A staple of late-night creature feature TV shows for years and drive-in
theaters before that, Frankenstein's Bloody Terror is a Spanish
monster movie (dubbed in English) that was influenced by the old Universal
horror films of the 30's and 40's and has a similar charm. Never
released on home video before, Media Blasters, under their Shriek Show
imprint, finally brings this atmospheric movie to DVD.
Movie distributor Samuel Sherman had promised his theaters a Frankenstein
movie that, for various reasons, he couldn't deliver. Rather than
get the theater owners upset, Sherman looked overseas for a completed Frankenstein
film to purchase. He didn't find one, but came close. He bought
the rights to La Marca del Hombre Lobo (The Mark of the Wolfman)
a Spanish film written by and staring Jacinto Molina (who acted under the
name Paul Naschy.) This film had a werewolf and vampire, but no Frankenstein's
Monster. Not letting a little detail like that get in the way, Sherman
retitled the movie Frankenstein's Bloody Terror, and added a short animated
intro that explained the Frankenstein family had changed their name to
Wolfstein, and didn't worry about the fact that no one who looks remotely
like Frankenstein's Monster is in the film. (He does appear on the
movie posters promoting the film though.)
This movie, the first written by Jacinto Molina aka Paul Naschy, was
so popular in its native country that it started a Spanish horror film
boom, and Naschy became a big star. He ended up writing and starring
in nearly a dozen films playing the same character, Waldemar Daninsky, a
poor soul who bares the curse of the werewolf and is always looking for
When a gypsy couple gets run off the road (by a nifty looking Triumph
TR-4) the owner of a local estate, Waldemar Daninsky, tells the couple
they can spend the night in a nearby crypt. The gypsies decide that
this is their chance to strike it big, and rummage through the coffins
taking jewelry off the bodies.
Little do they know that a werewolf has been interred there too.
When they remove the ornate silver dagger that is stuck into his heart,
the beast comes to life and kills the pair that revived him. Quickly
figuring out what happened, Daninsky searches for the monster and kills
him, but not before being bitten himself.
Over the next month, a bloody scar in the shape of an upside down star
appears on Waldemar's chest, signifying that he's now a werewolf.
He searches the ancient areas of the estate for cure to the curse, and
discovers a letter from a doctor who says that he has an antidote.
Though it was written 30 years ago, a young man answers Daninsky's request
for assistance. A young man who just happens to be a vampire.
This was a good film that has a lot of atmosphere and a decent story.
Though it is slow in parts, especially the beginning where it takes 25
minutes for the first appearance of the werewolf, the show picks up after
Daninsky becomes cursed, and gets really interesting when the vampires
arrive. It has the feel of an old Universal horror movie, without
too much blood and none of the sex that some of the future movies in this
This is the American release of the film, and it has been edited from
the original Spanish release. While I usually abhor edited films,
I have the feeling that this cut might be the more enjoyable. The
first thing Sherman did to the film was cut fifteen minutes out of the
costume party scene at the start of the film. This section really
moves slowly as it is, and I can't imagine how slow the pace would be if
this was included.
Paul Naschy, a champion weightlifter was excellent in his role as Waldemar
Daninsky. He played the tortured soul very well. He physically
fit the part, and his performance as the wolfman was top notch. From
watching this film it is easy to see why he became such a big star in his
The two channel mono audio, dubbed in English, is satisfactory for this
movie. The dubbing isn't great, but that adds to the film's charm.
The atmospheric background music comes through in a satisfactory manner
and adds a lot to the movie. The audio levels are uneven though,
with some scenes sounding louder than the others. Happily there are
no audio defects, hum and other background noise are absent.
The video quality was good, but not outstanding. The movie was
presented with a widescreen (2.35:1) anamorphic image, which was nice to
see. Unfortunately there were some problems. The print used
has some defects, spots and the occasional line, but these weren't frequent.
The image did accent red colors, and blues were faded more than the others.
The level of detail was acceptable, though details did disappear in dark
areas and black suits had no texture at all. There were several digital
defects that plagued the film too. Color bleeding was frequent with
bright red areas, and aliasing was fairly prevalent in the background.
There was some edge enhancement, and digital noise was also present.
Having noted all of that, this transfer isn't as bad at it sounds.
There are a lot of imperfections, but the picture was still very watchable,
and head and shoulders above the bootleg videos that have been available
for years. Overall this doesn't look too bad, especially when you
take into consideration the movie's history.
This disc features a good selection of extras, much more than I was
expecting. First off is a long interview with writer/lead actor Paul
Naschy. In Spanish with English subtitles, Paul talks about his influences
for the film, how he went about getting it made, the censor's reactions
and much more. A very informative interview.
There is also a full length commentary with Sam Sherman who dubbed and
distributed the film in the US. This was an informative track, with
Sherman discussing the changes in the story and the brief 3-D run of the
In addition, there are a good number of deleted and extended scenes
taken from the original Spanish edition of the film. This was a nice
treat, as much of this footage has never been seen in the US before.
Three radio ads used to promote the film, a photo gallery and the original
trailer and TV spots round out the bonus material.
There's also an Easter Egg. From the extras menu, highlight the
deleted scene icon, then press 'right' on the remote. A face will
appear. Press enter and you'll be treated to a reel of radio spot
Lastly, there is an informative text piece included on the insert in
the DVD case. It was written by George Reis from DVDDrive-in.com.
Fans of the old Universal and Hammer horror movies will certainly enjoy
this offering. It has the same feel and charm. Paul
Naschy does a great job as Waldemar Daninsky, and it is easy to see how
he went on to make a career out of playing the role.
Available legitimately for the first time on home video, this DVD looks
much better than the previous bootlegs that have been circulating.
Though the DVD doesn't boast a pristine image, the problems are easy to
overlook in this widescreen anamorphic picture. Shriek Show also
included a fantastic set of extras that really add to the value of this
disc. The only thing that was missing was the original version of
the film in Spanish. It's too bad it couldn't be included, but fans
of this picture are sure to be happy even without it. A high Recommendation.