Night of the Howling Beast (1975)
aka The Werewolf and the Yeti.
You have to love that “also known as” title!
Another entry in the endless Paul Naschy series of films where he plays Waldemar Daninsky. A man destined to be bitten repeatedly by either demons or werewolves, thus turning him into one as well. Once again Naschy will dread the rising of the full moon in what is apparently his seventh go around as the unfortunate Daninsky character.
This time out our leading man is following the tracks of an earlier expedition into the mountains of Kathmandu who have all disappeared. The only artifacts found were a bagful of photographs of Yeti like creatures and a genuine Yeti scalp. I’m not making this up!
Naschy along with an Albert Einstein look alike minus the bushy mustache organizes a new expedition to look for the old expedition and at the same time seek out the lost Yeti. Paul quickly gets himself a guide and wanders off on his own. Hey wait a minute. That’s just not any guide. That’s the baggage car man from Horror Express who gets his memories sucked out through his eyeballs. Really I have no idea what this actor’s name is but I love watching films and making connections just like this one. By the way, Horror Express is probably the best non Hammer film that teamed Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee so check it out.
With his guide gone, Naschy finds refuge in a mountain cave that just happens to be the home of demon witches who are quick to point out, “He will be a good companion and a passionate lover.” Not so much after he discovers they have a taste for human flesh and put the bite on him.
Doomed again to the rays of the full moon.
Putting any Yeti sightings on hold our expedition is attacked by a local ruler who reeks havoc upon the land and is playing host to an Elizabeth Bathory type woman. Most of the group has been massacred but a few are taken prisoner and it won’t be long before Naschy and his lady love are soon imprisoned as well. This after reconnecting in the wild and laying low at a monastery where the head Monk explains to Naschy’s lady love that he is stricken by the beast although there is a cure. He entrusts her with a silver dagger just in case.
As the final third plays itself out we’ll be treated to a torture chamber, a pit of spikes and some fighting scenes to allow Naschy to show off his athletic skills. All this while he has gone back and forth with his furry transformations.
Before we get to the kill or cure scene at the fade out you can be rest assured that our wolfman will indeed take on a creature of a Yeti like appearance. The copy of this I got a look at was on youtube and wasn’t the best. So in a comical bit of art mirroring real life I still haven’t gotten a solid look at a Yeti.
The script of this monsterpiece is credited to Jacinto Molina aka Paul Naschy. Zoom shots are in abundance from the director Miguel Iglesias as is the melodrama thanks to the dubbing on the English print.
For another Naschy werewolf outing click here for the preposterously titled Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror.