Monday, August 29, 2011

Guest Blog: El Hombre Lobo 1968-1980

My good friend Brad Hogue watched a whole mess of Naschy. Here's what he had to say about it:

I recently watched Paul Naschy's Waldemar Daninsky El Hombre Lobo series of wolfman films from 1968-1980. Friday night we watched Mark Of The Wolfman, Assignment Terror, and Fury Of The Wolfman. Saturday we wrapped up with Werewolf Shadow, Dr. Jekyll And The Wolfman, Curse Of The Devil, Night Of The Howling Beast, and Night Of The Werewolf. We watched them in chronological order according to Wikipedia (dates differ on different sites.) PLEASE NOTE: There are some minor spoilers ahead.

Seeing these films back to back for the first time has led me to a conclusion that I hadn't really formulated before. Naschy never told a simple werewolf-on-the-rampage story. He didn't remake The Wolfman over and over. In fact, he never remade The Wolfman at all. Naschy's interest was with Frankenstein Versus The Wolfman and a love of the monster rally films from the 40's. There is plenty to say about these films but I want to focus on some of the different 'monsters' in the films.

In 1968's Mark of The Wolfman (also known as Frankenstein's Bloody Terror) you have him being bitten by another werewolf but it's not the story of him trying to be cured by itself; you have the introduction of two vampires. 1969's Assignment Terror has aliens, a vampire, a mummy, and a Frankenstein's monster variant. 1970's Fury Of The Wolfman includes suspect pseudoscience, a female werewolf, plant people, insane hippies, and a Phantom Of The Opera-style masked madman. Later the same year Werewolf Shadow showcased Daninsky vs. Countess De Nadasady, a vampire stand in for Countess Bathory, and a zombie monk. 1971's Dr. Jekyll And The Wolfman features not a showdown between Daninsky and Mr. Hyde but Daninsky being a wolfman AND Mr. Hyde. 1972's Curse Of The Devil, perhaps the closest Naschy comes in this period to a wolfman-on-the-rampage film, still manages to include a gypsy curse and an axe murderer. 1975's Night Of The Howling Beast folds two cannibalistic, vampirish sisters, a fradulent witch in the employ of a bandit warlord, and a yeti. 1980's Night Of The Werewolf is a remake of sorts of Werewolf Shadow with Daninsky facing off once again with Countess De Nadasady and a bevy of vampires.

The Daninsky series is both reflective of the times and contain throwbacks to earlier styles and genre filmmaking. Mark Of The Wolfman could be seen as a Hammer style horror film while Night Of The Howling Beast is a pulpy, serial style film. Werewolf Shadow is a fun, fast paced film whereas Curse Of The Devil is a more somber period piece. It is a testament to Naschy that he was able to write screenplays that fit into many different sub genres. Perhaps that versatility, his love of the genre, and his strong screen presence were major factors in the longevity of the series.

My wife and I compiled a list of our favorites based on only this viewing of the films.

1. Curse Of The Devil
2. Night Of The Werewolf
3. Mark of The Wolfman
4. Werewolf Shadow
5. Night Of The Howling Beast
6. Dr. Jekyll And The Wolfman
7. Fury Of The Wolfman
8. Assignment Terror

1. Night Of The Werewolf
2. Assignment Terror
3. Curse Of The Devil
4. Mark Of The Wolfman
5. Dr. Jekyll And The Wolfman
6. Werewolf Shadow
7. Night Of The Howling Beast
8. Fury Of The Wolfman


  1. @Richard: You know my undying Man-Love for all things Naschy, duder! Thanks for including this guest post!

    And @Brad, Thanks for the post itself! Great stuff. Naschy said himself that the movie that made him want to be a filmmaker was FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN, which he say as a child. It sparked his imagination and its influence can be seen in just about all the genre stuff he did, whether werewolf-related or not. In an age when Texas Chainsaw Massacre and giallos and slashers were on the rise, Naschy was making monster mashes like these, reinterpreting the classic Universal horrors with a modern, bloody, sexy flair.

    I must admit I've never sat down to do a Naschy Filmathon like the one described here, but now I feel I must! I'll have the Duke come over, we'll lock ourselves in the dungeon with food, wine, toiletries, and serving wenches enough to last us a few days, and bask in the ineffable man-musk of Naschy! So let it be done! :D

    The Vicar

  2. Vicar- What a great thing it is to hear from one of the progenitors of The Paul Naschy Blogathon! That and Richard's InvASIAN were the blogging events of the year last year for me. Elizabeth and I had a lot of fun doing it and we kept statistics on his transformations, how many times he burst through windows, Naschysex, etc. I suspect a non Daninsky Naschython is right around the corner for us. I'd have loved to included The Beast And The Magic Sword but my copy has a scratch on the disc and I'm ordering another. I hope to hear that you and The Duke do indeed sit down and watch them. Thanks for commenting and I love Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies! -Brad