Werewolf Woman (1976)

A section 3 video nasty, this movie was made by Rino Di Silvestro, who claimed that he wanted to make a serious werewolf movie. We should take the director of Deported Women of the SS Special Section at his word, I guess.

Daniella Neseri (Annik Borel, Weekend with the Babysitter, Truck TurnerBlood Orgy of the She-Devils) was assaulted when she was just a child, which has made her emotionally and sexually stunted and unable to have any relationships with men. Then she learns that she comes from a lineage of werewolf women, at which point she begins to have very involved dreams about being a wolf woman that manifest themselves when she gets all bothered watching her sister Elena (Dagmar Lassander, The House by the CemeteryHatchet for the Honeymoon) making sweet love to her man, so she responds by killing the dude, then throwing his body off a cliff because that’s how they did therapy in 1976.

Found near the body, Daniella is institutionalized before breaking away and continuing her murder spree before she finds love and respect — after killing a potential rapist — in the arms of Luca (Howard Ross, whose real name is Renato Rossini, and whose career stretched through nearly every genre of Italian exploitation, from Hercules Against the Mongols and The Man Called Noon to MartaNaked Girl Killed in the Park and The Pyjama Girl Case to The New York Ripper and Warriors of the Year 2072).

Of course, this is an Italian horror movie and there’s no way that Luca and the werewolf woman can be happy just making love on the beach. Three men break in and assault her before killing him, so she hunts them all down before the cops arrest her. To ensure that no one learns any lessons, she’s institutionalized and dies, then her dad kills herself, then her sister, who has lost everything, just lives whatever life is left after all this.

Man, I don’t know if they knew what they had with this movie, a film that shows the institutions of men failing women on every level, including the male-directed movie that tells this story. That said, a movie where a woman equates sexual desire to being a werewolf and also she maybe is a werewolf and the knowledge that I’ve spent more time considering the psychosexual implications of this movie than the people who made it? That’s why I keep writing about films like this.

Also known as Daughter of a Werewolf, Naked Werewolf Woman, She-Wolf, Terror of the She-Wolf and Legend of the Wolf Woman, this film is something else. You can get it from Raro Video.

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