Los Monstruos del Terror

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Assignment: Terror
Los monstruos del terror.jpg
Spanish theatrical release poster
Directed byHugo Fregonese
Tulio Demicheli[1]
Produced byJaime Prades
Written byJacinto Molina
StarringPaul Naschy
Michael Rennie
Karin Dor
Music byRafael Fitó
Franco Salina
CinematographyGodofredo Pacheco
Edited byEmilio Rodríguez
Production
company
Eichberg-Film
International Jaguar Cinematografica
Producciones Jaime Prades
Distributed byAmerican International Pictures (USA, theatrical),
Castilla Films (Spain)
Release date
  • 24 February 1970 (1970-02-24) (France)
Running time
85 minutes (Spain)
CountrySpain
West Germany
Italy
LanguageSpanish

Los Monstruos del Terror (translation: The Monsters of Terror), also known as Dracula vs. Frankenstein (UK title), Reincarnator (French title) and Assignment: Terror (US title), is a 1970 Spanish-German-Italian horror film directed by Tulio Demicheli, Hugo Fregonese and Eberhard Meichsner. (Meichsner was only credited in the British promotional material and most likely was not involved at all[2]) It stars Paul Naschy, Michael Rennie, Karin Dor and Craig Hill. It is the third in a series of movies featuring the werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky, who was always played by Naschy.

Los Monstruos del Terror was originally going to be called El Hombre que Vino de Ummo (translation: The Man Who Came From Ummo), referring to Michael Rennie's alien character. It was followed by the 1970 film The Fury of the Wolfman. The film was released direct to television in the U.S. as Assignment Terror.

This was Michael Rennie's last film before his death in 1971.

Summary[edit]

Aliens, running a traveling circus as a cover, revive a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy and Frankenstein's monster with a plan to use them to take over the world. They want to discover the reason that these monsters are so frightening to Earthlings. They then plan to use their findings and resurrect the monsters to destroy the people of Earth. For reference, the aliens use a book entitled "Anthology of the Monsters" by Professor Ulrich von Farancksalan, who was also the creator of the analog to Frankenstein's monster in this film.

The werewolf they revive (Count Waldemar Daninsky) saves the world by destroying the other three monsters in hand-to-hand combat and ultimately blowing up the aliens' underground base, although he is shot to death in the process by a woman who loves him enough to end his torment. The werewolf has no specific origin in this film; it is assumed that the events in this film are continued from the ending of La Marca del Hombre Lobo (The Mark of the Wolfman, 1968), in which Daninsky was transformed into a werewolf through the bite of a werewolf named Imre Wolfstein (strangely, the Wolfman was killed in the same exact manner in that first film, but in this film, the aliens surgically remove the silver bullets to revive him).

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Lead actor Paul Naschy also wrote the screenplay at the request of producer Robert Prades, who was impressed by the box office success of Naschy's Marca del Hombre Lobo that year, and wanted to film a sequel. The original shooting title was The Man Who Came from Ummo, but the producer changed it to The Monsters of Terror. Direction was split between two Argentine-born filmmakers, Hugo Fregonese and Tulio Demicheli. Naschy said Fregonese quit the project two-thirds of the way through, and Demichelli stepped in to finish the film. Only Demichelli was actually credited on the prints. Naschy claimed that Hollywood actor Robert Taylor volunteered to play the lead alien in the film, but the producer hired Michael Rennie instead. Naschy also said the makeup man on the film, Rafael Ferrer, was the most incompetent man he ever worked with.[3]

Naschy was told the film would have a lavish budget, which inspired him to let his imagination run wild while writing the screenplay. Filming was interrupted several times because of financial difficulties, and thus the script was not filmed as it was written. Whole segments of the script involving flying saucers and a golem were never carried out, as the result of sorely lacking funds. This may be why director Fregonese left the project early.

Release and attempts at restoration[edit]

An English language one-sheet exists for this film, bearing the title Assignment Terror, but AIP distributed the film direct to television in the US only in 1973. It was later released on VHS as Dracula vs. Frankenstein in a spliced, full screen pan-and-scan print.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howarth, Troy (2018). "Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy". WK Books. p. 40.ISBN 978-1718835894.
  2. ^ Howarth, Troy (2018). "Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy". WK Books. p. 40.ISBN 978-1718835894.
  3. ^ Howarth, Troy (2018). "Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy". WK Books. p. 42.ISBN 978-1718835894.

External links[edit]