the werewolf vs vampire woman 4K
the werewolf vs vampire woman 4K

The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman 4K UHD/Blu-ray Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

Paul Naschy vs. the Veiled Woman in slow motion

the werewolf vs vampire woman 4K
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Paul Naschy’s infamous werewolf of Spanish horror had a number of iterations; in The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman (aka Werewolf ShadowWalpurgis Night, and a number of other titles), he reprises his role as the tortured Waldemar Daninsky in the fifth entry in the very loosely connected series to battle the Countess Wandessa, who has been accidentally resurrected by well-meaning but somewhat clueless researchers Elvira (Gaby Fuchs) and Genevieve (Barbara Capell). A mix of Hammer horror and classic Universal monsters cinema, this iteration directed by León Klimovsky sees Naschy at some of his best with Gothic castles, creepy cemeteries, and a particularly effective vampire design featuring the black-veiled Wandessa.

Naschy’s Daninsky is much like the cursed wolfmen of yesteryear and The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman is no different in that respect. Here he plays the character as an antihero with a lot of pathos, who is regrettably revived from a silver bullet wound only to be forced back into his life of lycanthropian torture sequestered away outside of a French village where the people hate him. Once Elvira and Genevieve show up, he finds his true love in the beautiful Elvira – but in tragic fashion, the romance is not meant to be. The werewolf thing does get in the way, as does Wandessa and her nightly visitations after Genevieve bleeds on her corpse, but it also doesn’t help matters that Elvira’s beau Marcel (Andres Resino) shows up later on to investigate the variety of mysterious deaths that have been going on.

The script, by Naschy and Hans Munkel, is a pretty simple affair, and there aren’t a lot of twists and turns throughout. The majority of the film’s runtime is spent focusing on Daninsky’s strife and his wishes to protect Elvira at all costs; werewolf transitions are actually kept to a minimum, and truly only happen at the beginning and towards the end of the film during the final conflict. However, the drafty atmosphere and dream-like slow motion effects with the vampire women work quite well. The title of the film, though, does give the viewer a bit of impatience – of course we want to see the two mythic monsters battle it out.

As a Naschy werewolf movie, this one’s pretty by-the-book, but fans of that series will certainly find more to love about The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman. Naschy holds everything down with a good performance and the visceral vampire moments, as well as the beautiful setting and cinematography; it’s a battle worth viewing.

4K UHD

Vinegar Syndrome has jumped right to UHD for the American release of this film in high definition. Here they provide three different options for viewing the film, including the international export nude option (the only offering on the UHD) as well as Blu-ray options for the Spanish clothed cut and the Spanish nude integral cut. It appears as though all cuts were restored in 4K from the 35mm camera negative; they are effectively the same quality-wise, except that the integral cut and clothed cuts feature a few different scenes.

The UHD offering looks phenomenal, with an overall remarkable amount of detail available. The grain is present but very fine and resolves quite nicely. The transfer is almost entirely free of damage as well. The HDR enhances colors and provides very deep blacks; these aren’t used often, but the occasional presence of these dark scenes shows how much work the HDR is doing. Textures are crisp and clean. Comparing to the included Blu-ray version, the grain resolving is much better on the UHD disc, but the included Blu-ray cuts also look comparably fantastic. This is an excellent transfer for the film and Naschy’s werewolf has never looked better.

Audio is presented with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track of both Spanish and English dub on the UHD international cut; interestingly, the Blu-ray version features a 1.0 mono track, though truth be told there’s not much difference between the two. While both versions were dubbed, I preferred the Spanish version because its more robust musical score; the English sounds a bit thinner with less low-end tone. There are also occasional differences in the English script, as well as minor changes to the score. On the Blu-ray additional cuts, we get Spanish audio only in 1.o mono. English subtitles are included for both the Spanish and English language tracks.

Vinegar Syndrome has included the bonus features on the second disc of this set, the Blu-ray version of the international nude cut. A feature-length documentary on Paul Naschy is included, hosted by Mick Garris with a number of interviews with big horror names. New to this release is an interview with Sergio Molina, son of Naschy, who discusses his father’s illustrious film career, some of his favorite films, and specifically some information regarding The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman; it’s a great interview and shows the passion Naschy instilled in his son.

Also included are various theatrical trailers with the film’s alternate titles, alternate title and end credit sequences, and a still gallery of promo images and photographs. The release also comes with reversible cover artwork.

Extra Features

  • 4K Ultra HD / Region Free Blu-ray Set
  • 4K UHD presented in High-Dynamic-Range
  • NEW scanned & restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative
  • Presented in its International Export “Nude” Version (UHD & Blu-ray) with the original Spanish language soundtrack and newly translated English subtitles as well as an English dub; its Spanish “Clothed” Version (Blu-ray only) with its original Spanish language soundtrack; and its Spanish “Nude” Integral Version (Blu-ray only) with its original Spanish language soundtrack
  • “The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry: Paul Naschy, the Life and Legend of a Horror Icon” – a feature length documentary featuring Mick Garris, John Landis, Javier Botet, Joe Dante, Caroline Munro, Paul Naschy and more (1080p; 1:20:28)
  • NEW video interview with Sergio Molina, the son of Paul Naschy (1080p; 29:04)
  • Original theatrical trailer under the title WEREWOLF SHADOW (1080p; 3:14)
  • Original theatrical trailer under the title WEREWOLF VERSUS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (1080p; 1:03)
  • Three alternate title and end credit sequences (1080p; 7:17)
  • Extensive still gallery featuring promotional images, archival articles and behind-the-scenes photographs (no chapter breaks; 1:46)
  • NEW Reversible cover artwork
  • NEW translated English subtitles

Verdict

The Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman is a fun entry in the Daninsky saga and Vinegar Syndrome has given this film royal treatment with an excellent 4K scan that looks fantastic on UHD, along with additional cuts for completionists. A number of extras provide additional incentive to pick up this glowing release.

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