Los Monstruos del Terror

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Assignment: Terror
Los monstruos del terror.jpg
Spanish theatrical release poster
Directed by Hugo Fregonese
Tulio Demicheli [2]
Produced by Jaime Prades
Written by Jacinto Molina
Starring Paul Naschy
Michael Rennie
Karin Dor
Music by Rafael Fitó
Franco Salina
Cinematography Godofredo Pacheco
Edited by Emilio Rodríguez
Production
companies
Eichberg-Film
International Jaguar Cinematografica
Producciones Jaime Prades
Distributed by Castilla Films
Release date
  • 24 February 1970 (1970-02-24)(France)
Running time
85 minutes (Spain)
CountriesSpain
West Germany
Italy
LanguageSpanish
Budget$1 million [3]

Los Monstruos del Terror (translation: The Monsters of Terror), also known as Dracula vs. Frankenstein (U.K. title), Dracula contre Frankenstein (French theatrical title), Reincarnator (French unauthorised video title) and Assignment: Terror (U.S. title), is a 1970 Spanish-German-Italian horror film directed by Tulio Demicheli and Hugo Fregonese. Eberhard Meichsner was also credited as a director in the British promotional material, but by all accounts he was most likely not involved at all. [4] It stars Paul Naschy, Michael Rennie, Karin Dor and Craig Hill. It is the third in a series of films featuring the werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky, who was always played by Naschy.

Contents

Los Monstruos del Terror was originally going to be called El Hombre que Vino de Ummo (translation: The Man Who Came from Ummo), referring to Michael Rennie's alien character. It was followed by the 1970 film The Fury of the Wolfman . The film was released directly to television in the U.S. as Assignment Terror.

Summary

Aliens, running a traveling circus as a cover, revive a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy and Frankenstein's monster with a plan to use them to take over the world. They want to discover the reason that these monsters are so frightening to Earthlings. They then plan to use their findings and resurrect the monsters to destroy the people of Earth. For reference, the aliens use a book entitled "Anthology of the Monsters" by Professor Ulrich von Farancksalan, who was also the creator of the analog to Frankenstein's monster in this film.

The werewolf they revive (Count Waldemar Daninsky) saves the world by destroying the other three monsters in hand-to-hand combat and ultimately blowing up the aliens' underground base, although he is shot to death in the process by a woman who loves him enough to end his torment. The werewolf has no specific origin in this film; it is assumed that the events in this film are continued from the ending of La Marca del Hombre Lobo ( The Mark of the Wolfman (1968)), in which Daninsky was transformed into a werewolf through the bite of a werewolf named Imre Wolfstein (strangely, the werewolf was killed in the same exact manner in that first film, but in this film, the aliens surgically remove the silver bullets to revive him).

Cast

Production

Lead actor Paul Naschy also wrote the screenplay at the request of producer Robert Prades, who was impressed by the box office success of Naschy's La Marca del Hombre Lobo that year and wanted to film a sequel. The original shooting title was The Man Who Came from Ummo, but the producer changed it to The Monsters of Terror. Direction was split between two Argentine-born filmmakers, Hugo Fregonese and Tulio Demicheli. Naschy said Fregonese quit the project two-thirds of the way through, and Demichelli stepped in to finish the film. Only Demichelli was actually credited on the prints. Naschy claimed that Hollywood actor Robert Taylor volunteered to play the lead alien in the film, but the producer hired Michael Rennie instead. Naschy also said the makeup man on the film, Rafael Ferrer, was the most incompetent man he ever worked with. [5]

Naschy was told the film would have a lavish budget, which inspired him to let his imagination run wild while writing the screenplay. The film was shot in Egypt, Germany, Italy and Spain. [3] Filming was interrupted several times because of financial difficulties, and thus the script was not filmed as it was written. Whole segments of the script involving flying saucers and a golem were never carried out as the result of sorely lacking funds.

Release and attempts at restoration

An English language one-sheet poster exists for this film bearing the title Assignment Terror, but AIP distributed the film under this title direct to television in the U.S. only in 1973. It was later released on VHS as Dracula vs. Frankenstein in a spliced, full screen pan-and-scan print.

Trivia

The film was broadcast on Tele 5 as part of the programme format SchleFaZ in season 2.

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References

  1. Howarth, Troy (2018). Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy. WK Books. p. 40. ISBN   978-1718835894.
  2. Howarth, Troy (2018). Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy. WK Books. p. 40. ISBN   978-1718835894.
  3. 1 2 Besas, Peter (3 November 1971). "Spain Discovers Horror Pix". Variety . p. 27.
  4. Howarth, Troy (2018). Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy. WK Books. p. 40. ISBN   978-1718835894
  5. Howarth, Troy (2018). Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy. WK Books. p. 42. ISBN   978-1718835894.