Have any of you guys seen Fast Five? Well, maybe you saw Snakes on a Plane? Alright, well, maybe you at least saw Giallo? This might seem like a random sampling of movies, but the one thing they all have in common is that they feature Elsa Pataky, who was the Brazilian cop with a heart of gold in Fast Five and the kidnapped sister in Giallo. I really have no memory of her being in Snakes on a Plane, but you can assume she played an attractive woman with an accent. I think I had watched Fast Five and Giallo shortly after one another and I knew she had looked familiar, so when I had looked up what else she had been it, I added Rosamanta: The Werewolf Hunt (known as “Werewolf Hunter” on Netflix) to my instant queue. It’s just been staring at me and laughing at my for having it in my queue for so long, but now you’ve gotta go, Elsa. I’m sure we’ll meet again soon.
Wow, Elsa, I’m flattered! I mean, it’s quite forward of you to approach me like this…in a barn…completely alone–HEY GET OUT OF HERE, PEOPLE READING THIS!
In the mid-19th century, a man in Spain was accused of being a serial killer. He admitted that he did the crimes, but claimed that he was a werewolf and it was the werewolf committing these crimes. The film then jumps backwards to see this man (Julian Sands) and the relationships he’s developing. He spends time with a family a builds a romantic relationship with the mother, and he goes on a trip with her, leaving the eldest daughter (Elsa Pataky) behind. Although we see this crazy murder dude killing the mother and younger daughter on this trip, when he returns to the eldest daughter, it is they who start up a romantic relationship. Things get a little crazy when a werewolf hunter attempts to shoot the werewolf but shoots his love interest instead. This hunter explains why he’s there, so Pataky’s character helps local authorities apprehend the killer. While on trial, he admits to multiple murders and gives the grizzly details of everyone he’s killed, but each incident he blames on the fact that he’s a werewolf an it’s outside his control. During the trial, he says that his love for Elsa is the only thing that made him feel human, which totally makes sense because, well, just look at her. Despite her love being the only thing that made him feel human, it was ultimately her that caused his demise while being held in a jail cell. The film was based on a true story, and at the end we learn that the man had succeeded in being pardoned for these crimes as he was so convincing that the murders were outside of his control, but that he died of “unknown causes” because that pardon had come through. Well, you win some, you lose some!
What she ever saw in you, Julian, the world may never know.
Despite being the Wolfman, would you believe that I’m not particularly fond of werewolf movies? Same thing with vampire movies, I just feel like there’s only so much that can be done with these monsters that have existed in so many different mediums for so many centuries. If you try to break the mold too much, you’ll have people upset with the changing of established rules, and if you stick too closely to those rules, you’ll get a movie that has already been seen dozens of times. Directed by Paco Plaza, director of the first three [REC] films, and felt very similar to Hammer’s The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), which might be because both stories took place in Spain. Both films also tried to emphasize the more human aspects of the monster than just having it be a gory, violent showcase of the damage a werewolf can do. The effects were pretty good when transformations were shown, and it was nice to see a different style of werewolf story, but I just didn’t really believe the romantic relationship between Sands and Pataky enough to get invested in either characters. Pataky’s character seemed to flip-flop back and forth between victim and empowered female, rather than spending more time elaborating on the psyche of the supposed werewolf while he was going through these transformations. The film also reminded me of The Brotherhood of the Wolf, in the sense that it took place in the 19th century and that it was a fictionalized account of true events. Also similar to that film was the way that people wanted to blame horrible events on people becoming monsters, rather than acknowledging the fact that some people are just psychopaths. If you like slower paced werewolf movies, you might dig this movie more than I did, but it wasn’t all that memorable.
Wolfman Moon Scale