Monday, September 21, 2009

THE WEREWOLF VS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN aka LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS (1971) Starring Paul Naschy. Directed by Leon Klimovsky. Music by Anton Abril.

Welcome once again dear friends to another addition of Zillagord’s Corner, AKA Dimly Lit Theatre. Today, we are being whisked away to the French countryside, which is in actuality the Spanish countryside. I know it’s an epic journey from Spain to France, but evidently our amigos on “The Continent” think us foolish gringos can’t tell the difference. Those crazy Euros! They all use the same money, too! Nothing is scarier then the prospects of a one-world government. Well, except maybe this film.

The guiltiest parties involved with this one include European horror legend Paul Naschy, who may be Joaquin Phoenix’s father and who has been dubbed the “Lon Chaney of Europe.” We all know how well things turned out for poor ol’ Lon! Naschy has made nearly 100 flicks; some of the more luridly titled include FRANKENTSTEIN’S BLOODY TERROR, VAMPIRE PLAYGIRLS, HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN (aka MY MOM’S HOUSE—just kiddin’ Ma!), and COUNTESS DRACULA’S ORGY OF BLOOD. Flick is directed by Leon Klimovsky, whose blood-spattered resume includes STRANGE LOVE OF THE VAMPIRES, I HATE MY BODY (aka WELCOME TO MY WORLD), and Vampire's Night Orgy! Finally, the soundtrack is provided by award-winning Spanish composer Anton Abril. Anton has over 170 credits to his name, the least of which include ZOMBIE FLESH EATER, MAN EATER OF HYDRA, and Return Of The Evil Dead. With all this talent, how could they go wrong? Well….

With an incredibly grandiose title like this, you know this flick is gonna suck. File this on the shelf next to Zandor Vorkov’s DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN, KING KONG VS GODZILLA or SANTO VS… ANYBODY. Actually, retitle it THE INCREDIBLE EUROPEAN HORROR EXPLOITATIONEERS WHO STARTED FILMING WITHOUT REGARD TO ESTABLISHED HORROR LEGENDS OR ADEQUATE LIGHTING AND TURNED THEATRE PATRONS INTO DISCONTENT MIXED-UP ZOMBIES and then file it. As you may have guessed, much like other “VS” films, the anti-climatic fight between the title characters lasts about 30 seconds, and in this case, it occurs in a (what else??) dimly-lit cavern, so you gotta use your imagination, which has unfortunately been blunted by the 80+ minutes of viewing “pleasure” previously endured. Ah, the cruel irony. OK, on to the particulars…

Nothing like a relaxing smoke after a successful operation! I bet they still do this in Europe! Actually, I’m surprised he wasn’t smoking DURING surgery! Too bad nobody told Doc smoking is bad for him…

Not only does it cause cancer-- it wakes up werewolves! Naschy asked for a slab in the non-smoking section of the morgue!! Carnage ensues.

Then it’s off to gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that) Paree via the wonder of stock footage where we find Elvira (Gaby Fuchs, MARK OF THE DEVIL, GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES FOR ADULTS and other German sexploitationers) in a hip club, ‘splain’ her tres believable research on ancient legends…

Spooky stuff! It sounds like a grand idea to go poking around looking for evidence of Satanic worship, blood-drinking rituals, and paint-by-numbers Beelzebub portraits.

Elvira’s friend Genevieve (fellow sexploitation vet Barbara Capell, THE GIRLS FROM ATLANTIS, WOMEN FOR SALE) tags along for to add extra eye-candy to the precedings…

Damn! Car trouble! I thought European cars were reliable. I guess horror movie clichés take precedent over genius of French engineering. Oh well, another opportunity for smoking. Waldemar (Naschy) comes along to help and invites girls to dinner, stating “I’m thirsty for intelligent conversation.” No oasis on the horizon, dude!

After dinner, girls retire to quarters for a scantily-clad discussion about how dreamy Waldemar is and their plans to awaken long-dormant evil spirits in the morning. Genevieve also ‘splains the flick’s crappy lighting by stating “It’s possible that the insulation hasn’t been connected yet.” All this, and brains, too!

Here we see the appropriately outfitted trio preparing for their archeological shenanigans. Unfortunately, they forget the potato salad…

While Elvira scours the ruins for a decent Kosher deli, dumb-ass Genevieve and Waldemar awake the corpse of evil queen Wandesa when a) they pull the cross out of her chest and b) Genevieve cuts herself and accidentally drips blood into the mouth of the corpse!!! What’re the odds??

That night, Countess Wandesa comes for Genevieve. She’s supposed to be finishing college, but evidently she waited to “experiment” with her sexuality until now…

Whadda relief! She’s so happy to be sexually liberated, even though she now has hideous overbite and has a strange compulsion to watch women’s basketball…

She then goes after Elvira. All those lingerie scenes created some sexual tension!

Elvira is attacked… DAMN! It’s only a farkakte dream sequence!! Why is the dream sequence always the best part? Here’s an idea: make the WHOLE FLICK a dream sequence! Oh, that’s the BOB NEWHART show? Sorry…

Meanwhile, Waldemar discovers he not only has heartache of Psoriasis, but the “pentagonal” mark of the werewolf as well.

He ‘splains the 411 to Elvira. He tells her that silver bullets cannot kill him (even though he was dead before they were removed by Dr. Nicotine at outset of flick). To die, he must be stabbed by someone who loves him with something called a Maenza cross….

The one they removed from the Countess. Man, this is one convoluted flick. I love the way they invent new legends to suit the plot, it really adds to the legitimacy of the precedings.

Finally, the Countess (Patty Shepard, Assignment Terror), HANNAH, QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES, SLUGS)comes to wreak her ultimate vengeance: the awaking of Satan on Walpurgis Night. Or perhaps she’s looking for that retainer she lost all those years ago…

OOOOH, I’m SHAKIN’….

Waldemar proceeds to kick her ass, somehow killing the Countess without driving a stake through her heart. Man, this flick plays it fast’n’loose with the monster rules!

Elvira then stabs Waldemar with the cross, and that’s that. Or is it? Of course not. Waldemar is back in a jiffy to do battle with Dr Jekyll in (what else?) DR JEKYLL AND THE WOLFMAN. No word on whether Mr. Hyde tags along, but I’m guessing he’s in it if smoking is allowed.

4 comments:

wiec? said...

that Countess has some of the most pronounced fangs i've ever seen. they're like 2 inches long. her poor bottom lip.

RODAN! said...

That one photo of the Countess looks like Eddie Munster!! Rawk, rawk!!

prof. grewbeard said...

this movie's awesome, get outta town!...

zillagord said...

@ Grewbeard:
In retrospect, this movie really wasn't as bad as I made it sound. After "Beast of the Yellow Night," it was a monsterpiece!

But "awesome"...? I think not. A few nipples and slow motion vampires lurking amongst dry ice do not consitute awesome in my book.

Thanks for the feedback, though, Prof. I do appreciate it. In fact, I think YOU are awesome! And I haven't even seen your nipples.

Peace,
Zilla

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