembles one of her ancestors who is said to have been a werewolf. The girl then starts having dreams about being said ancestor and turning into a werewolf, so she is taken to a psychiatrist by her father. The psychiatrist concludes that Daniela may be suffering from lycanthropy (the medical condition). When Daniela's sister returns home from her studies, the woman seduces her sister's fiancee and lures him into the woods, where she kills him by ripping his throat out with her teeth. Driven insane by this, Daniela is put in an asylum, from which she escapes, however, after killing another patient. On her way, she murders another woman and then a man that tries to rape her. The authorities begin to connect the woman with the murders and set out to find her, but she is first found by a man who is so unlike the other men Daniela has met in her life that she falls in love with him. However, their happy days end when the man is killed by three burglars who break into their house and then rape Daniela. Soon after, she takes her revenge on them by ripping their throats out. Later on, she is found and captured in the forest by police officers and medical staff, and locked away in an asylum for the rest of her life.

1978

Death Moon

Due to work-related stress, a man is sent on forced vacation by his doctor. He chooses to visit Hawaii, as that's where his grandfather worked as a missionary. Once there, he finds out that his grandfather, as well as all his male descendants were once cursed by a local tribe practising Voodoo magic. The said curse makes our protagonist transform into a werewolf at night, in whose shape he begins murdering young women on the island.


1979


Wolfman

Colin Glasgow returns to his ancestral home after the death of his father. He soon learns that his family has been cursed and that his father and grandfather were werewolves and that he is next in line to become the curse's victim. He finds out that it was the local reverend, who is a member of a satanic cult, that put the curse upon his family, so he sets out on a mission to kill the reverend and free himself and his line from the fate of becoming werewolves.
O Coronel e o Lobisomem
(The Colonel and the Werewolf)

Based on the romance novel of the same title by Jose Candido de Carvalho, this Brazilian movie (which was apparently remade in 2005) tells the story of Ponciano, who inherits his father's plantation after the latter's death and is made a colonel. However, he soon feels too lonely and decides to travel to the city, where he partakes in the pleasures of life. As a result, he spends the entirety of his father's fortune, which leads him to lose his sanity. He goes back to the plantation, where, with an imaginary gun in hand, he battles many fantastic imaginary enemies, including a werewolf at the end.

* * *

And that is that for the third part of the Werewolf Cinematic Timeline! As always, if I come across something that is werewolf related that I haven't listed here, I will come back and update the post. In the meantime, I hope that it will take me less than a whole month (oh dear, has it really been that long?) to post something in the nearest future. That said, I'm not sure what the next post will be about, but if it's another part of the timeline, then I will be tackling the 80s, when werewolf movies were even more popular than in the 70s. Meanwhile, have a happy Thanksgiving and see you next time!