24 April 2014

Werewolf Woman (1976)
100 min.
Directed by Rino Di Silvestro.
With Annik Borel, Howard Ross, Dagmar Lassander, Tino Carraro, Elio Zamuto, Andrea Scotti, Osvaldo Ruggieri.
This Italian effort is best seen as an off-the-cuff psych study, rather than a true werewolf horror.

Daniela Neseri (Borel) was raped when she was 13.

As a result, she's terrified of physical intimacy with the opposite sex.

To make matters worse, Daniela's father tells her that generations ago there was a female werewolf in the Neseri family. (Reportedly, this hairy she-wolf killed countless men with her fangs and claws.)

So Daniela, already disturbed by her own childhood trauma, now teeters on the edge of insanity.

Whenever she feels threatened or intimidated, she makes like a werewolf and tears the throat of her would-be attacker.

But um, Daniela isn't a lycanthrope. She's merely a very disturbed woman.

Sort of a cross between Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) and George Romero's Martin (1977), this low budget outing won't win any awards for its performances, or its production gloss.

But Werewolf Woman does have a kind of rough-edged charm, a likably passionate (if naive) approach to its subject matter.

The blank-eyed Borel is quite good as Daniela; she moves easily between screaming hysterics and total emotional nihilism. Ross, too, is noteworthy as Daniela's big-hearted new beau Luca.

Not for all tastes, Werewolf Woman is of marginal interest, but shouldn't be completely discounted.

Italian: La Lupa mannara.

Also known as She-Wolf.

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