The Beast and the Magic Sword (1983)

The tenth adventure of Count Waldemar Daninsky — played as always by Paul Naschy — this Spanish/ Japanese co-production was never theatrically shown in any country other than its native Spain. It was never dubbed in English, never released on VHS or even DVD. Now, Mondo Macabro comes to the rescue with a gorgeous blu ray release of a movie that defies any logic and makes me fall in love with werewolf movies all over again.

What do you need to know? Well, Waldemar Daninsky goes to Japan in the hopes of being cured of his lycanthropy. You may wonder, “Why is this movie in the past instead of modern times like most of the other Paul Naschy werewolf movies?”

Stop asking questions and buckle up.

For the first time, you will learn how the Daninsky curse began, way back in the 10th century. Yes, a witch busts in and screams, “All the seventh-born sons will be transformed into beasts! The Daninskys will be a race of murderers! Hated and persecuted FOREVER!” before taking a wolf skull and biting the baby Daninsky through his pregnant mother’s stomach. Centuries later, that baby has grown up and searched the world looking for a cure before coming to Japan.

There, in the studios of Toshiro Mifune, he will battle a samurai played by Japanese actor Shigeru Amachi, as well as a tiger, a witch, ninja and ghost samurai.

How could something this magical happen? Well, Naschy was paid by some Japanese investors to make a series of documentaries on the history of Spain. They also paid for two films — Human Beasts and this movie.

I wish they had given him enough yen to make twenty of these movies.

You can get this directly from Mondo Macabro. Do so now. ASAP.

This first-ever U.S. release is awesome, with a brand new 4K restoration from the original negative, an archival intro by Naschy, a documentary about his werewolf films, new audio commentary by Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn of The Naschycast and a New interview with Gavin Baddeley, author of the book The Frightfest Guide to Werewolf Movies.

If the mail fails at any point, you can also download this from the Internet Archive.

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