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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Werewolf > Zombie > Large Frame Format > Vampire > Night Of The Werewolf + Vengeance Of The Zombies (DVD-Video/Deimos/BCI)

Night Of The Werewolf + Vengeance Of The Zombies


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Films: C+



The last great period of Horror/Monster films in the 1970s was so great that it extended to other countries.  This included Spain, where the genre made a star out of writer/director Paul Naschy (aka Jacinto Molina) who is the star of Vengeance Of The Zombies (1973, directed by Horror helmer Leon Klimovsky) and Night Of The Werewolf (1980) now released by the Deimos division of BCI Eclipse.


Zombies is not the typical living dead film we know of now, all of which are in the “rotting flesh/cannibalism” mode of George Romero films, but is more like Hammer Studios and that is not a bad thing as the living dead has a Satanic cult to go with it.  The much later Werewolf combines its monster with the weaknesses of vampires, which may not work for some people, but shows that the cycle was winding down to go for such a hybrid approach.


The films have no problem with blood and though were racy for their time, are not as horrifying now despite being graphic enough to still justify an “R” rating.  Acting is slightly heightened and expressionistic while sets and the use of color can be exceptionally atmospheric.  Though they are not masterworks of their genre, they have the distinction of a different feel and flavor not just because they are imports, but because their take on the genre and its monsters remain distinct.  Real fans sick of digital effects and bad retreads (sequels or remakes) will want to see these at least once.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Werewolf and 1.33 X 1 image on Zombies have transfers in digital High Definition and though the detail of these DVD-Videos is limited and shows the fidelity of the old film stocks, the color is often very impressive.  No wonder Victory and BCI want to put these out in the HD-DVD format, where there is bound to be a jump in color, detail, depth and richness of the image regular DVD cannot handle.


Werewolf is in regular color, while Zombies was reportedly shot in 2.35 X 1 Techniscope from some sources and was even blown-up to 70mm outside of the U.S. meaning there may be a six-track magnetic stereo version lost somewhere, but BCI Eclipse has informed us that the original camera negative is 1.33 X 1 with 1.66 X 1 soft matte consideration.  Either way, I liked the way it looked and I could see why a 70mm blow-up was made.


Both are here in Dolby Digital 2.0 Spanish and English Mono and English 5.1 Surround versions that just spread the dubbed sound all over, the sound is nothing special and certainly nothing from a multi-track mix.  Both are about the same in fidelity, despite a five-year difference in production.


Extras include stills sections, intros by Naschy before each film, U.S. Trailers, Spanish opening credits, liner notes with rare stills & photos (www.naschy.com offers more) and some more for each title.  Werewolf has deleted scenes, while Zombies has alternate clothed sequences to avoid censorship for key scenes.  All in all, a nice set of extras for interesting genre films worth a look.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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