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El Aullido del Diablo

Howl of the Devil

Spain 1987
produced by
Augusto Boué, Paul Naschy for Freemont-Nasch International
directed by Paul Naschy
starring Paul Naschy, Caroline Munro, Howard Vernon, Fernando Hilbeck, Sergio Molina (as Serg Mills), Joseph Garco, Roberta Kuhn, Carmen Plate, Mariano Vidal Molina, Pascual Marco, Tamara Greys, Mabel Ordónez, Isabel Prinz, Nuria Lucas, Cris Huerta, Emilio A.Pina, Malena Gracia, Chema Gómez
written by Paul Naschy, music by Fernando García Morcillo, special effects by Francisco García San José

Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde, Phantom of the Opera, El Hombre Lobo, Quasimodo, Rasputin, Bluebeard, Fu Manchu

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Actor Hector Doriani (Paul Naschy) should live a happy life in his vast mansion, with no financial worries whatsoever since his brother Alex (also Paul Naschy) has left him a vast fortune - but he is a broken, bitter man, mainly because everything in his house, in his life, reminds him of his brother, and the problem here is that his brother was an instant success as an actor because he acted in a string of horror movies, while Hector, who tried himself as a serious actor, preferring Shakespeare and the stage to horror and film, pretty much emerged a failure living in his brother's shadow. And now Hector lives in a house stuffed with Alex's memorabilia, with Alex's son AdriŠn (Sergio Molina), who has become Hector's ward after Alex's death, and with Alex's butler Eric (Howard Vernon), who loved Alex dearly (and continues to talk to him in sťances).

The only pleasure that Hector finds is tieing up and shagging prostitutes Eric supplies him with, dressed up as some of the great historical and fictional sadists like Rasputin, Bluebeard and Fu Manchu. And Hector likes Carmen (Caroline Munro), his maid and AdriŠn's nanny, so much so that he desperately tries to get intimate with her, but to no avail.

Perhaps I should point out here that all the prostitutes leaving Hector's mansion are slaughtered  by a masked man on their way back to town and then disappear from earth completely.

Oh, and AndriŠn recieves visits from all of his father's most popular horror characters, like the Frankenstein monster, Dr Hyde, the Phantom of the Opera, el Hombre Lobo Waldemar Daninsky and Quasimodo (all played by Paul Naschy of course). Are they his fictional friends or more?

It might also be worth noticing that Carmen is the ex of the local priest (Fernando Hilbeck), a man who still cannot give her up despite his vocation that forces him to remain celibate. The priest has even sent a hobo to spy on her, but then the hobo disappears (he's killed by the mysterious killer), so the priest gets in touch with Carmen herself - and ultimately rapes her. Carmen returns home a broken woman, and now it's an easy thing for Hector to seduce her. While they're having sex though the mysterious killer makes his way into the mansion and slaughters them both. Then he takes off his mask and turns out to be - AdriŠn, who did not commit suicide as everyone thought of course but was killed by Hector and his mother (Isabel Prinz), who have long had an affair (AdriŠn has earlier killed his mom as well I suppose).

With Hector out of the way, AdriŠn and Eric, who secretly is a black magician, bring back Alex from the dead. Only too late does Eric realize it's not Alex he has brought back but the devil himself, who almost immediately blinds, then kills him. AdriŠn on the other hand feels quite comfy with the devil, who looks a lot like his ddad (and is thus played by Paul Naschy as well).

 

Probably the most intelligent Paul Naschy-movie up until then, as it gives his brand of horror a post-modern twist, but while playing around with horror motives of old and paying hommage to old school horror, it also manages to tell a quite gory and even more labyrinthine murder mystery, which the hommage bits are an actual part of.(rather than just being tagged on for old time's sake). Now that might all sound a bit brainheavy, but actually the film works quite well as a genre piece, with suspense, gore and nudity in all the right places, so it's easily enjoyable, too.

All that said though, I have to point out the film is no masterpiece, it does lose its story a few times too often and does feature a few too many silly bits - but it's entertaining, and, as mentioned above, probably the most intelligent Paul Naschy movie up until then.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD