2018 Countdown to Halloween – Day 5: Night of the Howling Beast (1975)
Cast: Paul Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky
Grace Mills as Sylvia Lacombe
Silvia Solar as Wandesa
Gil Vidal as Larry Talbot
Luis Induni as Sekkar Kahn
Written by Jacinto Molina
Directed by Miguel Iglesias
Plot: When Waldemar Daninsky joins an expedition to find the mysterious Yeti, he becomes lost in a blizzard before being found by two mysterious women. Upon becoming a werewolf, Waldemar must come to the rescue of the rest of the expedition, who have been captured by a group of sadistic men.
Richard’s Review: This one is an oddity because on many levels it’s one of the lesser Naschy films I’ve seen so far. The plot seems all over the place and the new origin story really doesn’t make much sense. There seems to be a lot of padding and plot points there are clearly not necessary. On the surface, it’s a bit of a mess. Yet, I really enjoyed this one.
Maybe it was the winter setting or just all-around oddball nature of the flick. Pretty sure it wasn’t the character development or the script because it’s not a classic by any means. That said, it seems perfect for a late-night viewing and I’d gladly watch this one again.
Karla’s Thoughts: I loved the music in this film, a nice departure from some of the other Naschy films. While some parts seemed to drag on, it seemed to have better editing than some of the other Naschy films I’ve seen so far. The whole sequence with the tortured woman seemed odd and out-of-place and the origin didn’t make much sense. However, despite these flaws, I really enjoyed it and would watch it again.
- As with many of Naschy’s films, there are multiple titles. This one in particular is better known to many under the name Werewolf vs. the Yeti.
- Waldemar’s origin here is quite unique as it’s caused by the bite of two vampire women, a first in werewolf cinematic history.
- One of the infamous Video Nasties as it was banned in the UK in 1983.
- Gil Vidal’s character, Larry Talbot, is clearly a homage to Lon Chaney’s character from the Universal Wolf Man series in the 1940s.
- This would be the last of the Daninsky films until Night of the Werewolf five years later, which would reboot the franchise.
- This would also be the last collaboration between Paul Naschy and Profilmes, playing a part in Naschy forming his own production company.
Availability: Available on The Paul Naschy Collection II from Shout Factory on Blu-ray.
Special Thanks: As a newcomer to the films of Paul Naschy, I still have a lot to learn. If you want to know more, listen to the NaschyCast podcast hosted by Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn. Then, purchase a copy of Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy by Troy Howarth, available in both color and standard (black and white) editions. You’ll be glad you did!