Saturday, March 28, 2015

Curse of the Devil

Curse of the Devil Directed By Carlos Aured, Starring Paul Naschy (1973). 

I'll get to the obvious, Paul Naschy doesn't receive much love here at TOG, I can relate that many fans of his feel that he's been cheated and lampooned unfairly by society at large. Those ravenous devotees of the Spaniard Wolfman, think that he hasn't been given a fair chance. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because I can appreciate the art of stop motion werewolf transformation and am a monster nerd (I mean I am a regular contributor to Monster)! According to Chas Balun, this is apparently the Nasch-man's "Citizen Kane" and I've enjoyed some of his work in the past, so I'm sure it will be at least a good time. 

The credits prominently feature the voice talents of Ed Mannix (who for years, I thought was the voice of Al Cliver but I was misled by because it's actually Nick Alexander). Mannix has dubbed lots of actors in Lucio Fulci films like The NY Ripper, House by the Cemetery and also worked on Pieces and Burial Ground. With most of these dubbed eurotrashy films, your ears get more acquainted with the overdub, than the actor's real voices. 

 Two knights start clashing metallic weapons on horseback, one of them is related to Countess Bathory (who's been immortalized in countless metal songs) and the other is the star, Paul "The Spanish Wolfman" Naschy. Nasch slices off the head of his oppressor while two women conduct a black mass and recruit Satan's help in their vengeance. Paul wears different hats and costumes, playing a few roles at a time, possibly for economic reasons. Witches are hanged and burned lickity split, while they curse the family name of Waldemar Daninsky, the character Nasch plays in almost all of his movies.

Hey bring back my head!

He shoots what he thinks is a dog on a hunting trip and it turns out to be a shape shifting man.  In a witches dungeon, a flaming pentagram spawns a naked hippy chick who takes a magic skull (not of the crystal variety) and plans on making things shitty for Paul. He finds the hippy babe, who sort of resembles Joan Collins, and brings her back on his horse drawn carriage. 

They mention "The Night of Walpurgis" a lot, which is when witches meet in obscene revelry, it was depicted in Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain and also in Goethe's Faust. It was also a hardcore song by Integrity.

Ooops, I accidentally turned into poodle man!

Naschy (who in some scenes looks like George Costanza to me when he wore that hairpiece that Elaine tossed out the window), falls for his new witchy girlfriend. It's all according to plan and she harbors no true feelings for him. She punctures his chest with an animal skull covered in blood and it turns him into a -- you guessed it -- snarling hairy beast! 
He blames himself for her death and even has nightmares about it. I can't understand why he likes her, she gave him the mark of the werewolf and was soon after killed by some random maniac out in the forest with an axe. 

CONSTANZA! see it works sometimes

Out in the green countryside, he finds a blonde in distress and helps her by a waterfall. There are lots of dull Hammer-esque shenanigans going on that slow down the plot. I used to think Hammer films were very dry and boring until I got older and saw ones like Vampire Circus and Twins of Evil (2 of my absolute favorites). I appreciated them a lot more now than I did in high school. I'm aware of the Naschy fanbase who defend his work with a venomous passion, but I don't really get it! I loved Inquisition and a few others we've reviewed (excluding The monsturd Werewolf vs The Yeti)! 

Mama-Mia, thissa some spicy red-a meatsauce

The characters are seriously one-dimensional and the dialogue adds nothing other than "uh oh, look out something might happen pretty soon!" OK I'm waiting! 

He does get involved in a love triangle with the two blondes (one of them looks like Shakira and has a giant hairy bush). Remember when Lon Chaney Jr. was like "Lock me up before I start killing the ones I care about", well as Paul starts boning his blonde friend, he accidentally transforms and eats her like a delicious mutton chop. It's handled in the most awkward silly way possible (the poster paint blood trickles over her nose). 

A lot of useless situations occur (blah blah, more boring dialogue) and than the wolf goes out bitch-smacking gypsies in the dead of night, it's pretty hilarious! The stop motion werewolf effects look almost identical to the ones you've seen in other PN films, they're so similar that it reminded me of how in He-Man, they constantly recycle the "Greyskull footage" over and over ad nauseum.
Come on wolf, you're making us canines look silly!

Later on, he gets down to some fornicating with the other blonde (who looks like a more Latina Catherine Hicks). I like how whenever the moon is full, they play this synthesizer ZIIIINNNNNNGGGGG noise, that wouldn't sound out of place in an 80's videogame. Even though I've had terrible sleep inducing moments with this director's work, I must be a glutton for lychanthropic punishment because I'd watch another one just to see how wacky it is. Naschy has that effect on people that loathe him and die hard fans who know what to expect and love his style, it's irresistibly inept.

Citizen Kane, you say? More like Orson Welles doing Paul Masson Wine ads, completely drunk off his ass (Drunk Outtakes). 


Did you fall asleep under a rock again?

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