Paul Naschy has often been called the Spanish Lon Chaney and not without reason. He’s played everything from the Devil himself to an Exorcist (you can’t get more opposite than that). His most famous character however is the Werewolf Waldamier Daninskey, whom he played twelve times. In fact Mr Naschy holds the record for playing a werewolf on screen the most . This was the first of those films and it may shock less knowing readers to discover that despite the film’s title there isn’t a Frankenstein in sight. It’s got a Wolfman and Vampires but no big green bloke with bolts in his neck. The title arose after distributors had been promised a Frankenstein film by independent internationals Sam Sherman but had for various reasons been let down. He quickly slapped a ridiculous prologue to the beginning of this film.
The story is slightly convoluted involving Naschy's character becoming a werewolf and then enlisting the help of a vampire doctor to cure him. Those last events don’t really occur until close to the end and Daninskey doesn’t become a werewolf until a good chunk of the film is over. This may sound like I’m saying the film drags, which it does at one small point just after the vampires arrive on the scene but that is not the main cause of this problem. No the main cause of this problem is that naschy has tried to fit too much into one films plot. If the Vampires had been in most of the film and not as what appears to be just an afterthought this may not have occurred.
Another problem is also to do with the plot. As soon as the vampires appear it’s pretty much out of the window. We have no idea why they want Daninskey stuck as a werewolf for ever or why they once again raise Wolfstein. They appear and attempt to turn the two young leads into vampires but for no reason. In some films this wouldn’t matter but up until this point FBT had managed to keep a relatively straight narrative.
The films small budget does let it down in places for example although Daninskey’s wolf make up is extremely good, Wolfsteins is not. In fact Wolfstein himself is another issue for me with the film. It would have been great to see his opinion over the fact that as soon as someone pulls the knife out of him he’s alive and well and all Werewolf He can never have proper peace. Yet although he is the cause of Daninskeys curse a lot of his scenes are almost like after thoughts. He dies during a fight against Daninskey even though the film acknowledges that a silver knife is the only way to kill a werewolf.
The film isn’t all that bad. A fantastic use of colour and gothic atmosphere drives the entire thing and gives it a surreal feel. In fact my two favourite scenes are because of this. The first is the hunt for the wolf in the woods and the second is the arrival of the Vampires at the train station. Both show a very Bava-ish style of filming that works incredibly well despite the already mentioned poor Wolfstein make up in the wood scene.
Despite what must seem a very negative review FBT isn’t that bad. It’s a good start to a very interesting series of films and creates a character than euro horror fans will fall in love with. The acting is very good aside from one or two characters and for gothic horror fans (especially those of the universal and hammer periods as this is almost like a mixture of the two) this is a must. It will defiantly make you want to see more of a horror legends work.
GORE: nothing too brutal but a bit of blood
OVERALL RATING: 6/10 Not fantastic but not bad either
Welcome one and all- Please leave sanity at the door
A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.firstname.lastname@example.org. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.