Bathos - still a movie magazine!

 

Bathos - still a movie magazine!

Contrary to rumour, BATHOS is still a movie magazine. It’s just a lot of other things too!

LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS (1970) **

Aka SHADOW OF THE WEREWOLF
Aka THE WEREWOLF’S SHADOW
Aka THE WEREWOLF VERSUS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN
Aka NACHT DER VAMPIRE
Aka THE BLACK HARVEST OF COUNTESS DRACULA

D: Leon Klimovsky
S: Jacinto Molina
C: Paul Naschy (Jacinto Molina) Paty Shepard, Gaby Fuchs

After the golden age of UNIVERSAL monsters (vide BATHOS 28-31) and the silver age of LEWTON (BATHOS 39) came a decent age of bronze, before the rot set in during the seventies. Its inception was largely due to the emergence of Hammer, but a secondary effect may be seen in the creation of a special European brand of horror.

The legacy of BAVA, FREDA and MARGHERITI immediately springs to mind, easily overshadowing the Spanish school. These movies were often both darker and less flashy than the Italian, not depending so much on the tradition of GIALLO.

Bathos - still a movie magazine!

Spain being the stronghold of Catholicism since the days of the Inquisition, the repressed sexuality, on which the genre has always relied heavily, was more violent, and often seasoned with a rebellion against matriarchy, creating much more convincing female monsters than for instance the lesbian vampires of the KARNSTEIN cycle. It is an interesting fact that Victorian societies generally allow for a more powerful form of pornography than those who are at least on the surface more permissive.

Sex as typified by the prostitute – whether femme fatale or mere sex-slave – is by its very insulation from society rarefied and demonized into something so much larger than life that it borders on the mythological or even religious. Before descending into the mass-production of amateurish SLASHERS in the vein of ARGENTO, Jesus Franco made a few films unlike any others (although the incredibly rich, but relatively unknown tradition of Mexican horror and SF in the fifties undoubtedly served as inspiration).

The erotic metaphor of the surgical procedure, only hinted at a few years earlier by FRANJU, and which was later to become a staple icon of UFOLOGY, is virtually perfected by him in his early films, whereas the intrepid “happy hooker” is probably German in origin. It is also hard to envisage the heroine of NECRONOMICON in an American version.

Nor does the mixture of sexual perversion and corporal punishment of LA RESIDENCIA seem likely to appeal to a foreign audience. At the time of the release of LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS, this tremendous force was largely spent.

Bathos - still a movie magazine!

It was the fourth in a series about a reluctant werewolf played by the chubby matinee idol Jacinto Molina. Ironically, it was the first that really travelled.

After this only the “blind dead” series initiated the following year by LA NOCHE DEL TERROR CIEGO, with resurrected TEMPLARS punishing unchaste women, holds any real interest. Still, THE WEREWOLF VERSUS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN, as it was aptly renamed, is not entirely without its points of interest.

The youthful Countess Dracula wannabe may be patently ridiculous, but at least the black masses and decapitations are fairly enthusiastic, and the concept of a modern young girl lured by the erotic appeal of vampirism into a world of shadows and slow-motion always held a special attraction to me, which is perhaps understandable, being myself one of the children of the night. For the most part, of course, it merely goes through the motions, the werewolf being revived through the extraction of the silver bullets he sustained in the earlier film from his body during an ill-advised autopsy, and the vampire similarly through the removal of a crucifix and by inadvertently dripping blood into her mouth (much better done in LA MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO) allowing for the expected, albeit not especially impressive showdown between the two.

Bathos - still a movie magazine!

Read the other 400+ film reviews in BATHOS 1-50! Since the 43rd issue the following movies have been duly analyzed and evaluated.

1934 CHLOE 47
1936 LOVE FROM A STRANGER 44
1953 MAN IN THE ATTIC 49
1954 CULT OF THE COBRA 50
1958 FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER 44
1959 THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE 45
1959 BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE 49
1959 NIGHT OF THE GHOULS 50
1959 YUSEI OJI 46
1961 WEREWOLF IN A GIRLS’ DORMITORY 45
1962 HANDS OF A STRANGER 44
1963 LO SPETTRO 44
1968 THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR 45
1968 GHOSTS OF HANLEY HOUSE 44
1968 LA MUERTE VIVIENTE 47
1970 THE REVENGE OF DOCTOR X 37
1971 LA FIGLIA DI FRANKENSTEIN 48
1972 DEAD PEOPLE 48
1972 PANICO EN EL TRANSIBERIANO 47
1972 SEASON OF THE WITCH 45
1973 THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE 45
1973 THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA 49
1973 SCREAM BLOODY MURDER 46
1978 THE ALPHA INCIDENT 48
1978 HOUSE OF THE DAD 49
1978 SISTERS OF DEATH 47
1980 CHRISTMAS EVIL 46
1980 CRIES IN THE NIGHT 48
1983 THE DEMONS OF LUDLOW 48
1985 DON’T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS 50
1986 DEADTIME STORIES 46
1988 MEMORIAL VALLEY MASSACRE 46
1990 METAMORPHOSIS 46
2005 GHANAS DÆMONER 48
2006 BATTLEGROUND 50

Bathos - still a movie magazine!