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DVD: Curse of the Devil / Retorno de Walpurgis, El (1973)
Review Rating:   Good  
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Anchor Bay 
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1 (NTSC)

August 6, 2002



Genre: Horror  
The descendent of a sadistic lord becomes a werewolf after arrogantly killing a local during a hunt.  



Directed by:

Charles Aured
Screenplay by: Edward Mannix,  Jack Moll
Music by:  
Produced by: (none credited)

Paul Naschy,  Faye Falcon,  Vinc Molina,  May Oliver,  Joe Martin,  Maria Silva

Film Length: 84 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.85 :1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   English (Mono)
Special Features :  

Featurette: "Interview with the Werewolf" (15:00) Interview with Writer/Star Paul Naschy Widescreen (1.75:1) Anamorphic / cast & Crew Bio / Theatrical trailer for "Curse Of The Devil" (3:20) Widescreen (1.85:1) Anamorphic

Comments :

Paul Naschy's Waldemar Daninsky character returns in another outing, cursed by a Satanic coven like his brutal ancestor, and doomed never to enjoy real love and peace. Much like "Werewolf Shadow," Naschy's next outing boasts more gore, maggots, and full frontal nudity than in previously snipped sex scenes, in what's regarded as the most graphic Waldemar tale.

Anchor Bay's transfer is made from a similarly excellent print, boasting high clarity and a fairly decent colour scheme in beautiful mountain locations; because the opening prologue is set during the Middle Ages, director Aured, an associate of "Werewolf" director Leon Klimovsky, deliberately drained key colours for weird effects. Note: the opening credit sequence appears somewhat wider to preserve the title dimensions before the framing slowly returns to the disc's (1.85:1) ratio.

The disc's audio is a very clean mono mix, combining stock music, basic sound effects, and crisp English dubbing (although some of the softer passages lack resonance).

The extra unique feature to this release is the film's theatrical trailer, taken from a similarly excellent print. Set to amusingly melodramatic narration, the trailer shows off the film's gory money shots.

Similar to Columbia's Ray Harryhausen series, Anchor Bay has chosen to stick with extras that say it all, and "Curse of the Devil" contains the same Paul Naschy bio, still gallery, and Blue Underground featurette, as found in our review of "Werewolf Shadow."

From the “Werewolf Shadow” review:

For genre aficionados unfamiliar with Naschy's work, Blue Underground has prepared an excellent featurette, "Paul Naschy: Interview with the Werewolf," framed at something close to (1.75:1), and uses extensive Spanish interview footage of Naschy who touches upon several important aspects of his film career: including working with director Leon Klimovsky, playing werewolves over the years, and the bizarre censorship rules of a "post-Franco 'soft dictatorship' Spain." (Fervently against depictions of sex, violence, and religious/political criticism, Naschy's script had little difficulty getting approved once the setting was moved to France, the werewolf's extraction changed to Polish, and naughty sex became part of the occult.)

The only flaws in this otherwise excellent featurette is Blue Underground's consistent, rapid-fire editing that becomes frustrating when Naschy's English-subtitled responses are briefly played over complex graphics or still photos with identifying text; there's no way anyone can read both in the allotted time, and a split-screen sequence - demonstrating the differences between American (clothed, sacrificial babe) and European (naked, sacrificial babe) versions - can't be understood when the shot and subtitles flow by at such a hyper pace.


© 2002 Mark R. Hasan

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