7. The Werewolf vs The Vampire Woman (1971, León Klimovsky)
Before Batman vs Superman, before Alien vs Predator, before all that garbage, Spanish horror movie legend Paul Naschy gave us the classic monster mash up of WEREWOLF against VAMPIRE WOMAN.
Naschy was a Spanish bodybuilder with a deep love for classic monster movies (aren’t we all Spanish bodybuilders in that crazy game we call life?) who channelled that love into a series of films following the anti-hero hombre lobo, Waldemar Daninsky, played by Naschy himself in a really swish coat.
In this film, he faces off against – yup, you guessed it – a vampire woman.
It sounds like everything is in place for a laughable bit of schlock, but wait!
It’s actually creepy as hell.
Check out that ghoul! Reminds me of the old dear from Insidious.
So the vampire woman finds a pal and together the two start roaming around, hand in hand, like they’ve just wandered out of a Jean Rollin movie or somethin’. They are always shot in slow motion, lending a surreal beauty to the creepiness.
There’s also a hooded skeleton attacking someone in slow motion, the year before Tombs of the Blind Dead made a whole series out of that one idea. I just can’t get enough of hooded skeletons, so that was a nice surprise.
The last half hour drags the film down a bit, as a policeman comes to investigate. Why are the police always so boring? Why did the film have to go from werewolves and vampires and skeletons and Spanish ladies in negligees to a policeman interrogating locals? Why? Why not, I suppose.
At the end of the day, I’m glad he’s in the film, because otherwise I would never have found my mantra –
Amen to that, bro.
I ALSO WATCHED…
8. Wolf Creek (2005, Greg McLean)
Wolf Creek came out in 2005, the same year as Hostel. Together, they helped kick off that most miserable of horror sub-genres – the torture porn movie. I’ve always maintained that there’s more to Hostel; that film has some laughs and some terrific suspense set pieces too. It’s harder to make the case for Wolf Creek.
First things first, the film is impeccably made, beautifully shot (though not as nice as yesterday’s Australian movie Razorback), and directed with a sure hand by first time director McLean.
It’s just so nasty and cruel. Once the torture starts, it’s pretty much wall to wall captive women screaming and begging for their lives, which is not my idea of a good time. I dunno, it’s an effective horror film, but between this and Hostel, I actually prefer Hostel’s more Hollywood take on the torture porn cycle.
After this, McLean went on to make the terrific giant crocodile movie Rogue, then the abysmal Wolf Creek 2 and now a Wolf Creek tv series! Guess people can’t get enough of the racist, murderous, rapist scumbag that the films focus on…
9. Coming Soon (2008, Sophon Sakdaphisit)
Thai horror Coming Soon opens with a fiendishly entertaining film-within-a-film, and then goes rapidly downhill. The story of a drug addict pirating a horror movie and then finding himself haunted by the ghost, it tries to replay the supernatural mystery of Ringu beat for beat and for the most part fails.
There’s a couple of creepy scenes and good jumps near the start, before the inevitably tedious ‘researching the mystery on the internet’ scene kills any momentum stone dead.
I’ve yet to see a really good Thai horror film. Shutter was okay, I guess, but for now I think I’ll stick to Thai action cinema.