Forgotten Films: Dr. Jekyll vs. the Werewolf (1972)

One of many Paul Naschy werewolf movies.

This is the 138th my series of Forgotten, Obscure or Neglected Films

So, this week we have a Spanish werewolf movie featuring Paul Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky (el Hombre Lobo aka the Werewolf). Apparently he was the hit of Spanish horror in this role as this film is the 6th of 12 times he played the tortured werewolf.

In Dr. Jekyll vs. the Werewolf, Justine (Shirley Corrigan) is the young new wife of a successful businessman Imre Kosta (Jose Marco) who has decided to visit the Hungarian village where he was born (and his parents were murdered) deep in the Carpathian Mountains. Sounds utterly romantic, yes? At the local inn, they find the way to the cemetery. While visiting the family graves, their Jaguar is burgled by three men. Imre is killed and the killers have sex and violence in mind for Justine.

Enter Waldemar who kills one of the men and takes Justine to the nearby castle (isn’t there always a nearby castle?) where the witch Uswika Bathory (Elsa Zabala) nurses her back to health. Meanwhile, Otvos (Luis Induni) the leader of the thieves, wants revenge for the death of his brother and gets the villagers, complete with pitchforks and torches, to march on the monster. The witch is killed by Otvos, who in turn is killed by the werewolf. Justine and Waldemar leave.

She takes him back to swinging 70’s London where she introduces him to Dr. Henry Jekyll (Jack Taylor), the grandson of the Victorian killer. Jekyll wants to use his grandfather’s formula to help Waldemar, though he is not sure that the werewolf really exists. But the monster is soon trapped in an elevator with a nurse when he changes, and London becomes aware that the werewolf is there.

The European cut has more sex and violence and is 25 percent longer.

Jekyll wants to administer the formula and turn Waldemar into the Hyde character. He hopes that the transformation into Hyde can cure Waldemar of his lycanthropy. Jekyll’s mistress Sandra (Mirta Miller) wants him to get the werewolf DNA (or something, so they can make a fortune.) She is also aware that Henry is still in love with Justine, giving us a little love triangle. Justine sees only Waldemar. Sandra has other plans. Murder and mayhem ensue. Hyde tours London, goes to a disco, kills and loves.

Naschy is pretty engaging in his various roles. He also wrote the screenplay as Jacinto Molina! The copy I saw was chopped down substantially from the original Spanish version which ran 96 minutes. The DVD is 73 minutes, so about 25 percent is gone. The result is a series of abrupt scene changes and a storyline that doesn’t always make sense. Apparently the longer version contains some nudity and more violence, if you’re wanting that.

Given a chance I might watch more in the series. I am curious about The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman. That might be some fun.

Also, many thanks to weird movie fiend Mike Madonna for shipping this one to me. Thanks, Mikey!

Series organizer Todd Mason hosts more Tuesday Forgotten Film reviews at his own blog and posts a complete list of participating blogs.