Imagine what would happen if a group of Spanish twelve year-olds decided to make their own version of the old Universal monsters movies during the 1970s. If you can picture that, you have a pretty good idea of what The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman is like, both conceptually and technically.
Take the opening scene, in which two men in a morgue (the new hit sitcom from NBC!) examine the body of a gentleman who was supposedly a werewolf. One man posits that the corpse was indeed a werewolf; after all, he was slain by silver bullets and has "the mark of the werewolf" (a pentagonal scar) on his chest. (See Fury of the Wolfman if you want to see how all this came about.) The other onlooker is obviously a Man of Science, because his reply is a derisive one. However, he is willing to entertain his friend's notions to the point of trying to disprove them.
"And this is the portion of
Keanu Reeves' brain that
he actually uses."
"He's supposed to be a werewolf, right? According to the old legends, if the bullet that killed him is extracted from his chest, he should come back to life," he says logically. "Let's see!"
Anyone who has watched a few horror movies is by now covering his eyes in disbelief. Not only is this scientist Meddling With Forces He Does Not Understand, he is doing so in the middle of the night, during a full moon, which is of course the worst time to do anything around a werewolf, even if he is dead. The werewolf comes to life, slaughters both men, and escapes into the night. Roll opening credits.
In Paris Elvira (Gaby Fuchs) says goodbye to her boyfriend. We know this is Paris because the windowless bar in which this scene takes place has a smallish display of postcards featuring Paris landmarks. Really. We're not saying that a film must be made on location to be convincing, but they could have tried just a little harder at faking it. Even a bit of Seine stock footage would have helped this movie's case.
Michael Jackson takes the final
step in his evolution.
Elvira (say it: "El-veee-rah") is doing some kind of freeform study on a notorious figure in French history named Countess Wandessa. Wandessa drained virgins of all their blood, and then killed them. (How exactly she managed to drain their blood without killing them isn't clear, but they are described as separate acts.) Wandessa is based on the notorious Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, though the movie has moved her to France. Oh, and Elvira has determined that she may have been a vampire. You think?
Elvira and her hot girlfriend Genevieve (Barbara Capell, the main reason not to hit the "stop" button) head off into the (ahem) French countryside. Before too long they happen upon a rotting estate occupied by Waldemar Daninsky (Paul Naschy), the human side of the revived werewolf from the first scene. This estate is the best lead that Elvira has for the lost tomb of Wandessa. It also happens that this estate comes equipped with Waldemar's crazy, homicidal sister and a shack out back with chains and bloodstains on the wall. But none of this deters Elvira, who manages to fall in love with Waldemar and disturb Wandessa's grave, releasing the vampire lady to stalk the land again.
We could complain about the bad dubbing, the threadbare settings, or the sound effects that came from someone's Halloween haunted house tape. What makes this a very, very bad movie is how far removed these characters' behavior is from the way real people would act in the same situation. Many jokes have been made over the years about how stupid the characters in horror movies are, but The Werewolf vs The Vampire Woman beats them all to the punch(line).
"...and that's when Ma took me
aside and told me I was the
least talented of the Belushis."
If the scene in the morgue wasn't bad enough, there's an even dumber scene later on. When Elvira, Genevieve and Waldemar find the tomb of Wandessa they finds the remarkably well-preserved corpse with a silver crucifix sticking out of its chest. Genevieve blithely pulls the crucifix out. Then she cuts herself on something and the blood drips in the corpse's mouth. Waldemar proceeds to recount the legend about how Wandessa will come to life if the crucifix is removed and the "red breath" falls into her mouth. And then they all just walk away, apparently unconcerned that they have released ultimate evil. C'mon, it's not like these people don't believe in the supernatural, one of them is a freakin' werewolf!
Martha Stewart at home.
We have heard vague rumblings of a longer cut of the film which includes some actual nudity from the film's nubile stars, but somehow we doubt six minutes of boobage from even as lovely a woman as Ms. Capell could save this movie. Jacinto Molina (aka Paul Naschy aka James Molin, the screenwriter of this flick) has squeezed out dozens of mediocre horror flicks, twelve of which feature the Waldemar Daninsky character. Through the application of tenacity and fake fur, the multi-monikered man has made himself a screen legend. That doesn't mean, however, that any of these films are actually worth watching if you have a lick of sense in your head.
The showpiece of the film is the final few minutes, when Wally goes on a hairy rampage and gets around to fighting the titular vampire woman. Oh boy. Two people in fright masks having a fight that makes Mexican wrestling look like Bruce Lee. If there is a better excuse for wandering off to the kitchen for some popcorn than this, we haven't found it.