If they gave a Nobel Prize for bad movie premises this baby would easily wind up wearing one of those big medallions around its neck! Spain’s King of Horror (and John Belushi look-alike) , Paul “Jacinto Molina” Naschy is in this film playing his recurring character, tormented lycanthrope Waldemar Daninsky. The premise of this movie is that aliens plan to conquer the world by frightening humanity into submission by scaring us with monsters. Call me crazy, but I think one lone spaceship firing death rays would go a lot further toward scaring us Earthlings than a few monsters would.
Anyway, the aliens decide to capture and use a vampire, a mummy, Naschy’s werewolf character and what is obviously supposed to be the Frankenstein Monster, but nobody calls him that. He is alternately called the Franksalon Monster, the Frankensalen Monster and even the Feraxalon Monster. It’s like the characters all suffer an epileptic seizure every time they try to say the monster’s name.
The aliens are led by Michael Rennie, on what must have been The Day His Career Stood Still. In this neglected bad movie classic you’ve got alien minds animating the corpses of Earthlings, a creepy castle, classic monster types, bad dubbing from the original Spanish, a mummy who kills with Leo Buscaglia hugs and a mad scientist’s lab!
Determined to leave no cliche unturned the movie even introduces an “emotion vs intellect” subplot as the alien minds inhabiting the Earthlings’ corpses begin to yield to the feelings (mostly horniness) that their unfamiliar bodies are making them vulnerable to. And you’ll love the way the aliens just let the vampire continue roaming around their HQ even though he repeatedly tries to kill some of them! At least lock him in his coffin or carry crucifixes you morons!
Other bits of fun in this schlock classic are a pointless teaser about a Golem who never shows up, love scenes accompanied by what sounds like music from a tampon commercial and what can only be described as flatulent noises on the soundtrack every time the mummy makes an appearance. You’ll also get a huge kick out of the odd bit of werewolf lore that I’ve never encountered outside of Naschy’s movies. This odd variation on werewolf factoids states that a werewolf can only be killed by a silver bullet fired by a woman who loves him enough to die with him.
By the way, always a class act, Michael Rennie died after making this film and thus avoided sliding any further into John Carradine Chasm. This film is a lot of fun but never seems to get the attention it deserves because many copies of it use a pointless “Dracula vs Frankenstein” title, which makes many potential viewers confuse it with Al Adamson’s seminal movie of that name. And don’t get me started on Dracula, Prisoner Of Frankenstein, which also often goes by a bogus Dracula vs Frankenstein title.
Bonus movies from Naschy which are fun-bad but not nearly as fun-bad as this one are: Dr Jekyll VS The Wolfman, in which a descendant of the original Dr Jekyll uses the family formula to cure Waldemar of lycanthropy. Trouble is he starts turning into a kinky and murderous Mr Hyde on the nights of the full moon. (This is better than being a werewolf?) There’s even a scene in a disco, for that quintessential 70′s touch. (Don’t you hate people who use the word “quintessential”?
The Werewolf VS The Yeti, in which Waldemar joins a mountain-climbing expedition in the Himalayas so he can seek out a rare herb which will cure him of being a werewolf. He also encounters a violent Himalayan war-lord, the war-lord’s kinky mistress and 2 women who the movie can’t decide are cannibals or vampires. In the tradition of Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster the title bout lasts about a minute. The rest is buildup.
And one of Naschy’s non-Waldemar movies, The Hunchback Of The Rue Morgue. In this one he plays a hunchback who steals corpses from the morgue of the title and takes them to a mad scientist who uses parts of the corpses to create a shambling monster. This bizarre mish-mash sets Poe, Victor Hugo and Mary Shelley all spinning in their graves at once! And, remember, it was made in the homeland of bullfighting, and rats really were hurt during the making of this film.