Sunday, October 18, 2020

October Horror Movie Challenge: Patty Shepard Night

I have this disc with a bunch of movies on it. The first one The Witches Mountain I started and stopped a couple of times. I noticed the other movie on the disc, The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman, also featured Patty Shepard in it. So let's make it a movie marathon.  I might have asked for too much in one night!

The Witches Mountain (1972)

Ok. I can certainly be excused for falling asleep during this one. I had to rewind it to rewatch it a bit and I still had no idea what was going on.  I looked it up, turns out, nope. The movie just doesn't make any sense.

This movie starts with a scene of a woman, a little girl, a dead cat, a snake, and a gasoline fire. That in of itself makes no sense but it has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.  

In the next scene a photographer, Mario (John Caffari), breaks up with his girlfriend by canceling his vacation and taking the next job his publisher gives him.  Was the girlfriend the same woman in the first scene? I thought so, but now I am not sure.  The photographer goes to the Pyrenees mountains to take pictures.  He takes some of a woman undressing (Delia played by Patty Shepard) and decides to talk to her.  Sure. Why not. It's 1973 Italy. They decide to travel together, stay at an inn (with the creepiest innkeeper played by the ubiquitous Víctor Israel, who had been in a ton of Spanish horror films) and they hear about a witch's coven in the mountains.  

They find the witches of course and they induct Delia into their coven.  Oh, there is a little more than that, but not by much. In the end, Delia runs off a cliff.

The original title was El monte de las brujas. It was advertised in some of the other reviews I read as a "lost classic of Italian horror" or as an "occult thriller", well it had a solid 70s vibe to it, but that is about it. 

The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman (1971)

Also known as "La noche de Walpurgis" or "the night of Walpurgis." 

This one opens with a bit more promise. Two doctors are performing an autopsy on a supposed werewolf and mocking the "stupid superstitions" the whole time.  They remove the silver bullets and the full moon comes out.  The man (none other than Paul Naschy himself) gets up off the table, turns into a werewolf. He kills the doctors and the first woman he sees.

Next, we switch over to Elvira (Gaby Fuchs) and Genevieve (Barbara Capell) driving through the countryside. They are looking for the tomb of Countess Wandessa (Patty Shepard), a Medieval witch, a murderess, and a suspected Vampire.  Instead, they find Waldemar Daninsky (our werewolf Naschy).

We encounter his sister Elizabeth (Yelena Samarina) who seems really weird. Elvira takes an interest in Waldemar after initially not wanting to stay.  But Genevieve wants to leave after being attacked by Elizabeth. 

They do find the tomb, but Elvira doesn't want to open the coffin. Genevieve cuts herself and gets her blood on the corpse of the countess (of course).  Elvira is attacked by a zombie/revenant in the church and this doesn't seem to raise much of an alarm.  Night comes and the Countess rises and starts preying on Genevieve. She is killed and the countess turns her attention to Elvira. 

Waldemar keeps doing his werewolfing, but keeping away from Elvira while he does it. 

Patty Shepard is really channeling Barbara Steele in this as the vampire Duchess.  This was the point.

The movie has it's climactic battle between the werewolf and vampire. With both dying in the end and Elvira walking out into the sunrise with her otherwise useless boyfriend from the second scene. 

This one was a fun romp and really woke me back up from the earlier snooze fest.

Glad I started early, I also found this one.

Crypt of the Living Dead (1973)

Also known as Hannah, Queen of the Vampires and La tumba de la isla maldita.  The set up of this movie sounded so much like the setup of the Palace of the Vampire Queen that I HAD to check it out. 

This one has Andrew Prine (Chris) a couple of years after his bit in Simon King of Witches.  So a Witch King vs. a Vampire Queen.  I can do something with that!  

Chris is here on the island to retrieve the body of his father.  In the process, he manages to set Hannah free. The natives begin to tell tales of how this island used to be known as Vampire Island it will be again.  Hannah tries to spread terror, but she is a rather slow-moving vampire to be honest. She has a helper who appears to be some sort of primitive man; I decided he was some sort of half-turned werewolf.  She is also getting help from Peter (Mark Damon), Chris' father's friend and brother to Mary (Patty Shepard).  

Hannah is played by Teresa Gimpera, though she has no lines.  Between Pine, Damon and Shepard there is an impressive list of movies and TV shows.  Soon after this Mark Damon would go on to become one of the biggest producers in Hollywood.  So the cast is no lacking.  

Sadly the story is slow and Hannah the Vampire never really lives up to her reputation.

Watched: 34
New: 24

NIGHT SHIFT Content
I love the idea of a coven of witches meeting on a mountain top. Maybe to combine the first two movies here, cause they are going to blur anyway, the witches meet over the tomb of their founding coven member, a witch who had been suspected of vampirism.  They are threatened, and this how the PCs learn of them, from the outside by a small pack of werewolves.  To add in elements of the third movie I would set it all on a remote island. Maybe in the Aegean sea.



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