On the surface, this movie uses the same basic plot as several other of Jacinto Molina's movies ... he is cursed with lycanthropy and must find a woman who loves him enough to kill him and end the curse. However, it is the setting and the back story which makes "Curse of the Devil" stand out. Four hundred years ago, an ancestor of Daninsky executed a bunch of satanic witches who swore a rather drawn-out and unfrightening curse upon him. One day, Waldemar is out hunting a wolf and is shocked and saddened when he shoots it and discovers that it is a man. Apparently he didn't know he was hunting a werewolf (why was he using silver bullets then?), and he also didn't know that the person he killed was a descendent of the previously mentioned witches. As a result of this, the witches finally take their revenge upon him, sending one of their minions to curse him on the night of the Walpurgis ...
This yet another stand-alone movie which doesn't appear to fit in with the rest of the Waldemar Daninsky saga. However, it can be thought of as an improved remake of his first movie "Mark of the Wolfman", and it kind of works as a historical prequel to the other movies as well. It's certainly one of the more entertaining Daninsky movies ... the opening sequence is one of the funniest things I've ever seen (unintentionally, of course), but mostly due to the awful dubbing rather than anything else. Yes, awful dubbing. Awful, awful. Bleurgh. In fact, all pretty much all the problems here seem to be caused with the dubbing. I believe that in it's original language this may in fact be (shock horror) a GOOD horror film. Often these movies can feel like a bit of a chore to watch, but not this one!
The period costumes and settings are realistic and cool. There's a very nice castle, for all you archeologists out there. Most of the women once again wear those flowing sheer nightgowns which Jacinto Molina seems to love so much ... and they, of course, throw themselves at Waldemar screaming "deflower me! deflower me!" The acting seems decent all round, but you can't really tell due to the terrible, terrible dubbing. Director Carlos Aured worked with Molina on several movies, but this was the only Waldemar Daninsky movie he directed -- he did later do some uncredited work on Alice Cooper's "Leviatán". His directing is pretty good for a Daninsky movie, although the editing and placement of the scenes is a little off sometimes.
"Curse of the Devil" is one of the better Daninsky movies of the seventies, and certainly among the more entertaining. And it has a great ending, too.
This time around, Daninsky does not recieve the curse of the werewolf through being bitten, but rather from a bunch of nasty witches. Four hundred years earlier, his righteous ancestor (see top photo) exterminated a coven of the old hags, and the threw some kind of a vague curse upon his family. Then, when his descendent Waldemar Daninsky accidentally kills one of their people who just who happens to be a werewolf, they decide to finally take their revenge. A young woman comes to his castle, beds him and then on the night of the walpurgis does some kind of weird ritual involving her blood and the skull of a wolf (see second photo down). Thus he is inflicted with the curse. Phew.
When the moon is full, he turns into a nasty evil werewolf and roams around randomly killing the poor townsfolk. There are some fairly memorable attacks scenes in this movie, including one where he bends the shotgun of a gypsy actor before killing him (see bottom photo). An important aspect of this movie is the question of superstition -- those who believe in werewolves and those who don't. The police officer gets upset when the locals want to burn the bodies of the victim in a kind of pagan ritual, to ensure they won't come back as werewolves. In this movie Daninsky needs to be killed with a silver dagger to the heart, held by a woman who loves him (no mention of a silver bullet here).
The transformation scenes are fairly standard, with the use of simple crossfades and increased amounts of hair (see third photo down). The design of the wolf itself isn't all that good unfortunately, and it actually looks something like a fuzzy teddy bear. At one point the locals examine his footprint and say it looks like it might be a bear. They weren't far off, it seems.