I grew up watching "Dark Shadows" and one of my favorite characters was Quentin Collins. He was a victim of a werewolf curse that was placed on him when he accidentally murdered his insane gypsy wife. Waldemar Daninsky of "Curse of the Devil" reminds me very much of poor Quentin. Daninsky accidentally shoots a gypsy (having mistook him for a wolf) and the werewolf curse is placed on him by devil worshipping gypsies. During the full moon, he roams the countryside killing anyone who crosses his path; the superstitious villagers believe a werewolf is prowling the Carpathian woods, but the police believe it's an ax murderer who recently escaped from a mental institute. As a result of having two murderers, the body count is deliciously high, higher than a "Friday the 13th" movie. "Curse of the Devil" is very action packed.
From the interesting liner notes that came with the DVD, I learned that "Curse of the Devil" is the sixth werewolf movie in eleven that stars Spanish horror icon, Paul Naschy. Most, if not all, were written by Naschy under his pseudonym, Jacinto Molina. It is no wonder he has love scenes with all of the beautiful lead actresses. His screenplays are well written; their plots are always complex, almost too complex.
I was overjoyed to discover that "Curse of the Devil" is gothic horror. It is set in the late 1800's. In fact, the prologue is set in the Medieval Dark Ages. The best scenes are in the prologue. Daninsky's ancestor destroys a coven of witches; there is a gruesome decapitation, multiple hangings of beautiful women from a bridge, and the burning of the priestess. The ending is wonderfully downbeat as were many horror movies of the seventies.
Also, from the liner notes, I learned that Paul Naschy did not wear a mask during his scenes as a werewolf. He spent many grueling hours sitting patently while the makeup artist applied the hair, fangs, etc. Never did he look as though he was wearing a mask.
"Curse of the Devil" is highly recommended for those who are fans of Paul Naschy. I have only seen one werewolf movie from Hammer, "Curse of the Werewolf." I thought "Curse of the Devil" would satisfy my craving. Instead, I need to watch more werewolf movies starring Paul Naschy. Fortunately, BCI Eclipse came out with "Werewolf Shadow," which I will be watching soon.