The Fury of the Wolfman (1972)

THE FURY OF THE WOLFMAN (1972)
(a.k.a. LA FURIA DEL HOMBRE LOBO)
Article #1520 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-13-2005
Posting Date: 10-10-2005
Directed by Jose Maria Zabalza
Featuring Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy), Perla Cristal, Veronica Lujan

A man carrying the curse of the werewolf comes under the control of a female scientist who uses mind control on him.

With this entry we reach another milestone in the MOTDs; this is the first movie I’ve covered to deal with cult actor Paul Naschy. There seems to be a lot of affection for this actor. I suspect this has to do with the fact that he chose a career as a horror actor at a time when this kind of thing was falling out of favor, and had a love of the classic monsters and would trot them out in his movies with glee. Still, I must say that I have yet to see a movie of his that I would actually describe as being good. Now I’ll give myself a couple of outs to that last statement; I’ve only seen a handful of his movies at this point, and those that I have seen have all been of the pan-and-scan dubbed variety, so I can’t say that I’ve seen him under the best of circumstances.

At any rate, this movie shares the same problems I’ve had with some of his other movies. I find the story incredibly muddled; though there is a fair amount of incident, the context for much of it remains a mystery to me. In short, I don’t know why what does happen happens. Furthermore, I’m not impressed with the acting. This is, of course, a questionable statement when dealing with a dubbed movie; I can’t really judge a man’s performance when he’s been dubbed. Still, there are aspects of acting that aren’t affected by dubbing, such as body language and facial expressions, and all too often in this movie I see people not reacting to significant events, looking bored, and failing to express any recognizable emotion. Even Naschy himself gives me that problem; even though he’s played Waldemar Daminsky many times, I still find the only interesting thing about the character is that he becomes a werewolf. Outside of that, he’s terribly uninteresting; the fact that he becomes a werewolf has virtually no effect on his personality. Still, he does work up the necessary energy in his wolfman scenes, even if he lacks the animal grace that Lon Chaney Jr. brought to the wolfman role; Naschy walks and acts like a human being when he’s a werewolf. The ending isn’t bad, but sometimes I think that’s the only part of the movie worth catching. Still, there’s always the chance that a better presentation may make his movies work better, and someday I hope to see some of his movies in proper widescreen and with subtitles. At heart, though, I doubt that I’ll find a significant improvement.

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