FRANKENSTEINS BLOODY TERROR
(La Marca del Hombre Lobo)
Paul Naschy is a clear fan of classic horror all of his films draw on the classic monsters of Universal horror Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Frankenstein monster and the Mummy. Frankenstein's Bloody Terror reads as an attempt to filter Lon Chaney Jrs The Wolf Man (1941) through the sensibilities of the Hammer horror films of the 1960s and 70s. On a directorial level, Frankenstein's Bloody Terror is routine. The action is flat and prosaic, while Enrique L. Equiliz does almost nothing to generate atmosphere or make the audience jump. The one plus is the photography. The film was shot in 70mm and has been screened in 3D but was mostly seen flat (as is the case with the prints circulating today). The production has gone to shoot in a real castle located in the town of San Martn de Valdeiglesias, which is near Madrid and the widescreen photography gives the otherwise B-budgeted film a slick and professional sheen that easily competes with some of the Hammer product being released around the time.
Paul Naschy is not a particularly great actor. To his defence, this was his first performance although he would never improve much. He has a handsomeness but he is no Christopher Lee or for that matter even a Bela Lugosi despite his preference for monster roles. With Frankenstein's Bloody Terror, Naschy is clearly wanting to rewrite the story of Lon Chaney Jrs Larry Talbot from The Wolf Man in a way that regards the wolfman as a hero. The film does introduce a left field element about halfway through that sidelines Naschys wolfman and introduces two vampires who proceed to seduce the young couple, something that takes what has up to that point been a werewolf story in another direction entirely for a time. Naschy never emerges again until fairly much at the end where he becomes the good guy who kills the evil vampires.
The strangest part about Frankenstein's Bloody Terror is how it features no Frankenstein monster or member of the Frankenstein family. The original Spanish title of the film translates as Mark of the Wolfman. When it came to the English-language version, the film rights were brought by Independent International for US release. Independent International was contracted to deliver a Frankenstein film what would eventually emerge as Al Adamsons Dracula vs Frankenstein (1971), which should not be confused with Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1970), the Waldemar Daninsky sequel that Paul Naschy made after this but this was not completed by the due date. The studio inventively took Mark of the Wolfman, which features werewolves but nothing to do with any aspect of the Frankenstein story, and slapped on a thirty second animated prologue that explains how the Wolfstein family later changed their name to Frankenstein.
Paul Naschy played Waldemar Daninsky in nine other films:- Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1970), The Werewolf vs the Vampire Woman (1971), Dr Jekyll and the Werewolf (1972), Fury of the Wolfman (1972), Curse of the Devil (1973), Night of the Howling Beast (1975), Return of the Wolfman/The Craving (1980), The Beast and the Magic Sword (1983) and Licanthropus (1996).