Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror (1968)

aka La Marca del Hombre-lobo, The Mark of the Wolfman
Article 2200 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-25-2007
Posting Date: 8-21-2007
Directed by Enrique Lopez Eguiluz
Featuring Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy), Manuel Manzaneque, Dyanik Zurakowska

When a werewolf is accidentally revived by greedy gypsies, two romantic rivals join a hunting party looking for wolves. When the werewolf attacks one of them, the other one destroys it, but not before being bitten himself. Upon discovering that he has now inherited the werewolf curse, he has his rival lock him in a cell in an abandoned monastery. The rival then contacts a doctor who is believed to have cure for lycanthropy, but it turns out the doctor is actually a vampire. Complications ensue.

Let’s face it; the plot description above makes the movie sound fairly goofy, and the fact that the American title for this compendium of werewolves and vampires draws in the name of Frankenstein (who is only referred to in a dumb opening prologue that tries to tie his name to that of Wolfstein) only makes it seem sillier; there’s no mad science to be found here. In truth, the movie is better than that; it’s quite moody at times (I love the creepy forest with the bare white trees), it handles the transformation sequences with a creative use of acting, shadows and sound, and it paces its far-fetched plot in such a way that you have no trouble buying into it within the context of the movie. It’s also the movie that debuted Paul Naschy in his most famous role as Waldemar Daninsky, and it’s definitely one of the better movies of the series. As usual, Naschy plays his character with an interesting contradiction of being both hero and villain, though it needs the presence of extra monsters to help him accomplish this; it is only because he is a werewolf that he can resist the willpower of the vampires, and this makes him the hero, albeit one that must be destroyed himself. It helps that I saw this movie in a nice restored letterbox version, which compensates somewhat for the fact that it is dubbed, though not badly so. At any rate, it is a good starting place to explore the Naschy movies.



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