‘They’re neither animals nor plants for now but, after the Doctor’s preliminary phase, they’ll be authentical mutants.’
A scientist returns home from Tibet after a close encounter with a Yeti during an avalanche. Bitten by the monster, he believes himself to be turning into a werewolf whilst his wife and her lover plot his murder anyway.
Paul Naschy (real name Jacinto Molina) played lycanthrope Waldemar Daninsky in 12 movies over 5 decades. Or it may have been 11 times. There’s some question as to whether second movie ‘Las Noches Del Hombre Lobo’ (1968) actually exists at all. Naschy remembered making it in Paris but no one’s ever seen it. This one is the 5th (4th?) offering but it wasn’t really a series anyway; the movies are all ‘stand alone’ efforts, only very tenuously connected by the occasional plot detail.
Put fairly and simply, this film is a total mess. This is probably almost entirely due to its troubled production history. The original director was replaced early on and his successor was allegedly more interested in drinking than filmmaking and gave the script to his 14-year old cousin to make revisions! Not unusually, the money ran out during production and the final print even went missing for a while!Inevitably, what remains is an incoherent and choppy narrative that makes only partial sense. Of course, some of this may have been down to clumsy editing for the U.S. release or it may not. The dubbing is certainly terrible and the musical score completely random.
The story was potentially interesting; a sort of amalgamation of ‘Double Indemnity’ (1944), a werewolf tale and some mad scientist action in a spooky castle. The mad scientist in question is Nachy’s colleague at University and his ex-lover. She’s messing with ‘Chemeroids’ as a method of mind control and has only sexy student girls to assist her. There are echoes of ‘House of Dracula’ (1945) with auto-suggestion as a possible cause of our hero’s hairy problem, but who are those strange people chained up in the cellar? And what about that masked man who is wandering about? And just who is that attacking people while dressed in a suit of armour? What’s that all about, then?
Lack of funds seem to have dogged Naschy’s career at this point with the 3rd Daninsky film ‘Los Monstruos del Terror’ (1970) apparently also coming up short before completion. It’s hard to appraise these films properly when all that remains are the tattered pieces. Apparently, Naschy was particularly upset with how this one turned out…