Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Night of the Howling Beast (1976)
Super Video | Review by Dan Taylor

No time is wasted in NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST, one of the many werewolf flicks starring Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky. Before the credits even whip by we're treated to an attack on a ski troop by what appears to be a yeti. Within minutes, a professor who looks like a Spanish Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. takes charge of the situation and puts together an exploration team to venture to Katmandu in an effort to capture the yeti.

Naschy appears as a member of the exploration team, and frankly, the guy's an odd choice for a star. He's short, squat and not exactly handsome... sort of a cross between William Shatner and John Belushi with a splash of John Saxon tossed in.

When bad weather forces the team to find another route for their expedition, Naschy and his guide forge ahead in an attempt to advance the plot. With disastrous results!

If your definition of "disastrous" is being captured by a pair of bi-sexual werewolf chicks who keep you in their cave and turn you into their love slave!

At this point, NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST throws logic out the window as Naschy escapes from his lycanthropic lovers and becomes some sort of avenging werewolf who tracks down the missing expedition and attempts to rescue them from the roving bandits that have captured them and imprisoned them in some castle where a crazy witch is slicing the skin off of chained nubiles and placing it on the back of the bandit king.

WHEW!

NIGHT was my first sampling of Naschy's extensive filmography and it may have ruined me for all future Naschy flicks. It's hard to beat a flick that features all of the above, a gunfight with banditos, old school transformation effects that make Naschy look like Eddie Munster's "Wolfy" doll, the ol' chain a werewolf to a tree trick, wise priests, caged hotties, sorcery, and even a fight between the werewolf and – of yeah – that yeti from the opening credits!

Crazy stuff...


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