El Retorno de Walpurgis
|El Retorno de Walpurgis|
A poster with one of the film's alternative titles: Curse of the Devil
|Directed by||Carlos Aured|
|Produced by||Luís Gómez,
|Written by||Jacinto Molina|
|Edited by||Maruja Soriano|
|Distributed by||Goldstone Film Enterprises (USA, theatrical)|
|84 min (USA, uncut)|
El Retorno de Walpurgis (The Return of Walpurgis), also known as Curse of the Devil and The Black Harvest of Countess Dracula, is a 1972 Spanish horror film that is the seventh in a series about the werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky, played by Paul Naschy. This film ignored the events in all of the earlier Hombre Lobo films and began a whole new origin for the Wolfman.
This film was followed by a sequel in 1975 called La maldicion de la bestia.
When the wealthy count Waldemar Daninsky kills a wolf on his grounds, it transforms into a gypsy upon death, and he finds himself cursed by a vengeful gypsy witch who is angry about him killing one of her band. The witch orders a young, beautiful gypsy girl to seduce Daninsky and then, while he is sleeping, bite him with the skull of a wolf which she smuggles into the count's mansion. When she presses the skull's fangs into his skin, Waldemar becomes a werewolf (without a doubt the most original of all of Waldemar's various "origins" in the series).
The film also mentions an ancient curse that was placed on Waldemar's ancestor (a Grand Inquisitor) hundreds of years ago by a medieval sorceress named Countess Bathory. Apparently his ancestor had Bathory burned at the stake, but not before she managed to curse his entire family line. Now in 1972, the Daninsky curse has struck Waldemar, who is transformed into a monster by the bite of the gypsy's wolf skull. The Countess Bathory is later revived from the dead to combat el Hombre Lobo in the grand finale.
The film was released theatrically in its native Spain in 1974, and in the United States by the Goldstone Film Enterprises in 1976. It was released on VHS as The Black Harvest of Countess Dracula and as Curse of the Devil.
The film was released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2002 as Curse of the Devil. It was subsequently re-released in a special edition in 2008 by Deimos Entertainment, a subdivision of BCI Eclipse, under the same title.
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