The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman (1971)

Things happen that have never been seen by human beings. The blood flows like vintage wine. See it with someone you hate.

Elvira is travelling through the French countryside with her friend Genevieve, searching for the lost tomb of a medieval murderess and possible vampire, Countess Wandessa. They find a likely site in the castle of Waldemar Daninsky, who invites the women to stay as long as they like. As Waldemar shows Elvira the tomb that supposedly houses the countess, she accidentally causes the vampire to come back to life, hungrier than ever. Daninsky has a hidden secret of his own, but will it be enough to save the two girls from becoming Wandessa's next victims?

I think it's obvious that no one in his right mind would expect a movie like this to be a masterpiece or anything remotely academic. From the very beginning, it should be clear to anyone that a movie with Paul Naschy and under the English title of "The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Women" is not going to be precisely the kind of horror movie anyone would take seriously. Not because Mr. Naschy cannot be taken seriously. As a matter of fact, I acknowledge him as a Latin horror legend and he has been in some of the finest horror films in Spanish I have seen, such as "Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll", for instance. On the other hand, this multifaceted actor, is also well-known for being in some of the most bizarre and random horror movies throughout the 60s and 70s. With this cute little horror flick, I mistakenly anticipated myself to a little bit of tasteless amusement that in the long run, was going to earn my reverences. If there wasn't any good gore, then at least I would have expected unintentionally humorous results, but sadly, this film fails to deliver the expected elements of entertainment that a horror fan would imagine in a film of this kind.
In "La Noche de Warpugis", Elvira and Genevive, go to the French countryside, with the intention of making some enquiries about a wicked Countess named Wandessa, who lived through the 13th century and who was recognized for devoting herself to Satan, among other things. When the journey is about to come to an end, Elvira's car runs out of gas and the girls finds themselves lost in the middle of the French nowhere with no one else in the area to give them a hand. Luckily, Elvira and Genevive find relief when a mysterious man named Waldemar appears out of the blue, to offer them a place to stay before the night falls. However, Mr. Valdemar is actually a really enchanting little werewolf who lives with his crazy sister hidden inside the house and while he intends to be a normal person with good manners, his ferocious nature forces him to be wild and dangerous to be friends with. As if this wasn't already enough, Countess Wandessa who has been sleeping for centuries, suddenly revives and goes back to her old tricks again, without expecting an equally strong rival like Waldemar, who won't let her get away with the same wicked behavior she once had. In "The Night of the Walpurgis", the werewolf and the vampire women find themselves battling in a dull and banal encounter, in which the viewers are the only ones who actually lose.
Too bad this film was so below my expectations. Like I said before, I expected at least some decent childishness to amuse myself. There's basically no gore whatsoever and the few death scenes, are rather effortless and insipid. Several films with Paul Naschy are well-known for having a little bit of everything, so I supposse I should give a friendly warning to anyone who thinks "La Noche de Walpurgis" is also going to be like this. Honestly, I got so bored watching this film, that in the end, the only reason why I didn't leave it incomplete, it's because I wanted to see if something would save it during the last minutes. Unfortunately, the silly opening sequence is about as good as it gets all the way trough.

Plata Films S.A. by León Klimovsky, Paul Naschy, Hans Munkel.
Stars: Paul Naschy, Gaby Fuchs, Barbara Capell, Andrés Resino.

Genres: Horror

Keywords: europe vampire resurrection werewolf ruins french countryside

05/17/1971

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