The Werewolf Versus The Vampire Woman, 1971. 7/10

Surprisingly scary ’70s Euro horror movie. Unlike nearly all of the attempts to combine monsters in a film, Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman doesn’t seem contrived or silly. The werewolf and the vampires (extra treat in that they multiply) are very convincing thanks to appropriately spooky special effects.

In fact, we get several vampiric phases. The gliding about, corpse-like look, the mourning veil-clad spectral look, and the more modern, but less effective, pale, fanged look. Not to mention the reversion-to-a-skeleton look, with maggot accoutrements.

Plus, in the first few minutes we get the full-on werewolf, quickly claiming the movie’s first victim. As the credits role, we also get a preview of some of this spooky stuff in a cool montage. The plot makes sense for the most part. The two heroines, Elvira and Genevieve, journey to a remote gothic church (maybe it’s a small castle) to research a legendary vampire. Thankfully, there’s enough rustic, atmospheric spots like this in Europe’s hinterlands.

I was a little confused by Waldemar’s and Elizabeth’s roles. How can he tell her that the two girls won’t uncover any secrets, saying all that “is just old legends”? He knows he’s a werewolf. Also, he, of all people (well, part-time person), ought to know that removing the crucifix from the old vampire Wandessa’s corpse will revive it.

It helps that the viewer is never given much relief from the spooks. Guinievere gets bit, the handyman gets it…Elvira is dodging the vampires for most of the last half of the movie. The denouement in the crypt is great: there’s yet another threat to Elvira, a suspenseful fight between the the vampire Wandessa and Waldemar’s werewolf, and Wandessa’s literal meltdown.

What’s the point of the fight, though? Has the werewolf, like Godzilla, when he’s arrayed against MegaJunkpile, become a ‘good guy?’ Or are they simply fighting over hunting ‘territory’, in the sense that they have the same prey?

Anyway, this was enjoyable, with genuine horror. The performances are fairly even, and there’s really nothing extraneous. I’m just not well-versed on supernatural (werewolf v. vampire) etiquette. 7/10.

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