Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Face of the Screaming Werewolf, Aztec Horror Meets Lon Chaney, Jr.

From Mexico, and bastardized in the U.S. comes our feature today....1964's "Face of the Screaming Werewolf." A wild and ambitious plot that seems like two movies pasted together to make one full length feature. This is not always a bad thing as "Jupiter Ascending" would have been a far better film if it was pasted together with "Cannonball Run." Besides, whose heartstrings are not tugged by seeing Lon Chaney, Jr. play a werewolf?
Okay, don't get too hung up on the plot...the makers of this film certainly didn't.  The sultry Ann (Rosita Arenas) is undergoing hypnotherapy. Dr. Edmund Redding (Ramon Gay) believes this therapy shows her to be a sacrificial virgin from an ancient Aztec culture. Later Ann leads a team to the Aztec pyramid in the Yucatan and finds a secret chamber where the sacrificial rite took place. Now the trouble starts!  In a tomb and mummified is Lon Chaney, Jr. Obviously not an Aztec. Also, guarding him is a zombie-like creature. The scientists subdue the zombie-thing and bring both it and Lon Chaney, Jr. back to America.
Lights out...Bang Bang...Lots of peeps dead, and chaos hits the streets. Lon Chaney, Jr. and the Aztec zombie have been stolen. Bad news, the scientists who stole Lon Chaney, Jr. knows that he is a werewolf and a full moon turns him into one. Now a werewolf is loose in the city looking for nubile babes and the Aztec-zombie searches for the beautiful Ann. Throw in an inept band of crooks and cynical cops and this becomes a very beautiful thing.
Will the nubile reincarnated virgin, Ann, be sacrificed by the Aztec-zombie?  What does Lon Chaney, Jr. have to do with any of this? Is this awkward mesh of Mexican and American film-making a metaphor for the lack of success of the Pancho Villa Restaurants?  A weird one, no doubt, but it is always good to see Lon Chaney, Jr. Directed by...well if you are Mexican Gilberto Martinez Solares, and if you are American Jerry Warren, "Face of the Screaming Werewolf" is a spirited, if not disjointed horror yarn.


  1. Well, this is a hodgepodge of delightful classic monsters. Definitely never heard of this! Good review, Christopher!

  2. Who can resist a combo of Mexico & Lon Chaney Jnr?? That would sell to anyone! Very nice review Christopher will definitely check this one out.

  3. Thanks for this (by way of Famous Author of Filmland B.F. Spaeth). I'd never heard of this one! Could it be that the great Jerry Warren managed to squeeze two (2) completely new and unrelated feature films from the one Mexican trailer he somehow gained possession of? An epic in itself. Peter Zaremba, the Psychedelic Count.