You will almost immediately know why Quentin Tarantino loves and endorses this movie 'Werewolf Woman'. Tarantino is a fan of revenge stories, and director Rino Di Silvestro has made quite a shocking revenge film in the horror genre. And of course, when you find out that Tarantino recommends a film, you have to watch it. This Italian film is made on a very small budget and falls into the grindhouse category.
While it's technical aspects might not impress everyone, it's violent and outrageous story might thrill genre fans who are new to this film. Silvestro has taken a story of revenge and added the werewolf aspect, although we barely get a glimpse of this monster anywhere in the film. Silvestro instead relied on the monstrous transformation to take on a psychological value rather than the physical change, and it works quite well here. And no, this particular film does not have a woman of the S.S. variety, but the "She-Wolf' aspect is here to stay, although Silvestro has ventured into the nazi territory before with his grindhouse resume. And since this is indeed an over-the-top grindhouse movie, none of it is taken very seriously.
The story follows Daniella Neseri (Annik Borel), who has had a very rough time growing up. She has been abused throughout most of her life. This has caused her to turn into a literal monster who takes revenge on her attackers. I think Silvestro was exploring our animal instincts into our deep dark psyches when we are threatened and attacked. Daniella meets a very nice man later on in life, and she seems to have recovered from her past troubles.
However, someone brutally rapes her again, undoing all the work she has done to keep a peaceful and happy life. And the beast returns with a mighty vengeance to confront her attackers. Actress Annik Borel is not only nude through most of the film, but delivers a great performance of one woman who is helpless and timid, but switches on the vengeful animal traits flawlessly. It becomes a little redundant at times, but Silvestro wants to remind us of our primal animal and naturalistic instincts when threatened with fear.
A background story of how this werewolf business might be a passed on from generation through generation is solid as well, and if you've never seen a naked female werewolf, then the image of Borel in full werewolf makeup will leave a lasting impression.
'Werewolf Woman' comes with a decent 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This film was made on a shoestring budget almost forty-years ago, so there are a few problems with the image. But overall, this picture is a big upgrade from past releases and screenings. The movie's main issue is with its stability. There is quite a bit of judder, dirt, and video noise throughout, but it fits this grindhouse movie nicely.
Detail is improved upon, but never comes across extremely sharp or vivid. There are a few instances where individual hairs and the horror make up show up very well, but other than that, this is mostly a flat image. Colors look good with deep reds and rich browns throughout. Skin tones are always natural and the black levels are deep and inky. Despite the shortcomings of this video presentation, this is the best it has ever looked, leaving this rating with decent marks.
This release comes with a LPCM 2.0 Mono mix in both Italian and dubbed English, and doesn't quite cut it for being a horror film, but helps its cheap grindhouse feel a bit. Dialogue isn't exactly always crystal clear and easy to follow. In fact, this is one of those Italian horror films that is heavily dubbed, which at times peaks its volume to shrill levels. It's a tad bit off-putting, but being the film it is, it's manageable.
The excellent synth-score is robust and my favorite part of the audio mix. It always adds to the suspense of each scene and gives that nostalgic 70's music vibe, that we've been wanting from more modern day movies. Sound effects and ambient noises come across lively and full most of the time, especially during the heavier action scenes. Just don't except a full immersive score. There are a few pops and cracks here and there, but it's nothing to worry about.
Interview with Director Rino Di Silvestro (SD, 20 Mins.) - This interview is hilarious. Dr. Silvestro is something else. In this 20-minute interview, the only thing he references to his film 'Werewolf Woman', is casting one of the actors. Other than that, he enthusiastically talks about the themes of the horror genre in general.
Theatrical Trailer (HD, 4 Mins.) - Two trailers for the film in English and Italian.
Booklet - Here is a 6 page booklet that contains and essay by Chris Alexander on the film.
'Werewolf Woman' is quite a fun movie, if you can get past its absurdity on the grindhouse level of filmmaking. This story is somewhat of a serious and brutal plot, but made with Silvestro in the genre, you can't help but laugh. Borel gives one hell of a performance here as well. The video and audio are not the best, and the one extra is worth the watch. If you're a fan of grindhouse cinema and of werewolves, then you'll want to add this to your collection, because Tarantino wants you to of course.