So this should be interesting. See, today’s movie is a Spanish horror movie, which is not that big of a deal. However, the copy I have is almost 23 minutes shorter than the theatrical version. This makes me extremely curious because 23 minutes is a lot of movie to take out. Now apparently, the only medium from which the movie could be made onto DVD was from public domain sources. This still honestly doesn’t explain why there was so much missing time but, let’s just deal with what we have as I watch today’s movie, Dr. Jekyll Vs. The Werewolf.
The plot: Imri Kosto is talking with some friends and tells them that he is taking a trip back to the village he was born, which happens to be in Transylvania. The friends make some jokes about watching out for vampires and monsters but when a gust of wind causes a window to open and knock over a sculpture, the guests decide to make their leave. The next day, Imri and his wife Justine are heading to the village when their car breaks down next to some burnt out ruins. As Imri tries to fix the car, Justine wanders around the ruins and finds a disfigured man hiding inside. Horrified, she screams and runs back to Imri , who yells at the man to go away. Stopping at a nearby inn for the night, Imri is told that the man used to be well respected but a series of bad events happened, including his house being burned down and the villagers attacking him. Imri says he wants to visit the nearby cemetery but the old man warns him against it, as it is close to the black castle, where the owner is said to be a monster, but Imri says that he is not worried. The next day, Imri and Justine head to the cemetery and Imri visits the graves of his parents, who were murdered when he was seven. Justine sees the castle in the distance and points it out to Imri, but they see some men approaching their car. Imri goes to confront the men but the stab him and head after Justine, who tries to run from them. The three men catch Justine, who ends up passing out, and prepare to rape her but are stopped by Waldemar Daninsky, who kills two of the men before carrying Justine back to his castle. When Justine comes too, she explores the castle and sees Imri’s body lying on a table and screams as Waldemar approaches it, but as she tries to run, Waldemar eventually catches up to her. Back in the village, Otvos, the man who survived Waldemar’s attack, says they attacked Imri because they believed he was rich. The old man said he warned people to stay away from the cemetery but Otvos says that he doesn’t believe the stories about Waldemar or the old woman that lives in the castle with him. Otvos gets two friends to go with him and they plan on heading up to the castle and killing Waldemar and the two women, then loot the castle. That night, the men make their way to the cemetery, which lets them get close to the castle but as the enter the cemetery, they hear a wolf’s howl. Suddenly, the men are confronted by a werewolf and as Otvos quickly hides, the two men are killed by the werewolf. The next day, Justine wakes up and remembers Imri being killed and says she wants to leave for London. She invites Waldemar to accompany her but he says that he must stay in the village for the time being. As she goes to get in her car, she finds the disfigured man lying dead in her car, and Otvos approaches her, but Waldemar shows up and he quickly runs off. That night, Justine sees Waldemar walking along the castle grounds and transform into the werewolf, and realizes the plight he must be facing. Back in town, the villagers are starting to gather in a mob to kill Waldemar, and Otvos shows up with the old woman’s head, which helps get the villagers into action. As the villagers gather all of the silver to melt into bullets, Waldemar and Justine head to her car only to find Otvos there. He tries to kill Waldemar but misses and Waldemar kills him before getting in the car and leaving with Justine. In London, Justine goes to see her friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and asks for his help in dealing with Waldemar’s condition. Henry reluctantly agrees to help and as Justine leaves, he admits to his nurse Sandra that he is in love with Justine and says he plans on using his grandfather’s formula to try and help Waldemar. Waldemar goes to see Henry but ends up getting trapped in an elevator with a nurse for several hours. As night falls, Waldemar transforms into the werewolf and kills the nurse just as they get the elevator working again.When the doors open, Waldemar leaves the elevator and attacks another woman in the street. The next day, Henry goes to see Justine and Waldemar and says that due to what happened, he doesn’t want to risk having Waldemar come back to the city so instead, he will set up his lab in Justine’s house. He tells them that his plan is to inject Waldemar with his grandfather’s formula before the next full moon, so that when the full moon occurs, the werewolf’s curse will battle against the formula and should be able to beat back the curse of the werewolf, and then they can use the antidote to cure him of the Hyde formula. That night, Henry has Waldemar strapped to a table and when he transforms, he grabs a blood sample to study. The next morning, Henry studies the sample and tells Waldemar and Justine that he believes his formula will work as he planned. After they leave, Sandra tells Henry that he is being foolish, as this would give them an opportunity that his grandfather never had, but he ends up slapping her when she taunts him about doing this solely for Justine. The next night, Waldemar is strapped to the table and Henry injects him with the Hyde formula, transforming him into Mr. Hyde. As the full moon rises, the Hyde formula keeps Waldemar from transforming into the werewolf, and Henry injects him with the antidote, reverting him back to normal. Suddenly, Sandra stabs Henry in the back, then injects Waldemar with the Hyde formula again before releasing him. Hyde makes his way out into the city and ends up killing a man by throwing him in the river. Back at the house, Justin had rescued Henry and is tending to his wounds but Henry warns her that there is not much time. He tells her that the cure is temporary for right now and that she has to hide the Hyde formula, as Hyde will try to get it and that on the next full moon, she can try to save Waldemar again. Henry dies, and Justine takes the formula and leaves, heading to Henry’s house to find his notes and destroy them. Meanwhile, Hyde returns and when he learns that Henry is dead and Justine is gone, he kills Sandra. He heads out into the city and heads to a night club, but eventually transforms back into Waldemar, who then transforms into the werewolf. Waldemar heads to Henry’s house and finds Justine burning the notes but when Justine tries to calm him down, Waldemar sees the gun in her hand and attacks her. Waldemar bites her throat but realizes what he has done and walks away, but Justine manages to shoot him twice in the back. Waldemar turns and starts to head back to finish off Justine but he suddenly collapses to the ground, changing back to human as he dies, and Justine crawls over to him before he dying as well.
This was an interesting movie to watch. The acting was good, with Paul Naschy doing a good job in his role, but he did a better job the brief scenes he was Mr. Hyde than he did as the werewolf. Mirta Miller was interesting in her role as Sandra but Shirley Corrigan (Justine) and Jack Taylor (Henry) were both a little weak as far as their characters. The story was pretty interesting, especially how they decided to use Mr. Hyde in the movie. The special effects were a little weak to be honest, with the werewolf or Hyde transformations mostly being done out of shot or hiding his face at times. The footage was not the best, with the camera going between two different shades of lighting in the same scenes, or the grainy shots, with lines going across the screen. The biggest thing is that the missing footage left plenty of elements unexplained. One of the biggest examples was after Sandra stabs Henry and injects Hyde. It didn’t explain how Hyde got released or how Justine got Henry into the bed, but apparently, Justine had gone back to the lab and knocked Sandra unconscious in order to save Henry. The copy I have is a decent movie, but I really want to watch the full version.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5