4K UHD Review: The Werewolf Vs Vampire Woman

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Count Waldemar Daninsky was Paul Naschy’s most enduring character during his vast cinematic career in Spain. He made over 100 movies and12 times he was cursed to play the Count. Although his count was not a vampire. He was a werewolf. Unlike many of the actors that have played lycanthropes, Naschy wrote the screenplays involving his Polish noble man cursed on nights with a full moon. He was able to be very creative with his character. When he originally wrote the script for La Marca del Hombre Lobo (The Mark of the Wolf Man), Naschy didn’t think he’d be playing the lead. Supposedly the producers wanted Lon Chaney Jr. to revive his hairy iconic role except at this point in the late ’60s, the actor was not in great shape. Naschy eventually landed the part and became a horror sensation when the movie was released in the summer of 1968. Nashy ended up with double billing in the credits with his stage name as actor and his real name Jacinto Molina as the screenwriter. Little did Nashy know that he’d end up playing a werewolf in more movies than his idol Lon Chaney Jr.

The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman (also known as La Noche de Walpurgis) is the fifth entry (even though the second’s existence has quite a bit of controversy). The film proved to be the biggest of the Naschy’s transformative oeuvre when it was released in 1971 in Spain and showed up in America in 1972. Now The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman is arriving on 4K UHD with an image that looks so much better than what you gandered at a drive-in nearly 50 years ago.

Waldemar Daninsky (Naschy) was dead as a doornail at the end of The Fury of the Wolf Man. But then he’s rushed over to a nearby morgue for an autopsy because it’s just not good enough to look at him and declare he’s dead from being shot with silver bullets. The coroner has to investigate. During the probing, he removes the silver bullets from Waldemar. Guess what happens? Turns out the man cursed to never die makes a rousing comeback. He thanks the doctors by turning them into hospital food and hits the road a new wolf man. Elvira (Mark of the Devil‘s Gaby Fuchs) and Genevieve (Should A School Girl Tell?‘s Barbara Capell) are two college students cruising around the countryside looking for the tomb of Countess Wandessa Darvula de Nadasdy (Edge of the Axe‘s Patty Shepard). Their trip gets bumpy when they run into car trouble. Fortunately, there’s a country estate nearby. Unfortunately, the estate doesn’t have a phone or electricity, but it does have Waldemar living there. He’s happy to see the ladies and help them out. He even goes with them to find the tomb. Things go bad when after they push off the top to get a closer look at the skeletal remains of the Countess, one of them drips blood on the bones. This leads to the countess being revived. Like The Count, the Countess is eager to get back to work. This trip to the country turns into a supernatural horror for the ladies.

La Noche de Walpurgis doesn’t translate into The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman. What is Walpurgis Night? It’s April 30 and celebrates the canonization of St. Walpurga rid German of pests, rabies, whooping cough and witches. The night is noted for when witches take flight. It’s an attempt to tamper down the May Day fun. People are going to get excited about a vampire countess battling a werewolf count on that day.

There are three different cuts of the film in the boxset. The 4K UHD transfer has the export version of the film with the more risqué scenes involving the actresses. The Blu-ray has the version of the film that originally ran in Spain with everyone clothed either through alternate takes or just editing out the shot. Spain was pretty prudent in the early ’70s. There are a few additional scenes to make the film 94 minutes long. There’s also the Integral cut that splices back the in the undressed moment along with the extra scenes. This runs 95 minutes. This is the best version to watch after you’ve enjoyed the 4K UHD glory of the export cut. The “clothed” version is best in case you have sensitive eyeballs in the room.

While The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman is the fifth in the series, it feels like the perfect introduction to the horror work of Paul Naschy. His werewolf makeup is at its best. There’s a bit of a love story between his Count and one of the ladies looking for the Countess. There’s tension since the Count doesn’t want the people knowing his real identity. Director León Klimovsky and Naschy pay off with the promised title fight between his werewolf and the vampire woman. You’ll be cheering on your favorite undead headliner to survive.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The 4K UHD was restored off the 35mm camera negative. The audio has a DTS-HD MA mono mix of the original Spanish language soundtrack and the English dub. The movie has English subtitles.

The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry (80:28) goes deep into the work of Paul Naschy. John Landis, Joe Dante, Caroline Munro and other speak of his legacy. Mick Garris hosts the documentary. The roles he played in over 100 films will leave you eager to see more of his work. The title comes from the time Naschy was able to work with Boris Karloff.

Interview with Sergio Molina, The Son of Paul Naschy (29:04) has him talk about they used a real morgue that had just been used by a dead motorcyclist. He talks about growing up with a cinematic icon for a dad.

Original Trailers are included for The Werewolf Versus The Vampire Woman (1:03) and Werewolf Shadow (3:14) deals with the house of madness.

Alternate Title and End Credit Sequences (7:17) includes the German, English and American releases.

Still Gallery (1:46) includes posters, reviews, magazine articles, press photos and groovy tunes playing over the montage.

Vinegar Syndrome presents The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman. Directed by León Klimovsky. Screenplay by Paul Naschy (as Jacinto Molina). Starring Paul Naschy, Gaby Fuchs, Patty Shepard, Barbara Capell, Yelena Samarina, Andrés Resino, José Marco, Betsabé Ruiz & Barta Barri. Running Time: 87 minutes. Rating: Unrated. Release Date: November 29, 2022.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.