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Garbage In Smithees Out

the gummy haggis movie

What sort of movie is less than memorable than butterscotch-flavored gummy haggis? Most of them, actually. But in this case, it's a Paul Naschy werewolf movie entitled Fury of the Wolfman.


What initially drew us to this movie was the premise as explained on the back of the DVD case (the DVD was given to the Guru at Origins by Some Random Guy). Allow me to quote the plot summary of Fury of the Wolfman: "Lola (Perla Cristal), a female psychiatrist, resurrects her lover (Paul Naschy) after he has been attacked and bitten by a Yeti in Tibet. Subjecting him to bizarre mind-control experiments that force him to turn into a werewolf, she is attempting to awaken his dormant manliness that never existed before his death. Instead she awakens a killer that is completely under her control."

While this is all undoubtedly sort-of true, it's true in a very disappointingly unlurid fashion. How is this possible? I saw the movie and I'm still not certain. The pacing of the thing sure doesn’t help.

The movie starts with flashbacks (really annoying 50% image superimposition flashbacks) to the scientific expedition where Professor Waldemar Daninsky is bitten by the yeti. He is nursed back to health by a Random Tibetan Guy who warns him of the curse portended by the pentagram-like scar left by the yeti. Professor Daninsky is a man of science and so doesn't believe a word of it, but still ... he is haunted by the pentagram. So much so that the last quarter or so of the flashback, he is moaning, "Pentagram! Pentagram! Pentagram!" in addition to whatever else is happening onscreen.

Later in the film, he discovers that his wife has been unfaithful and has a voiceover of "Unfaithful! Unfaithful! Unfaithful!" At that point, we decided that "Unfaithful Pentagram" would be a good band name.

It’s also worth noting here that the film’s musical store is attempting to be Dark Shadowsesque, but by way of slow fingering exercises. The most exciting thing to happen in the background music is when the key (ploddingly, predictably) changes.

As the movie unfolds, we learn the following things:

1. Chematrodes are really powerful, especially in waves.
2. Female scientists are both spooky and evil.
3. Werewolves like to bite people's necks, as if they were hairy vampires.
4. Reporters make the best detectives.
5. It is hard to kill a horse with a flute. Sorry, wrong movie.
6. Chematrodes are an attempt by science to dominate humanity.
7. Werewolves can escape easily from any sort of imprisonment.
8. Pentagram! Pentagram! Pentagram!
9. Nothing (not even police intervention) happens with any speed.
10. "This can't be scientific! This can't be scientific!"

I suspect that the writer and director of this film got together and said, "Let's make a werewolf movie for people who aren't in any hurry."

And we weren't.



Something like 13 of Paul Naschy's 80+ film appearances are as the character "Waldemar Daninsky," an unhappy man who is cursed to turn into a wolfman during the full moon -- and who tends to die at the end of the movie.

Comments

Amazing coincidence - I just recently saw that movie, on a double-pack DVD with "Horror Express". I was thinking "hmmm... I know they've done Horror Express, but...damn, the Smithees website is down so I can't see if Wolfman has been done yet".

Reminded me very much of "Night of 1000 Cats" with the overall look and the hairstyles. Same production folks, maybe.
This was part of a three-movie DVD set called SERIAL CHILLERS. There was actually one point where we were trying to figure out if it was the exact same set as Night of 1000 Cats. I don't think it was, but the similarity between the evil rich guy's castle lair in that movie and the evil scientist's castle home in this movie ... well, they were awfully similar is all.