Saturday, 19 March 2011

Paul Naschy's Wolf Man Upstages ...

Dracula Versus Frankenstein

Earth’s iconic monsters of horror, brought together by an alien threat, to wreak terror upon the world. Resurrected from their tombs to terrorise, and manipulated at will by beings from a dying planet, hell bent on subjugating this planet in order to claim it as their own.

The story is from Spanish horror star Paul Naschy, who also appears in the film as Waldemar Daninsky, the wolf man, and apparently also made up as the Frankenstein monster. As Waldemar Daninsky Naschy more than holds his own in the better attention grabbing moments of the film, which with its erratic premise and choppy editing are few !. As Frankenstein’s monster we have a curious creation that looks like a badly made up stand in for Peter Sellers !.

Credence is given to the movie with the star role of Michael Rennie, no stranger to playing visiting alien beings to Earth. This, sadly, would turn out to be his last screen performance before his death in 1971. Here, along with beautiful Euro starlet Karin Dor, he takes the host form of a scientist. His character is Dr. Odo Warnoff, and Karin Dor plays the role of Maleva Kerstein, a fellow scientist. Together they plot the downfall of humanity, deep within the bowels of their acquired castle laboratory.

The wolf man is brought back from a lifeless stasis when Dr. Warnoff undertakes open heart surgery upon him to remove a silver bullet. Once revived he is then controlled to do the aliens bidding. His brawn and strength proving useful in unearthing the mummy and Frankenstein’s monster. The vampire prince of darkness is kept as safe distance, his blood harnessed to be used as a virus upon the people of Earth.

The dastardly deeds of Dr. Warnoff are not altogether complied with by his assistant Maleva Kerstein, combined with the stubbornness of an unshackled wolf man, things don’t ten quite see their way through to ultimate fruition. With the moon full Waldemar Daninsky makes his bid for freedom, squaring off against the creatures, affording Dr. Warnoff’s dissenters the opportunity to turn against him.

It’s all rather hammy and showing today it really does look like a movie dusted down out of a moth ball ridden cinema closet. It really is like watching a discarded test reel for one of the classic forties made Universal Horror productions, only this was made in ninety seventy !. A miss mash of good intent that really is relevant only for the cameo of Paul Naschy’s Waldimar Daninsky character, and the final farewell by Michael Rennie. Karin Dor is underused, and a sad shadow of her former horror highs in the previous decade.

A hard film to come by today, and perhaps for good reason. This, however, like so many other movies of its type and time are neglectfully left to deteriorate in cine cans stored away and forgotten about. Given love, care and attention with the proper restorative process and even this Dracula Versus Frankenstein could still attain its place amongst the horror kitsch classics. 
Dracula Versus Frankenstein Trailer
Movie Details IMDB

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