Vampire Night Orgy/Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf

Production Year:  1974/1972
Release Date: ?
Studio: Code Red
Collection Number: 1276

What a great double feature, two niche Spanish horrors presented in their original "unclothed" versions here in the US for the very first time.

I've always wanted to see Dr. Jekyll Versus the Wolfman but I try and stay far away from those cheapo horror mega-packs.  The only other feasible option was Mondo Macabro's UK release which until recently  I wasn't able to obtain at a reasonable price.  I was more than happy to throw some money Bill Olsen's way to secure a decent copy.

Night Orgy of the Vampires is a decent way to start a double feature, it's a atmospheric vampire flick centering around the small town of Tolnio where sunlight never truly enters.  Perfect place for a Vampire orgy right!?  Well, while there is no real vampire orgy, though there is a cool feeding frenzy scene to set the mood.  The film starts off as a  bus load of weary travelers are making their way to Bojoni, after their bus driver mysteriously has a heart attack they diverge off of their trail to a small town in hopes of a bit of a nice meal and a bit of rest.  What they get is a completely empty town.  They make their way to a local bar only to find that while this is a ghost town everything is fully stocked and ready for visitors.

The next morning they finally see signs of life as the town is full again, their absence is quickly explained away as the whole town was in the nearby cemetery mourning the loss of a fellow townsmen.  Odd as it sounds, the travelers buy it.  Well rested and ready to depart the group soon realize that they must stay longer as their bus is no longer in working order, even stranger is that the town countess makes them a monetary offering to stay for a while.  While this would trigger some people's curiously, this is a horror movie and you do occasionally have to have suspended belief...Eventually though, suspicions do arise as the characters soon discover that these are no ordinary town's people and that is no ordinary countess.  But like with most similar films, that realization comes all too late.

I liked this movie, I enjoyed seeing the cast stuck in this small town and having no idea what was waiting for them.  The countess (Helga Line) could have been a pretty cool villain though I felt not enough time was spent really building her up.  At the end this does end up being a predictable (yet enjoyable) film.  

Onto the next one!

 For those of you unfamiliar with Paul Naschy he's often referred to as the Spanish Lon Chaney, he has played a number of different distinct characters (sometimes even in the same movie) from Mummies, to werewolves, hell he's even played the devil.  Naschy's most iconic role is that of Waldermar Daninsky, a troubled man who would turn into a wolfman by the light of the moon.  This role was obviously inspired by Chaney Jr's portrayal of Larry Talbot.  Naschy would give this character life in over 13 films.  While the character was the same, often times the movies were unrelated standalone stories.
Dr. Jekyll Versus the Wolfman is typical Naschy, the actor takes on a handful of roles like usual.  It's moody with a lot of the Universal inspired elements we're used to, old cemeteries, stock sound effects, and what some would consider cheesy effects.  The film centers around Daninsky who lives in a dark old castle, he's taken care of by his mother and yes, the town's people swear up and down he's evil.  There certainly is some proof of this as he is a Wolfman after all.  He eventually crosses paths a young female and together they seek to find a cure for his curse.

The idea of combining the mythos of the lycanthrope with that of Dr. Jekyll/Hyde is a smart one, they're both flawed and cursed characters.  In this film the role of Jekyll is played by Jack Taylor (a Naschy regular) who in order to cure Daninsky must first transform him from the Wolfman into Hyde, and then from Hyde back into Daninsky.  Of coarse this goes terribly wrong leading to one of the most entertaining segments of the film, Naschy's Hyde goes into the city and picks up a prostitute.  As much as I love this incarnation of the Wolfman something has got to be said about Naschy's Hyde!  He plays this role in such a sleazy manner.  It really makes the film.

This isn't the most enjoyable of the Daninsky films, but it certainly isn't one of the worst.  The series of movies featuring this character are all over the place in terms of quality.  This is definitely a good one. 

So out of the two films on this disc I'd have to say The Vampires Night Orgy was the winner...Odd since I was looking forward to the Naschy flick most of all.  This is a pretty good release and while the transfers won't win any awards this is likely the best way to go if you have a yearning to see either of these movies.  As I mentioned earlier, they are presented in their original "unclothed versions" for the first time here in the US.  As far as extras go there are a handful of trailers on the disc, but that's about it.  Not the most loaded set, but still a worthy addition to anyone's Code Red collection.

Click here to buy this double feature!

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