LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS (”The Night of Walpurgis,” 1971) is the third film in which Spanish actor Paul Naschy portrayed Waldemar Daninsky, a nobleman cursed with lycanthropy. As in the previous year’s LOS MONSTROUS DEL TERROR (”The Monsters of Terror,” a.k.a. ASSIGNMENT TERROR), Daninsky is revived when the silver bullets that “killed” him in the previous film are removed from his heart. Hoping to end his uncontrollable rampages during the full moon, the reluctant werewolf seeks out the tomb of a female vampire, whose corpse was laid to rest with a silver cross in her heart. Daninsky needs the cross to end his own immortal existence; unfortunately, removing it from the corpse revives the vampire, leading to complications and an eventual final-reel confrontation.
As with many of Naschy’s films, it has often been hard to find LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS in an unadulterated version in the U.S. market, where it was typically available only in a dubbed and truncated version, retitled THE WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (which you can purchase on a 2008 DVD from Synergy Entertainment or watch on Amazon Instant Video). However, THE WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMAN is eight minutes shorter than LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS, which is the version presented here. Picture quality is superior (the image has not been cropped or panned-and-scanned), and the original soundtrack is intact. Subtitles are included; unfortunately, the are half-a-minute out of synch with the image.
The restored footage mostly takes the form of a couple additional scenes with a police inspector investigating the murders committed by the werewolf. There is also an extended version of a love scene, including nudity, between Daninsky and a college girl who has been seeking the tomb as part of a class project. Missing here is the English-language version’s opening credits sequence, which takes monster footage from later in the film and moves it up front, for the benefit of ADHD viewers.
It may not be a classic, but LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS is good fun for cult movie enthuiasts, and it is wonderful to see an intact version at last. Thanks to Full Classic Movies for posting this (and other public domain titles) on YouTube.