Werewolf Woman (1976)
Throughout most of its 99 minutes, the Italian-made Werewolf Woman is rhapsodically, wonderfully terrible in that way only a sleazy exploitation movie made by pretentious foreigners can be. While some unfortunate stretches of eyeball-glazing, poorly dubbed exposition exist, the sheer insanity of the rest of the picture more than makes up for them.
Busty French Sondra Locke look-alike Annik Borel plays Daniella, a severely disturbed rape victim whose fears of sex and men are exacerbated by her obsession with her resemblance to an ancestor who was burned at the stake for being a werewolf (which we see and which is hilarious), causing her to devolve into a lethal, wolf-like state the night her strong sexual feelings toward her sister’s husband correspond with a full moon.
Sent to a mental hospital, she escapes after killing a crazed nymphomaniac who attempts to rape her. More folks are killed along the way, including another wannabe rapist who actually shouts, “I’m gonna rape you!” while he’s attacking her. She briefly finds happiness and salvation in the arms of a gentle, loving stuntman, but reverts back to her old ways when her beauty attracts the attention of a trio of thugs, who rape her (sense a theme here?) and then kill her lover. Her trail of bodies finally ends when the detective on her case is inspired by a cohort’s dream to come to the forest she has made her home.
Part horror, part psychological thriller, part softcore porn and part revenger, the film also known as The Legend of the Wolf Woman is a whole lot of crazy in a frequently fascinating package. It’s never for one moment genuinely good, but in the end, that’s what makes it so great. —Allan Mott