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The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: November 22nd, 2022.
    Director: León Klimovsky
    Cast: Paul Naschy, Gaby Fuchs, Barbara Capell, Andrés Resino, Yelena Samarina, Patty Shepard
    Year: 1971
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman – Movie Review:

    When this Paul Naschy/León Klimovsky collaborative effort begins, Waldemar Daninsky (Naschy) lies dead on the table of an operating room. An assistant watches as a surgeon removes the bullet from his chest. Bad move on his part, for as the surgeon explains to his assistant about the legend of the werewolf, Daninsky, now free from the silver bullet, transforms into the werewolf. Now transformed into a creature more beast than man, he makes short work of the pair and then moves on to devour a foxy young woman roaming the area.

    With the werewolf now on the loose and having already claimed three victims, the film shifts focus to two students: Genevieve (Gaby Fuchs) and Elvira (Barbara Cappell). These two lovely ladies are determined to uncover the truth behind the legend of Countess Wandessa (Paty Shepard), a horrible women from the past who reportedly drank human blood. They hike into the remote area where she's buried and who should they run into but Daninsky who is hiding from everyone in a rundown old house. He's nice enough to feed them and show them where Wandessa was laid to rest. The girls explore the tomb and when they find the body, Elvira accidentally cuts herself. When he blood lands on the corpse, it comes back to life.

    Later that night, Wandessa pulls Genevieve under her spell and soon the pair is running around causing trouble. Meanwhile, Daninsky has got the hots for Elvira - the only problem being that he's a werewolf. Chained up in the house one night, Daninksy gets his fur up when Elvira proves to be Wandessa's next target. Will he be able to free himself and save his lady friend? Will he be able to stop Wandessa? Will he turn into a werewolf and bite a lot of people in the process? Absolutely, and you wouldn't want it any other way.

    A mish-mash of monsters and odd urban legends from across Europe, Werewolf Shadow (or, Die Nacht Der Vampire, as it is titled on this release) is a really enjoyable monster film. The picture once again lets Naschy strut his stuff both with and without werewolf make up on. He's great as the tortured Daninsky, consistently having to deal with his nocturnal alter ego and trying to balance out the werewolf's doings with some semblance of a normal life. While Fuchs, Cappel and Shepard provide an ample amount of eye candy for the film, this is Naschy's show through and through. He obviously wrote the script with himself in mind and he makes the most of his part.

    León Klimovsky's direction is strong and controlled. There's plenty of style and atmosphere in the film and it's never boring. While it's hard to top the excellent opening scene the film at least comes close a few times. The set piece with the chained Daninsky in the house stands out as a fine, tense moment that highlights the dichotomy of the character. The makeup and gore effects are on par with the other films in the series and as such, they work well. All in all, Werewolf Shadow is a fine effort and one of Naschy's more beloved films for good reason. It's a completely enjoyable slice of Spanish horror with a great cast, great sets, and a fun story. It isn't always deep, but at least it's entertaining and a whole lot of fun.

    Note: This release contains both the eighty-seven minute uncut export version on UHD and on the first Blu-ray in the set. This release also includes, on a second Blu-ray, the alternate ninety-four minute clothed Spanish cut of the movie. There aren't a whole lot of differences between the two versions, the clothed cut runs shorter as it has the nudity removed but it's definitely a legitimate alternate version and it's nice to see both cuts included for posterity's sake. The second Blu-ray in the set also includes the ninety-five minute integral nude Spanish version which is basically a composite version that includes all of the nude footage from the export version along with the alternate bits and pieces that were exclusive to the clothed Spanish version.

    The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman – Blu-ray Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome brings The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman to UHD newly scanned and restored in 4k from its original 35mm negative. The HVEV encoded 2160p transfer is framed at 1.85. and, some questionable day for night scenes that have never looked amazing notwithstanding (the most obvious example being in the opening scene), it looks excellent. There are some minor white specks here and there, not surprisingly more evident when opticals and transitions are used in the movie, but the vast majority of it looks very clean. Colors are reproduced very nicely across the board and black levels are nice and deep. Shadow detail is generally quite good and there’s a lot more depth and texture on the UHD than has been noticeable on past editions. The picture always looks nice and film-like, retaining the expected amount of natural film grain and showing now noticeable issues with any noise reduction, edge enhancement or compression artifacts.

    As far as the audio goes, the export version gets Spanish and English language Mono tracks in 24-bit DTS-HD with optional subtitles for each track and English SDH subtitles also included for the English track. Both the Spanish clothed version and the Integral version gets Spanish language Mono tracks in 24-bit DTS-HD Mono with English subtitles. Audio quality is fine across the board, the weirdly groovy music that plays over the opening credits sounds quite strong and demonstrates decent range. There aren’t any problems with any hiss or distortion and everything sounded properly balanced.

    There are no extras on the UHD but there is quite a bit of supplemental material spread across the two Blu-ray discs in this set.

    Blu-ray Disc One:

    In addition to the export version, this disc also includes an excellent eighty-minute documentary from 2010 titled The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry: Paul Naschy - The Life And Legend Of A Horror Icon that is absolutely worth your time if you’re a fan of the man. It goes into a wealth of detail about his career and his life on and off the big screen. Hosted by Mick Garries, there are interviews are included here with Javier Aguirre, Nacho Cerdà, Jorge Grau, Donald Glut, Antonio Mayans, María José Cantud, John Landis, Javier Botet, Joe Dante, Jack Taylor Caroline Munro and with Naschy himself and his sons Sergio and Bruno Molina. Over the span of the documentary we not only learn a lot about Naschy’s background and his personal life but also of the importance and the influence he had in Spanish and European horror circles and on horror movies in general.

    Also included on this disc is a new video interview with Sergio Molina, the son of Paul Naschy, that runs just over twenty-nine minute. He speaks here about the history of the feature, where his father’s career was at during this point, how he personally feels about the movie and where it places alongside some of his father’s other films and quite a bit more.

    Also included on the first Blu-ray disc are original theatrical trailer under both the Werewolf Shadow and Werewolf Versus The Vampire Woman titles, three alternate title and end credit sequences and a fairly massive still gallery made up of various promotional images, archival materials and behind-the-scenes photographs.

    Blu-ray Disc Two:

    The second Blu-ray disc includes the two alternate versions of the movie noted above.

    This release also comes packaged with some nice reversible cover sleeve artwork. The first 5,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome’s website will also come packaged with a limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler, Jr..

    The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman - The Final Word:

    The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Woman remains a highpoint in Naschy’s career, a quirky but really enjoyable slice of atmospheric Euro-horror made with plenty of style and a really solid cast. Vinegar Syndrome’s UHD/Blu-ray release gives the film an excellent 4k presentation and includes three different versions of the movie alongside some other really interesting supplements, making this one essential for Naschy fans.


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