Navigation

The Werewolf and the Yeti (1975)

Dir: Miguel Iglesias Bonns

Waldemar Daninsky (Paul Naschy) is a famous explorer and while in London he is asked by a Professor Lacombe to join his expedition to the Himalayas to find the legendary Yeti, which photographs recovered from an earlier, now missing, expedition prove exists;
Prof: “The creatures that appear in this photographs can only be Yetis”
Daninsky: “There’s no doubt of that”.

The expedition, which also includes the Professor’s Daughter Sylvia (Grace Mills), runs into trouble almost as soon as they arrive and Daninsky and one of the guides get lost in a snowstorm.
The superstitious guide flees into the snowy wastes and Daninsky stumbles on alone until he finds a mysterious cave.
As is always the way in life the cave is home to a couple of gorgeous women who promptly warm Daninsky up by making him their sex slave!

All good things must come to an end though and it seems the two women are really cannibalistic demons.
Fighting back his fear (and annoyance at knowing all the sex is now over) Daninsky takes on the flesh munching nymphs but in the process is bitten by one of them, and thus he is infected with ‘the curse of the hairy beast’.

Meanwhile, the Professor and company have been captured by a barmy band of bandits led by the flaky skinned Sekkar Khan (Luis Induni) and his witch sidekick Wandesa (Silvia Solar).
Only Sylvia escapes, and even she has a couple of horny bandits on her tail (literally), and then, out of the swirling snow, Daninsky reappears to save the day.
Only this time he’s sporting a new look…that of a Werewolf!

And oh yeah, there’s also a Yeti somewhere as well….

 

Any film that suggests we are meant to be in London, England, by playing 'Scotland The Brave' on the soundtrack starts out in a bit of a chaotic mess and sure enough “The Werewolf and the Yeti” (the prolific Naschy’s 8th incarnation of his Daninsky/Werewolf character) stays a chaotic mess for the remainder of its running time.

Due to the film’s unfortunate luck of getting scooped up in the UK ‘Video Nasties’ witch hunt when released onto unsuspecting British rental shelves in the 80’s this is perhaps the most famous and sought after Naschy/Daninsky film of them all. Something that has been a boon to it’s profile but also something that has played hell with it getting any kind of DVD release it seems.
Which is a shame, as the snowy cinematography by (Tomàs Pladevall) and some fun and atmospheric sets deserve better than being viewed via some fuzzy VHS or DVD-R dupe.

The film opens with a crazy cacophony of flutes and bells which basically makes up the entire score (with obvious snatches of library music) and it certainly provides a feeling of otherworldliness to the (actually in Spain) Himalayan snow fields and mountains.
The English dubbing of this Spanish stew is actually quite good as well but the dialogue is full of forced and melodramatic speeches.
One of the best is given by the guide, who ends up getting lost with Daninsky, while being hired;
“I was sure that one day I would return to hear those howls” he emotes as he sticks his eyeballs out as far from the rest of his head as basic anatomy will allow.
Another gem is when Daninsky finds out what else his two nymph cave-dwellers like to put in their mouths…“No! This nightmare can’t be true”.

The cave set and the bandit’s lair are well fashioned and the cave has the extra weird bonus of being bathed in bright reds and blues as if Mario Bava had been the cannibal’s home stylist.
This set design and lighting even adds a bit of something extra to the sex scene between Daninsky and the nympho cannibals as the woman’s energetic buttock thrusting and groin grinding is made to look almost artistic.
Cleverly Naschy (who was also the script writer) ensure Daninsky is a bit of a stumpy babe magnet and
even being chained up and fearing for his life doesn’t sap Waldemar’s ever present horniness as Naschy enjoys a bit of tonsil licking while chained to a dungeon wall!

The ‘extreme’ content of the film doesn’t just stop at Naschy’s hairy barrel chest though (even the Nasty nutters were not that sensitive) and it is a brief skinning scene which seems to have caused this to fall foul of the video watchdog brigade.
But although a sadistic idea very little is actually seen except the knife being traced over the flesh of the unfortunate woman victim before we cut away to Naschy’s reaction and then back again for the skin being quickly pulled off from a side view.
The fact the woman is tied up and forcibly stripped first adds to the sleaziness of the set-up but it now looks very foolish that such a brief moment could get the film into such big trouble.
There is nothing else in the film (bar a couple of bloody claw marks, a relatively bloodless knifing and a rubber arm being munched on) to give any ‘offence’ to the weak of heart either.
Indeed it seems downright unfair when you consider some other British video releases of the time, such as “Wrong Way” (with it’s extended scenes of rape and sexual torture) or “The Last Horror Movie” (with it’s heart ripping, offal chewing, chainsaw mayhem and gory slasher splatter) were completely ignored by the puritan posse.

Basically the main faults with the movie are the tired direction by Miguel Bonns and Naschy’s screenplay, which is all over the place.
It’s a real hodge-podge stew of a screenplay that throws in local superstitions, the essential Werewolf, witchcraft, mumbo-jumbo spouting wise hermits, crazed bandits with skin problems, cannibal demon women and of course that damn Yeti.
A Yeti which utterly forgotten about until the end of the film!
And even then it quite frankly looks just like another Werewolf anyway, so when the finale slap down between the two creatures at last happens it just looks like two hairy rugs flopping about on each other!
Though to be fair Naschy's Werewolf make-up is always fun and carries with it that classic look of what we thought a Werewolf would look like as kids, with heavy debt to the famous "Wolfman" make-up of the 'Universal' series.



There are moments to enjoy here of course, and it has that unique Naschy mixture of 70’s Euro explicitness and that 40’s ‘Universal’ Horror styling that is pretty unique to Naschy’s output.
But overall it’s a pretty average bit of eccentric Euro fluff with a few wild and crazy moments scattered throughout to keep you awake.