Monday, October 10, 2011

Curse of the Devil (1974)

The fourth movie (fifth if you count the never released - and maybe not even existing - Las noches del Hombre Lobo) with Paul Naschy as the unlucky nobleman Waldemar Daninsky, Curse of the Devil is one of the slickest and most commercial entry in the werewolf-saga. Even if I love the work of Naschy, more than a few of his movies lacks a coherent storyline and tries to mix everything into one story, which makes them a bit confusing. Here's the story is clear enough even for me to understand.

The movie starts with Irineus Daninsky (Naschy of course) chopping the head of an enemy in a duel. The family of the now headless dead guy puts a spell on Daninsky. Cut to modern times, and the - as usual - hunky Naschy gets the spell again from a descendant of the guy his forefather killed. He befriends a nearby family and falls in love with one of the daughters, but both daughters fall in love with him (surprise!) and this complicates things of course. But even worse, the werewolf-spell now works and every full moon Daninsky is transformed into a hairy beast and soon no one is safe in the village!

Believe it or not, but the story works very fine and there's an effective love story and a lot of werewolf-attacks. As usual people claims this is a gory movie. It's not, but it's a BLOODY movie - which is a big difference. So there's not lack of the red fluid here, trust me! Just don't expect graphic throat bites and bellies ripped open in gory fashion.

The only time I reacted to something, that kinda took me out of the story, was when one of the characters goes out in the yard and stumbles over a dead body that lies on the open ground without her seeing it. It's like something from a parody, because there's no doubt she would have seen the body. But details like that is just for people who must say that a movie is so bad it's good, just because they can't stand really liking a "b-movie". Mistakes can never destroy a movie. The only bad movies are boring movies.

I think this movie really shows the charisma and talent of Paul Naschy. From the intensive and colourful acting to showing of his torso from time to time. Naschy was well aware of his interesting sex appeal, probably both aimed at a female and male audience. He's not a typical handsome man, but more of a strong, cuddly and macho guy with an impressive way of just being very likable. You would never confuse the real Naschy with characters. He seem to have been a quite soft person in real life, liberal-minded and one-woman only. Maybe his films was a way to be able to play something very different from himself and having some fun at the same time?

Naschy took famous characters, or concept, and injected them with some sleaze, gore and blood - but still stayed surprisingly old-fashioned. When Hammer started to wind down and loosing their audience, Naschy and his friends took over some of those that wanted more action and the modern violence and still old-school horrors. Curse of the Devil is an excellent example of really good Spanish horror.

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