Synopsis

Waldimar Daninsky, a lone survivor of a Tibetian expedition, returns home to find his wife has been unfaithful to him. Carrying the curse of the pentagram (or pentagon, as stated by the monk who nursed him back to health), the fury of the wolfman is unleashed! After disposing of his cheating spouse, he finds himself captive in a castle by a female mad scientist conducting mind control experiments. In a vein attempt at escape, he discovers the freaks left over from past experiments dwelling in the dungeons.

Director

José María Zabalza

Cast

Paul Naschy
as Waldemar Daninsky
Perla Cristal
as Dr. Ilona Elmann
Miguel de la Riva
as Det. Heinrich Miller
Pilar Zorrilla
as Erika Daninsky
José Marco
as Merrill

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Squonkamatic 9 /10

Surrealist Masterpiece From One Of Mankind's Great Artists

Someday somebody is going to write an essay comparing Paul Naschy's "Fury of the Wolfman" to the great Spanish surrealist films, "L'age D'or" and "Un Chien Andelou". The Naschy film is a masterpiece of delirium from beginning to end. Dali and Bunuel probably loved it, and ate their hearts out seeing someone do with such apparent ease what they had to rack their brains to pull off.

The film lacks cohesive structure even though it does have a plot that moves from A to B to C. Some mishmash about a "Professor Walterman" -- his first name, mind you -- who was bitten by a Yeti monster during an expedition to Tibet and hasn't been the same since, which is understandable. One of his jealous colleagues, the insane daughter of the noted Doctor Wolfstein, knows about his condition and reveals that his wife has been cheating on him. But its a setup for a twisted scientific experiment to unleash his inner beast.

"Walterman" flips out, turns into a werewolf, kills a few people, is electrocuted, dies, is buried, unburied, taken to a castle filled with circus freaks, wired to various machines, zapped with assorted electronic effects, injected with potent elixirs, is chained up, turns into a werewolf, a woman in an evening gown with thigh-high Nazi fetish boots whips him, he escapes, helps the pretty female doctor find her way out of the castle, fends off the circus freaks with a battle axe, eventually turns back into a werewolf, and has to fight to the death against the female werewolf incarnation of his cheating wife. The lady with the Nazi boots shoots him with silver bullets from her Luger pistol, they die together, and the pretty doctor walks off into the morning with the studly reporter, who did nothing. "Look! What a beautiful day it is!"

"La furia del Hombre Lobo" was written by Paul Naschy in a hurry. Original director Enrique Eguilez was fired and replaced by José María Zabalza, a drunk who was infamously intoxicated throughout the production. He was often unable to work (though he did find time to instruct his 14 year old nephew to make some alterations to the script) and Naschy ended up directing much of the film uncredited. Zabalza did rally enough to clip some action scenes from one of Naschy's previous movies, "Mark of the Wolfman". The scenes were fortunately good enough to use twice even if the costumes were different, and helped pad out the runtime after Zabalza refused to get out of bed to finish the movie. Post production was a nightmare. Nobody knew who was doing the editing, the money ran out, the master print disappeared for a while, and then at a pre-release screening for a film distributor the executive arrived to find Zabalza urinating into the gutter in front of the theater. He was too drunk to find the restroom but at least he made it to the curb.

Yet somehow the film works, if you let it. It keys into those atavistic memories we have about murky castles, vaulted catacombs, chains, whips, gloomy moors. Fans of those sort of things will find it hypnotically watchable even if the story as a whole doesn't make much sense due to the fractured discontinuity of the execution. In one scene its pouring rain and the wolfman howls at the lightning; in the next shot its bone dry and he's howling at the full moon. Then its raining again. And yet you don't look at it as a gaffe. Its like an unfolding dream where contradictions are possible, opposites are the same, and effects proceed causes; First the wolfman picks up the power cable and screams, and then the cable starts sparking with electricity. People say its low budget hurts the overall effectiveness -- I say the film would have been unwatchable if they had a dime more to spend. It is a marvel of making something out of nothing, and succeeds not because of what it could of had, but because of what it does. It's easy to laugh at stuff like this and even easier to dismiss it. The trick is being able to see through the mayhem, or rather to regard the chaos as part of the effect.

Paul Naschy died last week at the age of 75. He had been ill with pancreatic cancer for a year or more, was working on film projects right up until his last days, but passed away in Madrid, Spain, with his family while receiving chemotherapy treatment. His rich, varied, and surprisingly lengthy career is a legacy to a man stubbornly pursuing his artistic vision in the face of universal mainstream disinterest. And yet in all of us there is an eleven year old kid who will watch his movies like "Fury of the Wolfman" in rapt awe. Even people who don't like Euro Horror will discover something in this movie to marvel at, if only for just a minute in a couple spots. You can find it for free at Archive.Org or even buy it on a DVD for a nickel. It's worth far, far more.

Amusingly, Naschy was horrified to learn that many others like myself regard this twisted, sick, demented little movie as a classic, if not an outright masterpiece of Cinema Dementia. The problems he encountered during the production and the mess of a film that was left after were perhaps too personal an artistic disappointment for Naschy to forgive. I would never presume to dare to forgive it for him, but I will say this: I'd rather watch "Fury of the Wolfman" in its dingiest, most cut and degraded fullscreen public domain print than ever sit though the overbearing, obnoxious crap churning out up at the Swine Flu cineplexes this or any other weekend.

The world lost a great artist this month. Watch his films, and remember.

9/10

Reviewed by Poe-17 N/A

Bring it ALL on ...

This thing has it all.

We've got the plot that can't be deciphered, bad acting that can't be stopped, large dogs that serve no purpose, fully visible full moons during horrible storms. You've got the tortured soul Wolf-guy, the mad scientist gal, dungeons with prisoners hanging from chains, orgies where the males expose more flesh that the ladies. There's grave robbing and revived corpses and we can't forget the masked phantom guy who resolves a plot issue with his dying three words. Revived dead lady becomes zombie-werewolf and dukes it out with leading wolf man. For the science freaks there are Chematodes that allow one to control a brain, whether in a lady friend or wolf changing thingy. Nearly non-existent color, Twilight Zone theme moments ... and the name Wolfstein (get it?).

Horror hauled itself out of the dark with movies like this Spanish production. For those of us who sweat every step with them, these films, as sorry as they are, are cause for celebration when we happen upon them on cheap DVDs.

If you're riding the current wave of horror (a really, really rare happenstance these days - most of that which passes for modern horror doesn't reach deeply enough within us to trigger the "horror" reflex) please don't waste your time with this. Honestly.

If you're an old codger and can remember tricking your parents so you could get with an older friend to a showing of "Lady Frankenstein", this one will make you smile.

"The Fury of the Wolfman" is one of the loyal thankless that trudged and lugged and slogged horror along the decades. So, like the focus of their stories, "it wouldn't die".

Reviewed by ChuckStraub 3 /10

This is one very confusing movie.

This is one very confusing movie. The film is very hard to follow and the plot just didn't seem to make any sense. The Fury of the Wolfman was made in Spain and I think that when any film is dubbed from one language to another, it doesn't translate exactly as it was first meant. Maybe this is part of the problem but I doubt if it can account for all the problems with this film. The dubbing is pretty bad and the voices don't match the characters very well. The scenes are choppy, there is an array of strange and irrelevant characters that do little more than confuse the viewer even more. What I did like about this film was the look of the wolfman himself and the scenes where he attacks. Now if they could have put it all together and had it make some sense, they might have had something. Don't waste your time on this one.

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