Curse Of The Devil

dir. Charles Aured

Starring Paul Naschy, Fay Falcon, Vidal Molina, Maritza Olivares, and Maria Silva

Curse Of The Devil

A few years ago I finally decided to track down films by Jean Rollin to find out what all of the fuss was about. In that quest I decided that his films were without any doubt ones that would be either loved or hated by the viewer, and more than likely would never go over with the casual film viewer. If you were a fan of Armageddon, I would suggest you avoid Rollin.

In the past few months I decided to start checking out another "cult" figure in the Horror world, that of Spanish sensation Paul Naschy! The films of Naschy almost always seemed too good to me to be true. Most of them were filled with Werewolves and Vampires and seemed to be a throwback to the old style of Horror films. Why had I never tried harder to find these things? Well, lucky for me (and many of you), the advent of DVD is once again bringing rare Horror to your nearest film shop!

Anchor Bay Entertainment so far has released two Naschy films, Werewolf Shadow and Curse Of The Devil. Both films offer up Widescreen images, clean images, poster galleries, and a Paul Naschy interview that is repeated on both discs. Keeping with the tradition of AB and giving you the same extras on both discs, here you get the same first three paragraphs for both film reviews also! Now onto the film talk, then we will conclude with the same talk of extras! Sound like fun? Nah, maybe it is just pure laziness on the part of the reviewer.

With a release date after Werewolf Shadow, one must wonder if Curse wasn't really meant to be before Shadow. Curse affords us with a back history that shows us why Waldamar Daninsky is afflicted with the curse of being a werewolf. Plus the film leads us to believe that the man has no idea that he is in fact a werewolf. But if what I have read about these films, they are all fairly loose, and Daninsky is never really played out the same from film to film.

The film opens with two knights dueling it out in a field. We find out through the speech of one of the knights that the other is a Satan worshipper. The evil worshipper falls by the sword of the other, who we find turns out to be a distant relative of Waldemar Daninsky. The fallen mans wife, a witch, places a curse on the Daninsky blood line that if any of the future Daninsky's should kill any of the offspring of hers, that a curse would be placed on the Daninsky, a curse of Lycanthropy! This scene leads up to one of the most impressive hanging scenes ever caught on film! The witches are thrown off the edge of a bridge, to which the ropes are pulled tight around their necks causing them to swing violently back and forth, an impressive and horrifying scene.

We move forward to meet up with Waldemar. A mysterious woman shows up and he takes her into his castle. The woman ends up seducing Daninsky, and places the bite on him by means of a skull and her blood, and thus the werewolf is made, along with the mark to grace his chest.

At the same time as all of this is happening a madman is on the loose killing people. But are the murders that are happening Waldemar, or are they the madman?

In much the same way as Werewolf Shadow, we are again given more than the one monster. This time though it is in the form of an axe-wielding madman. But again also, we get a little confusion. Yet this time the film seems to be in better control, and it moves at a much smoother pace.

The story of Daninsky in both of these films is that of a lonely man. He seems isolated in both, and very disturbed. He comes across almost as tragic as Larry Talbot from the Universal films, though Naschy plays his wolf with more intensity and ferocity. Most of his werewolf attacks are extremely powerful and frightening!

Curse Of The Devil works well as both a Horror film and a Mystery. Though we know who is doing the killings, it is fun going along with the people and villagers on their quests, and watching Daninsky join in on trying to figure out who is doing the killings.

The image of Curse started out with me worrying a bit about the quality. The beginning duel is very washed out looking, but I wonder if it isn't meant to look that way to give you the idea that you are watching a period older than the rest of the film to follow, though before we do move forward in time, to the time of the rest of the story, the picture does improve. But once we get to the period that our story really takes place, we are treated to some stunning visuals. The age and budget of the film shows slightly, but none of it takes away from the wonderful visuals on display most of the time! The intense reds of the blood, mixed with the brilliant greens of the countryside of very nice to view..

Sound, like on the disc for Werewolf Shadow, is a mono track, but is what it should be. Everything is clear easy to make out. No complaints whatsoever on that area.

The poster gallery is a fine addition to the disc, and it give you plenty of fine posters to stare at for a bit of time.

Interview With The Werewolf - A Conversation With Paul Naschy is a documentary with Naschy in which for 15-20 minutes he talks of his career. The only film clips in the docu. come from Werewolf Shadow and Curse Of The Devil, which makes one sad to realize that the only films on AB's plate for the time being are these two films. This is a fairly interesting documentary, though at one point when Naschy puts himself in league with Karloff, Lugosi, Lee, Price and Cushing, you have to wonder if he realizes how difficult it is to get his films and how few people realize who he is.

Both Werewolf Shadow and Curse Of The Devil are fun films with a little of everything to make most monster fans happy. If I were to recommend one over the other, I would have to give the nod to Curse Of The Devil, it just flows better.

Review by Carl Isonhart

Released by Anchor Bay
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Audio - English
Extras :
Interview With The Werewolf documentary, Theatrical Trailer, T.V. Spot, Paul Naschy poster gallery, Paul Naschy bio