11/8/08

The Lightning Bug Dollar Deals: Fury of the Wolfman (1972)

With the economy in dire straits, (and I don't mean we get money for nothing or chicks for free) I thought it was high time I helped out the people of Earth. You see, people think that if you want to see some genre film that you have to get a catalog, or search Amazon, or hunt though racks at a big box store for a hidden gem, but I'm here to tell you folks that just ain't true. There's a place that everyone has near them to get the most bang for your genre buck, literally, one buck, and that place is the dollar store.

I don't care if you have a Dollar Tree, a Dollar Town, a Dollar Village, or a Dollar City; any of them will work just fine. Walk right in past the racks and racks of books no one would read, the expired potato chips, and the seasonal crapola and find the bin where they have the dollar DVD's. You'll find a wealth of movies there for your genre watching pleasure all thanks to the magic of public domain. As you'll see in this series, you can find movies from all kind of genres with all kind of stars for only one buck. Sometimes if you get really lucky then you'll find a double feature. Two movies for one dollar. Does it get better than that? I just don't think so. Sure they may not be the best print or or perhaps even the best films, but I for one have paid out my hard earned cash twenty or more times over for worse crap.

Tonight as the series starts, I bring to you a film from the Spanish Lon Chaney, Paul Naschy. Paul has played the wolfman more than any other actor, and tonight we look at his fourth furry outing in....
Fury of the Wolfman (La Furia del Hombre Lobo!) (1972) starring Paul Naschy, Perla Cristal, Veronica Lujan, and Mark Williams. Directed by Jose Maria Zabalza.

Waldemar Daninsky (Naschy) is an average sort of guy. The sort of guy who goes to Tibet with a group of scientists who get attacked by a Yeti which kills everyone except Waldemar. The sort of gent who comes home to his teaching position only to discover that his wife has been having an affair. The kind of chap who turns into a werewolf during the full moon and tears the throat out of his wife's lover and then her in turn. The sort of average joe that goes straight from ripping throats out to electrocuting himself to death. You know, just the average sort.

He's got average friends as well. Take Dr. Ilona Ermann for example. She's just your typical
professor/scientist who wants to experiment on humans to discover new and exciting ways of mind control. Like any average mind control doctor, she's always on the look out for new patients. So when Waldemar sparks himself, she gets her henchmen to dig up his body and bring it back to her place. She goes all Dr. Frankenstein on Waldemar and brings him back to life with the help of her lovely bowl cut sporting assistant, Karen.

Ilona naturally wants to use the wolfy Waldemar for her experiments. Or to kill her enemies. That part is never very clear. Waldemar is not very happy with the whole situation; so with the help of Karen, they form a plot to escape Ilona's castle lab and stop her mind bending research.
Film Facts

--Paul Naschy starred in 12 Wolfman movies which he had a hand in writing. Each one concerned the same character, but there was always a new origin story and no continuing story line.

--The 1968 Paul Naschy "Nights of the Wolfman" is lost to time, or perhaps was never actually made.

--King Juan Carlos I of Spain awarded Naschy the Gold Medal for Fine Arts in 2001. Let's see you do that playing the Wolfman, Del Toro.

The Bug Speaks
The main question I had to ask myself as the end credits rolled was: did this movie make any kind of sense? The answer: no. The second answer: I could not care less. I was totally entertained for 86 minutes, and it made me want to hunt down the original Spanish cut (basically all American versions are very truncated). I would love to see the wolfman sex scenes and other goodies that apparently we're not quite ready for on this side of the pond. Fury was my first Naschy movie and I have no doubt I will be wanting to see more.

That being said it was not a film that's going to change my life. It was shot poorly at best and the wolfman transformations had more in common with the Universal classics than what we've seen in American Werewolf In London and The Howling. The plot made very little sense and I had a hard time following what was going on at points. Hell, I had a hard time figuring out the main characters name. It's hard to say how the acting actually was as the dubbing was laughable at best. Naschy had a good presence on screen, and I'd be interested to see a performance of his that was not marred by the voice that was pasted onto his vocal cords.

The thing with reviewing this movie or any movie in this series is having to separate the value of the film from the price I paid for it. Giving up a dollar to check out a movie like this is just great (especially if you count that the disk also contained the Christopher Lee flick, The Horror Express). So on a value chart this gets a solid five, but as a movie taken part from it's cost is going to net this one a...
Bug Rating

This is the only trailer I can find for Fury of the Wolfman. I would advise skipping ahead about 3 min in the video unless for some reason you speak Dutch. Interestingly the English dubbing on the trailer is not the dubbing for the version I viewed. I apologize for the quality of the trailer, but hey, it's free and that's an even better deal than the film.

3 comments:

  1. Great Review, and I must say that tomorrow I will be in search of a Dollar Store! :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Nice find! I agree totally, I have found some gems at dollar stores--Sonny Chiba's Street Fighter and One Eyed Jacks w/Marlon Brando (one of the best non-Italian westerns ever, BTW). You have to look hard sometimes, but it's usually worth the search.

    Also worth checking into, speaking of cheap movies, are the Mill Creek Entertainment box sets. I have 2 50 movies box sets, that I picked up on Amazon for like $12 each--and they are loaded w/great forgotten flicks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cool new feature. I can't wait to see what else you dig up from the dollar bin.

    ReplyDelete

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