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Attack Of The Werewolves (DVD)

'A raucously fun and cleverly stylized monster movie'

Disc Specs

Starring Gorka OxtoaSecun de la RosaCarlos Areces Disc Cover
Directed By Juan Martinez Marino Certificate 18
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Visuals 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Running Time 15 mins
UK Release Date October 8, 2012
Genre Comedy, Horror
Our Rating
User Rating


With the recent glut of zombie and vampire movies, lately werewolves have probably been a bit neglected. Benicio Del Toro got to stop shaving for a few months in 2010's agreeably pulpy remake of The Wolfman and those shirtless posers in the Twilight series are technically werewolves I suppose, but on the whole lycanthropes just don't enjoy the same kind of exposure as their more human-shaped horror counterparts.

This is a shame, because some of the most enjoyable monster movies ever made have involved people who go a bit hairy and mental when the moon is full. The original Wolfman is arguably the scariest of the old universal horrors, certainly the most violent; Oliver Reed embodied the role he was born to play in Hammer's The Curse of the Werewolf; An American Werewolf in London is still the horror comedy to beat them all; and more recently Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers is trashy action horror par excellence. While vampires are all about seducing you with their languid gothic romanticism and inner turmoil; werewolves just want to bite your head off and you've got to respect them for that.

Flying the flag for lupine cinema, Attack of the Werewolves is a cheery and cheesy Spanish comedy horror. It begins with an ominous voiceover and a series of comic-book stills which set the tone nicely. This artistic introduction tells the story of how in 1910 a horny Duchess causes the village of Arga to fall under a gypsy curse. Unless at some point in the next century one of the Duchess' male descendants is devoured by a werewolf, then the entire village is doomed. In 2010, not very successful novelist Tomas (Gorka Oxtoa) is invited back to his birthplace of Arga to accept an award. He's hoping to be greeted as a local celebrity; instead the locals (who have sort of left the whole curse breaking thing to the last minute) are determined to feed him, his hapless publisher Mario (Secun de la Rosa) and his childhood friend Calisto (Carlos Areces) to whatever it is that lurks in the catacombs beneath the churchyard.

This is a comedy film that looks like a good old fashioned horror movie. With its EC comics inspired photography, foggy graveyards and liberal splashing of Hammer style, slightly-too-fake-looking fake blood, director Juan Martinez Marino clearly knows his horror onions and how to create an authentic atmosphere. This classic approach includes the werewolves themselves the design of which have clearly been influenced by the original Wolfman but to the untrained eye may just look like hairy men with big false teeth. The effects are also hugely impressive. It's an accepted fact that no werewolf transformation scene will ever match the one in An American Werewolf in London but Attack of the Werewolves gives it a good run for its money.

This gothic atmosphere serves as a backdrop for what is at heart a fairly broad comedy adventure. It centres around three funny and uniquely Spanish performances from Oxtoa, de la Rosa and Areces as the bickering heroes and although it does have some incredibly gruesome death scenes they're so over the top they border on slapstick. The script is also charmingly uncomplicated; on no less than three separate occasions brand new characters are introduced just so they can save the heroes and it all leads up to a beautifully obvious twist ending. It's so simply plotted and such straightforward good fun that it sometimes feels like watching a live-action and incredibly violent version of Tintin and is almost as awesome as that sounds.

Overall Verdict: A raucously fun and cleverly stylized monster movie that feels like exactly what you should be watching in the run up to Halloween.

Special Features:
None

Reviewer: Adam Pidgeon

 

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