The 16th century: Since his ancestor was cursed in the middle ages, all
sons of the Daninsky family were doomed to become werewolves every full
moon. It's only now that Waldemar (Paul Naschy), last of the Daninskys,
has decided to do something against it - so he is seeking advice from a
Jewish wise man (Conrado San Martín), but that man is killed by religious
fanatics before he can save Waldemar - but tells him to go to Japan and
seek out a man called Kian (Shigeru Amachi) with his dying breath.
goes to Japan with his wife Kinga (Beatriz Escuderu) and the Jew's blind
daughter Esther (Violeta Cela) - but Japan is big (duh), and Kian isn't
easy to find - so much against his will, Waldemar goes on slaughtering
people every full moon. Interestingly, it's Kian who is hired to
investigate Waldemar's killings, but when he suggests they were committed
by a werewolf, he is only ridiculed. And yet he follows his leads and
eventually hooks up with Waldemar. Hearing his story, he decides to help
Waldemar and mixes a potion that should cure him ... but fails.
has learned about Satomi (Junko Asahina), a witch who lives deep in the
forest and who might be able to cure Waldemar, but once Waldemar, Kinga
and Esther arrive at Satomi's place, they are taken prisoner. Turns out
the witch wants to use Waldemar for her own evil ends, and she has a magic
silver blade, the only thing that can actually injure him, to keep him in
check. Somehow, Waldemar, inhis werewolf-state, manages to overpower and
kill Satomi and escape her lair, but both Kinga and Esther die in the
Waldemar remorsefully returns to Kian's place and soon falls in
love with his sister Akane (Yoko Fuji). Kian meanwhile has come to the
conclusion that there is no cure for Waldemar, so he sets out to retrieve
the magic blade Satomi has used to keep Waldemar in check.
In the final
duel between werewolf Waldemar and Kian, Kian almost loses the fight and
his wife, subsequently, which is when Akane arrives to stab Waldemar with
the magic blade - after all, it needed a woman to love him to kill him,
And now, the Daninsky family curse is lifted once and for all -
unless of course Waldemar has impregnated Akane ...
werewolf versus Japanese samurai?
Now this sounds great at least in
writing. Unfortunately on screen, the concept comes across as way less
trashy and less (unintentionally) funny as one would expect. Sure, the
film has its moments of high camp, but also its quiet stretches of
contemplation, and it's rather slickly directed for a film of its ilk.
not to say though La Bestia y la Espada Magica is a total failure,
it's actually pretty well-done narratively (compared to earlier Hombre
Lobo films at least), and there is enough gore and bits of female
topless nudity, plus a few well-done swordfights to keep one entertained
... it's just not the party film it's title suggests it to be.