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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, August 14, 2023

La Loba aka. The She Wolf (1965)

I keep finding odd movies in my “to watch” pile and this is yet another of them. It turns out that this is a Mexican made horror flick about a lady werewolf. It was made during the Santo and other wrestlers vs. monster fad that lasted until the early eighties, but there isn’t a luchador to be seen in this bad boy. What do we get? Might as well pop it in and see.

The opening scene is very cool with the camera starting on a cross and pulling back to reveal a cemetery. A furry hand pushes back the stone from a tomb and a full on werewolf creature climbs out. We don’t see the face of the creature but do get to see it go on a rampage and murder three folks. This is all in the first ten minutes of the movie, which also has not a bit of dialogue but is just the creature moving around the woods jumping and slinking like an animal. Very cool stuff.

Then things go a bit of the rails. After the creature crawls back into the grave we see that it isn’t a grave at all but is a tunnel that leads to a nearby house. The werewolf is a woman named Clarissa and she is one of two daughters who live there with there mother and father, Professor Fernandez. Once the characters start speaking the movie grinds to a halt. Clarissa’s secret fiancé, Dr. Bernstein, shows up to ask her father for her hand in marriage. Here is where we realize that the professor knows what his daughter is. He is experimenting with freezing things in an effort to cure her affliction. They never explain how this will help, but it is what he is doing.

On the subject of not explaining things, we find out that Dr. Bernstein is also a werewolf. Did he infect her, or did she infect him? Don’t worry about that since we never find out. He wolfs out and goes into the woods to stalk a deaf girl. Then a man with a dog shows up and the dog damn near kills the werewolf. The man is a hunter who is looking for lycanthropes… the fancy name for werewolves. Is he tracking Bernstein or is it the girl? Don’t worry about that since we never find out. After more talking the pair of monsters are dispatched by the dog and an ivory knife. Why ivory? Do you really have to ask?

Clearly this movie isn’t very good. The plot is all over the place and never takes the time to explain the rules to these creatures. It also has characters appear and disappear for long stretches without explanation. It makes for a choppy and confusing watch. This is very disappointing because the first ten minutes with the lady werewolf running around was establishing an interesting and engaging story. Again, I remind you they did this without a line of dialogue. It seems that all their creativity must have been expended in this brief opening bit because it is all downhill from there.

Much like the plot the movie teases the audience with the appearance of the first werewolf. Initially seen only from the back the actor appears to be wearing a body suit with some fur on it and amusingly a large tail. That is a first for me I think. The way that they move around the woods and stalk the victims as well as the way the attacks are staged really sell the creature and how animalistic it is. But eventually we get to see her face and realize that it is nothing more than the actress with some whiskers and pointy teeth. It looks downright silly. The male werewolf is running around with some fur pasted to the actor’s chest while still wearing his suit pants. So not much to speak about there. Again, I wish they had carried the early creativity throughout the entire movie because they were onto something. We also get a couple old school transformation scenes that I’ll admit worked well enough.

La Loba is an interesting movie that as a nerd for Mexican horror I’m glad to have checked out. But unless you have the same need to watch all examples of a subgenre, I don’t think that this flick has much to offer. I know that I’ll never need to check it out again. I suppose you can consider this a non-recommendation.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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