La Noche de Walpurgis (Walpurgis Night, released in the United States as The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman, in the UK as Shadow of the Werewolf [theatrical] and as Werewolf Shadow [dvd]), is a 1971 Spanish horror film starring Paul Naschy, the fifth in a series about the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky. This film was directed by León Klimovsky and written by Naschy, and is generally regarded to have kickstarted the Spanish horror film boom of the 1970s, due to its awesome box office success upon its release. The German distributors added the name Hans Munkel to the screenwriting credit in some versions to satisfy the terms of international co-production. Patty Shepard was so convincing as the vampiric Countess, it was thought at the time that she might replace actress Barbara Steele as Europe’s reigning horror queen.
Klimovsky filmed many of the scenes in slow motion, to add to the otherworldliness of the film.
Note* – There is a scene in this film that obviously inspired Spanish director Amando de Ossorio to write Tombs of the Blind Dead, which was made just a few months later in 1971. A skeletal zombie in a monk’s garments assaults Naschy in a cemetery in one scene, bearing a strong resemblance to de Ossorio’s Templar Knights in his “Blind Dead” films.
La Noche de Walpurgis was the fifth entry in a series of films to feature the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky. Daninsky’s lycanthropy is not given a specific origin in this film; the events of the film are assumed to have followed from the ending of Fury of the Wolf Man (1970), which involved a Yeti’s bite as the cause of Daninsky’s curse. How Daninsky went from being a college professor in Fury to being a castle-owning count in Walpurgis is never addressed. The film works better if one assumes this film’s plot to be a direct sequel to Naschy’s first werewolf film, La Marca del Hombre Lobo.
color, mono, fullscreen, dubbed in English, 82 minutes. DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!