Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 6th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1973
Director: Carlos Aured
Writer: Paul Naschy
Cast: Paul Naschy, Fabiola Falcón, Maritza Olivares, José Manuel Martín, Eduardo Calvo, Mariano Vidal Molina, Ana Farra, Fernando Sánchez Polack, Inés Morales
DVD released: June 10th, 2008
Approximate running time: 81 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Castilian and English
DVD Release: BCI/Deimos Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
Synopsis: A witch who is burned at the stake curses the Daninsky family and their descendants. Many years later the curse comes full circle when Waldemar one of the Daninsky descendants is turned into a werewolf after accidentally killing a gypsy man. Is Waldemar forever cursed or will he fined cure to end his suffering?
Curse of the Devil’s plot sees Paul Naschy returning once again as a werewolf. This time they throw a witch into the mix and a gypsy who makes Naschy a werewolf. The plot is one of the weaker for a Paul Naschy films that I have come across. There is only so much you can do with the werewolf/Daninsky character that Paul Naschy would reprise in countless films. Carlos Aured’s direction is flat and uninspired. The films pacing is so tediously slow that I had already become impatient twenty minutes into a films that is only a mere eighty one minutes. One of this film’s major flaws is that nothing really happens until the last thirty minutes and even when the blood starts to flow the death scenes lack ferocity.
Event though the directions leaves a lot to be desired the film is beautifully photographed by Francisco Sánchez (Dracula Saga, The Vengeance of the Mummy, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll and Vengeance of the Zombie) who takes full advantage of the period ear locations and costumes.The acting in Curse of the Devil is very weak with the only standout performance being Inés Morales (Cannibal Man) as Ilona a woman who is used a pawn by the gypsies’ to get close to Waldemar Daninsky and help transform into a werewolf. Inés Morales performance is very effective as she says more through her haunting stare than actually spoken words of dialog. Ultimately Curse of the Devil is an uneventful film and one of one of Paul Naschy’s weaker films.
Curse of the Devil is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that frames the image in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Curse of the Devil was previously released on DVD by Anchor Bay in 2002. This new release from BCI looks not as colorful and the framing looks tighter than the Anchor Bay DVD release. One area where the BCI release improves upon the previous release from Anchor Bay is the image looks more detailed. Overall the transfer while not without its flaws is still more than serviceable if you can’t track down a copy of the Anchor Bay release.
Two audio options are provided with this release the films native Castilian and a English dubbed audio track. Both audio0 mixes are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. There really is not much difference between the two audio mixes quality wise as both sound clear and are free of any audio defects.
Removable English subtitles that are error free and easy to follow have been included.
The extras are not as extensive as they were for previous BCI Paul Naschy releases. Extras include two trailers one in Castilian and the other in English, a stills gallery and liner notes about the production written by Mirek Lipinski. Two positives about BCI’s release is the inclusion of the film’s original Castilian language track and this releases more than affordable retail price. Overall BCI’s Curse of the Devil in an uneven release that is below the quality of their previous Paul Naschy.