The Monster Mash-Ups - Part 10: El Hombre Lobo Appendix


After having published all the monster mash-up movies I'd been able to find, I had moved on to a new, short piece about recent films with vampire women. That was how I stumbled across mention of a movie called The Werewolf vs The Vampire Women (AKA La Noche de Walpurgis) from 1970/71.  This led me to Spanish actor Paul Naschy, which would in short order reveal to me an entire series of films -- TWELVE of them! -- in which he starred as Waldemar Daninsky, El Hombre Lobo, and that virtually ALL of those films were monster mash-ups.  I haven't finished digging through all the information yet, but he may have even had others outside of the series.

Rather than rushing to cram a bunch of "This exists but I haven't seen it" listings into the preceding article, I'm just going to list them here, and then move them into the main article once I get a chance to see them.  I'll be honest with you; it seems unlikely that I will get to that many of them unless I really enjoy the first couple that I see, or I get an offer to expand The Monster Mash-Ups into a book  I'd watch everything if I got a book offer -- including Twilight, Monster Mash and (mwulf) Monster High -- so consider that a dare, book publishers.  Make me really suffer for my art.

Per the nature of grindhouse cinema, many of these were given altered names for American theaters and/or video releases.  As in Godzilla movies, continuity is of only the most marginal importance.  Sometimes there's a reason El Hombre Lobo is back from the dead, and sometimes there isn't.  Sometimes he's already a werewolf, and sometimes he becomes a werewolf all over again.  Don't worry about it.  If they were in business to make sense, they'd open a bank.

Mark of the Wolf Man - 1968
AKA Frankenstein's Bloody Terror
AKA La Marca del Hombre Lobo
Written by Paul Naschy
Directed by Enrique Eguiluz

Featuring: werewolves and vampires

Despite the American retitling of "Frankenstein's Bloody Terror," there is no Frankenstein in this film.

The Monsters of Terror - 1970
AKA Assignment Terror
AKA Dracula vs Frankenstein
AKA Reincarnator
AKA Los Monstruos del Terror

Written by Paul Naschy
Directed by Tulio Demicheli

Featuring: aliens, a werewolf, a mummy, a vampire and Frankenstein's monster

Aliens from space, using a carnival as a front, revive the monsters to better understand human fear in a bid to conquer Earth.

The Fury of the Wolfman - 1972
AKA The Wolfman Never Sleeps
AKA La Furia del Hombre Lobo

Written by Paul Naschy
Directed by JM Zabalza

Featuring: werewolves, a yeti, assorted living dead

Though originally made for a 1970 release, it didn't come out due to a lack of funding and poor quality.  Naschy hated it and blamed director Zabalza.

The Werewolf vs The Vampire Woman - 1971
AKA Walpurgis Night
AKA The Werewolf's Shadow
AKA La Noche de Walpurgis

Written by Paul Naschy & Hans Munkel
Directed by Leon Klimovsky

Featuring: a werewolf, vampires and a skeletal knight

This opens with a medical examiner removing two silver bullets from the heart of the late Waldemar Daninsky, just to prove that he wasn't a werewolf.  You can imagine how that turns out for him and his associate.

Then we join Elvira and Genevieve, a couple college girls on a trip to a fairly isolated village in France where they intend to research the notorious Countess Wandessa.  The Countess was found guilty of murder and witchcraft during medieval times and rumored to be a vampire.  When they get lost ('cause, you know, girls) they stumble upon moody loner Waldemar Daninsky who offers them a place to stay and assistance with their research, whatever it is.  He becomes eerily silent when they specifically mention the Countess over dinner.  It turns out that he's not as much of a loner as he appeared when his mentally unbalanced "sister" appears in the girls' bedroom at night, threatening Elvira.  When Waldemar shows up in their room, all of Elvira's misgivings about his strange behavior suddenly go away, despite the fact that they were largely on-point.

The next day they find the countess' unmarked grave, which is marked with a massive slab of marble engraved with specific instructions to stay the hell out.  Naturally they open it.  At that point Elvira decides she's had enough and heads to the ruined abbey to wait for the others while Waldemar and Genevieve go right ahead and open the coffin.  In absolutely no time, Genevieve has removed the silver cross from the skeletal remains, accidentally cut herself, and bled into the mouth of the corpse.  If only she'd been warned!  Meanwhile at the abbey, Elvira is chased in slow motion by a skeletal corpse in knight's robes, and Waldemar shows up just in time to knock it down.

You can pretty much guess most of the rest.  Naturally the more obvious party girl of the pair (as evidenced by her funky hat, ultra sheer babydoll nightie for a research trip and general fun-loving attitude) gets bit by the Countess that night.  She menaces Elvira on subsequent nights.  You probably weren't expecting Elvira to get kidnapped by the village pervert, but that happens.  And then, of course, we've got a full moon every night, so Waldemar is out getting himself into trouble.

It's about what I should have expected from a partly arty, partly exploitation 1970s European horror movie.  Everyone is deeply serious and emotionally intense.  There's both too much and not enough explanation of certain events; deaths in particular.  But there is a nice spookiness to things.  Director Klimovsky uses frequent slow-motion, particularly in vampire sequences, which gives them an unearthly sense.  Unfortunately he uses it so much that it's hard to tell the dreams from the actual events, and I was surprised to figure out after the fact that one scene portrayed real events, when another one just like it had merely been a nightmare.  On the one hand, it contributes to an overall spooky unease, but on the other, don't go into it with high expectations for clarity.  Also lending some nice creepiness are the authentic old ruins, rather than sound stage sets.  To Naschy's credit, despite werewolf make-up not all that much more advanced than Lon Chaney's, he does a pretty good job at selling the ferocity, and I suppose that's why he WAS el hombre lobo.

Naschy considered this one of his favorite Hombre Lobo films and Klimovsky one of his best directors.  It's going to be pretty interesting comparing this with some of the others.

Dr Jekyll & the Wolfman - 1972
AKA Dr Jekyll & the Werewolf
AKA Dr Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo

Written by Paul Naschy
Directed by Leon Klimovsky

Featuring: the werewolf and Mr Hyde

Waldemar Daninsky seeks out Dr Jekyll to find a way to control his lycanthropy.  This seems like a good idea to no one but him.

The Return of Walpurgis - 1973
AKA Curse of the Devil
AKA The Black Harvest of Countess Dracula
AKA El Retorno de Walpurgis

Written by Paul Naschy
Directed by Carlos Aured

Featuring: werewolves, witches

As far as I can tell, despite being released under the title of The Black Harvest of Countess Dracula at one time, there are no vampires in this film.  Also, despite the original Spanish "Walpurgis" title, it's a completely different continuity from La Noche del Walpurgis.  Go fig.

The Curse of the Beast - 1975
AKA Night of the Howling Beast
AKA The Werewolf and the Yeti
AKA Hall of the Mountain King
AKA La Madicion de la Bestia

Written by Paul Naschy
Directed by Miguel Iglesias

Featuring: werewolf, vampires and a yeti

Despite the ever-changing continuity and origins, Naschy continues to play a character named Count Waldemar Daninsky in all the Hombre Lobo films.  In Fury of the Wolfman, it was a yeti's bite that transformed him into a wolfman.  Although he's in Tibet again, seeking the yeti, this time it's a couple of vampire women that turn him.  However that works.

Return of the Wolfman - 1981
AKA Night of the Werewolf
AKA The Craving
AKA El Retorno del Hombre Lobo

Written & Directed by Paul Naschy

Featuring: werewolf, witches, vampires

Essentially a remake of La Noche de Walpurgis, Naschy considered this the best of his Hombre Lobo films.  Some jobs you just gotta do yourself.

The Beast and the Magic Sword - 1983
AKA La Bestia y la Espada Magica

Written & Directed by Paul Naschy

Featuring: werewolf, witches

Notice how this one doesn't have a bunch of extra titles?  That's because it's never been released in English, or indeed anywhere outside of Spain.

Tomb of the Werewolf - 2004

Written & Directed by Fred Olen Ray

Featuring: werewolf, vampire/witch

This final appearance of Naschy as Count Daninsky was produced in Hollywood from a non-Naschy script.  It was intended as a comeback for Naschy (like the non-monster mash-up Licantropo before it), but by most reports, it was essentially softcore porn.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Outside of the Count Waldemar Daninsky/El Hombre Lobo films, Naschy made other monster mash-up appearances.

Buenas Noches, Señor Monstruo - 1982

Featuring: werewolf, Dracula, Frankenstein's monster & Quasimodo

This was a Spanish children's special in which he played a non-specific werewolf and took home a paycheck.  Never exported.

El Aullido del Diablo - 1987

Written & Directed by Paul Naschy

Featuring: a werewolf, vampire, zombie, Frankenstein's monster, Mr Hyde, Phantom of the Opera, Quasimodo and the Devil

Naschy made this film for Spanish television, starring in multiple roles as multiple monsters.  It actually sounds pretty brutal and perverse for TV, but then the Inquisition has been over for much longer in Spain than it has in the United States.  Never officially exported.

Paul Naschy (born Jacinto Molina Alvarez) wrote, directed and appeared in numerous horror films in his career, playing virtually every classic monster in one form or another (okay, not Godzilla).  On the one hand, I'm appalled that I didn't come across his films until I had almost finished publishing The Monster Mash-Ups.  On the other hand, however, it seems apt that I should find myself giving him his own entry.  His films embody the spirit of the monster mash-up.  HE embodied the spirit of fun, cheap thrills, goofy seriousness and serious goofiness and of course, buxom damsels in distress.  He may not have been proud of Buenas Noches, Señor Monstruo but I love that it's part of his body of work, because it's clear to me now that cornball monsters for kids are part of the history of monster mash-ups.  This guy WAS Señor Monstruo and I can't think of a better way to cap the series than this.

Come back tomorrow and... read something else on Media Bliss!  There are no more parts to this series, but that doesn't mean there isn't... more!  And consider becoming a follower.  I'm planning more original content for the future and I promise NEVER to care who got pregnant in Hollywood unless I did the impregnating!

Of course if you missed anything, you can read all 10 parts of The Monster Mash-Ups starting from The Monster Mash-Ups - Part 1: the 1940s & 50s!

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