ASSIGNMENT TERROR (1970)

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Dracula Vs. Frankenstein Cover Now if you want to watch a two-sided tussle between a bunch of one-dimensional characters, then I suggest you clap your eyes on the following 87 minute movie made in 1970. It was Co-Directed by: Tulio Demichelli, Hugo Fregonese, and Eberhard Meichsner; and Starred: Michael Rennie, Karin Dor, Craig Hill, with Patty Sheppard.


Dracula Vs. Frankenstein


THE STORY:
Maleva (Karin Dor)! Our superiors from beyond the stars have sent word on how we can take over this planet with a two pronged attack. Firstly, we'll abduct and pervert that voluptuous go-go-dancer -- you know, the blond one with the massive tits -- so she can do our bidding on our behalf. And secondly, we'll bring back to life the infamous Waldemar Daninsky (as Paul Naschy) -- yes, that's him, the wolf-man -- so he too can do a similar thing yet in a more savage capacity.   

Granted. I'm sure that when he's not trying to shag his girlfriend, Ilsa (as Patty Sheppard), that damn Inspector Tobermann (Craig Hill) will try to put a stop to our shenanigans! But please don't worry yourself, Maleva. Because as soon as our two phased plan has been put in place, I will then instigate yet another stage of our plan -- or a third stage if you will -- one that will make every living creature populating this God forsaken planet to cry out for their Mummy!

Then again, that's most probably why what next transpires gets a bit too much when you look over at me and say, 'Now wait a minute, Doctor Warnoff (Michael Rennie)! You are talking about unleashing Frankenstein? Aren't you?'. As a bunch of monsters take over the plot - some tasteless nudity fills this particular slot - a wolf-man lets out a tremendous roar - and at the end of the day, how this film finishes is a bit of a bore.




THE REVIEW:
To a certain extent I must say 'Assignment Terror' sounded like a very intriguing premise to follow. Essentially it's about a gang of sterile aliens who attempt to take over the planet by bringing back to life a number of monsters who would aide them -- like the Wolf-man, Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy. Plus in addition to this, the overall production was complemented with a very seventies vibe, one full of day-glow lighting, jingly sound-effects, and this sort of dated yet charming affair you can expect to see from movies made in this era.

The Monster of Horror
But having said that, dear reader, it is with great regret for me to inform you there was nothing charming about this adventure at all! On occasion the dubbing was so abysmal people's mouths moved and I had to wait for a couple of seconds to hear what they said. The make up's deployed on the monsters were so terrible to look at it wouldn't surprise me if a child was employed to apply them. And as for the editing on the other hand? Ouch! That hurt. If it wasn't bad enough the narrative was rather jumbled in tone -- especially how certain scenes and characters just appeared and disappeared at a drop of a hat. To make matters even worse their was nudity on show that never aided the plot, plus an acting style that felt more like amateur hour at the local prison.

No. I'm not being overly cruel with my mannered musings, dear reader. Not really, anyway. Cause in my opinion a good example of this can be clearly seen if you concentrate on the Dracula character. Well, if you look at him closely -- not too closely mind you -- you'll notice that he comes in and out of shot without any explanation given to where he's come from or where he's going next. What's more, it wasn't explained who's side of the story he was supposed to be on. And when he did do something to another character seen in this film, there never seemed to be any sort of visible repercussions thereafter.


The Cast Of Assignment Terror


Dracula Vs. Frankenstein DVD
Anyway. I don't want to sound like a moaning Minnie here, film fans. Because I'm sure by now you know what I felt about this rather yo-yo movie. It was mediocre in places. Bad in others. And what now follows are its' ever so humble filmic-facts. (1) 'Castilla Films' first released this production in France on the 24th of February, 1970, and eventually clawed back 11.6 million pesetas at the Spanish box office. (2) Since its inception this project has been given such alternate titles as 'Operation Terror', 'The Man Who Came from Ummo', 'Reincarnator', and 'Dracula vs. Frankenstein'. (3) The majority of this movie was shot on location throughout Spain and Germany. In Germany you might notice Bavaria, located in Munich; whilst in Spain there's San Martín de Valdeiglesias plus Casa de Campo, located in Madrid; Barcelona, situated in Catalonia; plus Ermita de San Frutos hermitage, Castilla y León. (4) I'm afraid to say this was Michael Rennie's final performance in front of a film camera. One year after it was released he tragically passed away of emphysema. (5) When Samuel Sherman distributed this movie in America he decided to completely ignore its original title -- 'Los monstruos del terror', meaning, 'The Monster of Horror' -- and went with another name -- 'La Marca del Hombre Lobo', meaning, 'The Mark of the Werewolf'. I'm not sure why though. The werewolf seen in this film was a secondary player at best. (6) Excerpts from this thriller can be seen in a 1982 episode of the TV show, 'Son of Svengoolie'; plus a 2010 episode of 'Cinemassacre's Monster Madness'. (7) This was the third time Paul Naschy played the part of Waldemar Daninsky, and he was the only actor whoever supported this role. (8) After this movie invaded the planet pasta, Karin Dor starred in an episode of 'Ironside'; Craig Hill starred in the fantasy adventure, 'Aoom'; and Patty Sheppard starred in the musical, 'One, Two, Three: English Hideaway'.


The Mark of the Werewolf


Overall I'd say 'Assignment Terror' was a film for die hard horror fans only. Even though the idea behind it was very captivating in theory, in practice it was the only captivating thing about it you can say.

What a shame. What a bloody shame. Nuff said.  

THE RATING: C-