BluRay/DVD Reviews

WEREWOLF WOMAN (RARO VIDEO/KINO Lorber)

By • Oct 29th, 2014 •

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Catchy title. Great cover art. Decent film.

What makes it better than the glut of soft-core horror and sexploitations films that flowed out of Europe in the 70s, and are flowing still on home disc, is a) the heart of the script, and b) leading lady Annik Borel.

The script surprises us. After establishing the history of the eponymous character – an odd amalgam of fur and flesh, we move to present day Italy where a look-alike descendent sees herself transforming into the family creature. But in fact, she isn’t – she’s just losing herself in sexually-twisted madness stemming from a traumatic childhood incident; her features never change one iota, though she can open her mouth as wide as a wolf’s, and she’s got a loud howl. And this self-deception is ultimately quite sad. A tragic lady werewolf story. All its nudity and gore, finally, are sublimated to the melancholy sense of pity for her delusions and broken soul.

Then there’s Ms. Borel. She’s got a great look, even if the camera doesn’t make the most of it. She’s reminiscent of Candice Hilligoss from CARNIVAL OF SOULS, or Edith Scob from LES YEUXS SAN VISAGE, although she’s not directed as well as those two iconic ladies were, and the editing is plain bad, scenes stretched beyond effectiveness, wallowing in naked flesh or bloodletting. Director Rino Di Silvertro died in 2009, or I would have suggested he take another shot at trimming the running time. With several minutes edited, I’ll bet the film would jump a whole level on the ratings scales.

Fortunately, RARO secured an interview with the director before he died. And there’s an illustrated booklet featuring an essay by Fango editor Chris Alexander, who foams at the computer keyboard as much as Ms. Borel foams at the mouth. If you’d like to add a few of these horror/sexploitationers to your collection, this one is worthy of your consideration.

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