"First in a series of goofily enjoyable Spanish Werewolf flicks."
Imagine a Spanish version of England's beloved Hammer films of the 60’s and 70’s, and you’ll have a good idea of what Paul Naschy's series of "Werewolf" flicks looks like.First in a series of seven silly-yet-watchable lycanthrope tales, Werewolf Shadow (a.k.a. Night of the Walpurgis) presents Waldemar Daninsky, a soft-spoken and entirely likeable fellow... who turns into a carnivorous werewolf whenever a full moon pops up.
Throughout this series, Daninsky has had his canine alter ego match claws with various horror types, such as serial killers, witches, and even Bigfoot! In this first entry, our four-legged anti-hero must fend off the advances of a coven of evil vampires. (The fact that the vampires are nearly all women, many of whom aren't shy about their lesbian desires, is not a subplot included solely by chance.) The plot-heavy narrative throws a half dozen characters into the mix, all of whom are either A) vampire lesbians, B) a werewolf, or C) soon to be dead.
If the extensive collection of painfully dry exposition scenes don't have you hitting the FF button, then the mumble-mouthed English dubbing should do the trick. Don’t hold down the button too long, or you’re bound to miss a few cool parts (most of which involve half-naked lady vampires carousing the moors) - and make sure you don’t miss the hysterical werewolf transformations. Sure, that hoary old "stop-motion, add a little hair, stop-motion" gimmick worked great for the original Wolf Man movies... but those were made in the 1940’s! Surely, even in Spain, movie special effects technology had advanced past this point by 1971.
Often heralded as one of Spain's trailblazing horror films, Werewolf Shadow suffers from a myriad of easily recognizable flaws, yet it still retains a lot of enjoyable B-movie charm. Look past the clumsy voice dubbing, and you'll find a series of films that’s no less entertaining than the Hollywood horror output of the 40’s and 50’s.You’ll have to have a staunch camp threshold to have a lot of fun with the Naschy werewolf flicks, but hardcore horror historians should certainly find something to enjoy.