24 October, 2009

The Return of "Brandy"

"Brandy" as the werewolf in DRACULA CONTRA FRANKENSTEIN


Thanks to Nzoog, our Spanish friend and correspondent, for reporting on his recent encounter in Spain with director Miguel Iglesias Bonns (along with "Grace Mill") several months ago and revealing that the stuntman known as "Brandy", who appears as the werewolf in Jess Franco's DRACULA CONTRA FRANKENSTEIN (1971), went on to appear as Paul Naschy's uncredited stunt double in the Bonns-directed LA MALDICION DE LA BESTIA aka NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST (1975). I always wondered what became of him, he certainly makes an impression in the Franco film with his bizarre, energetic presence. He can be seen performing some impressive jumps and other stunts in LA MALDICION..., both in werewolf make-up and doubling for Naschy in some fight scenes.


I have a dub of the vintage 80s prerecord of this, the English language version of LA MALDICION DE LA BESTIA.

This is my favorite Naschy "hombre lobo" movie. It's a real movie-movie, and isn't afflicted with the sometimes oppressively downbeat undercurrent some of his other efforts display. In fact, this entry in Naschy's epic Waldemar Daninsky saga has a happy ending. Waldemar Daninsky is cured by a plant, mixed with the blood of his beloved [Grace Mills], and they walk away together across the snowy plains of Spain, representing Tibet!

It opens with a party of explorers in Tibet being attacked by a "Yeti" which looks like a tall skinny guy in a ratty fur coat! This has to the most fulsome Yeti costume ever. Favorite scenes include the late Victor Israel's cameo in which he babbles about the curse of the red moon or something and then runs off a cliff (or is he picked up by a UFO?!); the hot, sub-human cannibal women who seduce Naschy and then proceed to have a meal of arms and body parts; the cannibal woman turning into a steaming skeleton in death; the skinning of the female hostage [a la Sade]; and Silva Solar, as a perverse Wandesa, getting stabbed in the crotch. I find her much better suited for the role than Patty Shepard in WEREWOLF SHADOW (1970).

Does anyone know who composed that rather ethereal CAM Espana cue we hear when Naschy enters the [gated] cave of the cannibal women? I've heard it in numerous Spanish horrors of that era.

Luis Induni almost steals the show as the skin-diseased Khan. In the fight scenes with Induni Nzoog confirms that Naschy (in his non-werewolf form) was stunt doubled by Brandy.

Naschy must have wanted to make a sexy-gory version of WEREWOLF OF LONDON, it has that feel. As a director Bonns appears to be a sort of cinematic Primitive and has a forceful, brisk, raw edged action-adventure style which works despite the mediocre cinematography and abysmal makeups. It should also be noted that the scalp of the Yeti which Waldemar and the Professor examine in the first scene, a scrap of fabric with hair glued to it, has to be one of the most unconvincing props in horror movie history.

To read more about Nzoog's report on the appearance of Bonns go to www.cinemadrome.yuku.com by hitting the link on the sidebar at left after scrolling down a bit. It's in this thread at the top of the board: Violación inconfesable (1981) Co-written and directed by Miguel Iglesias Bonns....

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