Our tale begins with a Marchioness whose husband fires more blanks than a decommissioned shotgun.
Her hunger for children leads her to sleep with several men, one of which happens to be a gipsy knife thrower who the Marchioness forces to have sex with her.
Achieving her goal of becoming pregnant, the Marchioness then orders the death of all the gipsies, men, women and children. With her dying breath, the knife thrower’s wife curses the Marchioness’ unborn son. And he seems fine until his 10th birthday – when the curse takes effect…
We are then transported to the present where we see the arrival of Tomas, who has been granted the key to the village. He is a moderately successful writer, who left the village 15 years before. Tomas thinks he’s returned to a celebration with the villagers but what they actually want to do is sacrifice him to his werewolf relative in order to lift the curse from the village and return it to a normal, werewolf free place. There are no children in the village, as they’ve been sent away to prevent them from being killed by the werewolf, who has been locked in the cellar of a barn.
Taking Tomas to the barn they drop him into the cellar, hoping that he will be immediately eaten by his relative. But their plan does not come to fruition and he manages to escape. The villagers are soon on the chase for him and it’s only down to his old best friend Calisto and his agent Mario that he is kept hidden whilst they are still searching. Will Tomas escape the village or will he end up as a the main course?
For a film with a relatively low budget, Attack Of The Werewolves does deliver some pretty good effects. It’s refreshing to see that real prosthetics were used in the creation of the werewolves, rather than the use of CGI which is becoming commonplace in most modern horror films.
Director Juan Martinez Morena achieves a nice mix of horror and comedy and should commended on the fact that he has managed to deliver a good film that didn’t grind at me whilst watching it (even though it’s a subtitled film). You can sense Tomas’ frustration at the lengths that he has to go to in order to release the village it’s curse.
Attack Of The Werewolves does plod along a bit at the beginning, but once we begin to see some of the werewolf action, the pace speeds up and the mood changes between horror and comedy. There is a bit of blood, some severed limbs and some so-so werewolf transformation. Whilst the film isn’t likely to win hollywood awards, it is likely to make those watching the film laugh their socks off.
With regards to who shines in their performances I would say Gorka Otxoa as Tomas stands out. He’s great in his role and delivers a believable performance in unbelievable circumstances. His dog also delivers some great comic performances (yes, a dog). Also worth a mention is the Guardia Civil (policeman) played by Luis Zahera who is brought in at the right time to inject some humour into the plot, which is at risk of becoming stale before his entry.
I would recommend this film to fans of the old Universal monster characters and to anyone with an interest in spanish horror directors of yesteryear, as the style at times is evident of both of these elements. I’d also recommend it to anyone who actually likes to watch comedy horror rather than the straight out terrifying stuff as the film veers more into comedy territory than horror at times – but this is it’s intention after all.
All in all, it’s great fun and can’t wait to see if there is a sequel!