LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS/THE NIGHT OF WALPURGIS
(English titles: Werewolf Shadow; The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman)

1970

Director: Leon Klimovsky
Producer: Alberto Platar for Plata Films (Madrid), Hi-Fi Stereo (Munich)
Script: Jacinto Molina, Hans Munkell
Music: Anton Garcia Abril
Cast: Paul Naschy, Gaby Fuchs, Barbara Capell, Patty Shepard, Andres Resino, Jose Marco, Yelena Samarina, Julio Pena, Barta Barry.


Filmed in Eastmancolor and Widescreen (Panoramico)
Running time: 86 min.

DVD: Anchor Bay, NTSC (as WEREWOLF SHADOW); Anchor Bay UK, PAL (as WEREWOLF SHADOW); Divisa, PAL (the Spanish language original). A few lower-end US companies have released, as a public domain title, the American edit, THE WEREWOLF VS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN.

 

   

German lobby cards

 

Review: LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS is unquestionably the most successful Naschy film in his own country of Spain. Internationally, this may be true also, if we can judge by the extensive posters from various countries and the collectables (Super 8mm film, American paperback, etc.) that are continually surfacing.

This is a film which falls between LA FURIA DEL HOMBRE LOBO and EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO, not only chronologically but in style and content. It is not as free-spirited as the former, and nowhere near as technically proficient and Romantically stunning as the latter. Naschy looks quite good here, lean and interesting facially, even handsome; and there's a creepy, almost hallucinative atmosphere to the vampire sequences, courtesy director Leon Klimovsky's use of slow motion and the eerie muscial score provided by Anton Garcia Abril. Klimovsky makes the unseen presence of the chief vampire woman, Countess Wandesa Darvula de Nadasdy (played by Patty Shepard), genuinely felt: some quick, unexpected shots of her send the proverbial chill down one's spine. The few nude segments seem like inserts, and one particular shot, following the title sequence, is really out-of-place, as the camera pauses to gloat over the breast of the female victim, even at the expense of fully showing the blood spurting from her wounded throat. (The savage attack on her, however, is one of the best moments of the film--a real jolt of amazing animal ravenousness.)  Naschy opts to tell a simple romantic tale of horror, and there's a somberness to the proceedings that suggests that Naschy as a screenwriter was getting serious about mythical storytelling, a development which eventually would bloom into the impressive EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO, a film that many consider a remake of this one. The success of LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS in Europe kicked of the Spanish Horror boom of the 1970s and provided Naschy with impetus for more Daninsky films, a thankful outcome in both cases, to be sure.

-- Mirek


 


French Poster


American Poster

   
Italian Poster


Italian Foldout Poster


British Super 8mm release

 


THE WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMAN edit

The American version of LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS streamlined the original cut,
with music library cues replacing the original Anton Garcia Arbil score.
A new credit sequence was created, a sample of which is below.

 


DVD comparison between Anchor Bay's WEREWOLF SHADOW
and Divisa's LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS

Though Anchor Bay's 2002 DVD of WEREWOLF SHADOW was considered a beautiful
revelation when released, a comparison with a subsequent 2003 PAL release from
Spain's Divisa company shows that the PAL release has clearer colors, a sharper
picture and more side information.


Anchor Bay


Divisa


Anchor Bay


Divisa

 


 

NTSC DVD Availability - A very nice presentation from Anchor Bay, complete and in anamorphic widescreen, with Naschy interview, theatrical trailer, TV spot, and a Naschy Photo Gallery and Bio.