Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt (2004)
By: Devon B. on November 3, 2012 | Comments
Imagine Entertainment | Region 4, PAL | 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 94 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Paco Plaza
Starring: Julian Sands, Elsa Pataky, John Sharian, Gary Piquer
Screenplay: Elena Serra, Alberto Marini
Country: Spain, UK
External Links
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Because of its name Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt may seem like holiday fare, but this is not a Xmas movie. The film's about a guy whose name is Romasanta, and even though his name has "Santa" in it, this is not one for holiday viewing. Or indeed for viewing at any time of year.

It's the 1850s and in Spain people have started to go missing. Wolves are blamed for the deaths, but when bodies are found they bear traces of both animal and human attack. One guy who might have some insight is Romasanta, played by Julian Sands, who appears to be some sort of wolf whisperer. Not taking into account what that might imply, a family decides that Romasanta will be a suitable travelling companion. They soon learn the error of their ways and it quickly becomes clear that at least some of the deaths aren't due to wolves, at least not wolves of the purely natural variety. Romasanta claims many victims, but it's unclear whether the police should be hunting a wolf, a man or a werewolf. No one seems to think it might just be a guy with some trained wolves or dogs, which would've been my first guess, but the 1850s must've been a simpler time where the first assumption should be that anything slightly unusual will more than likely be the work of some supernatural terror.

Despite the involvement of Brian Yuzna, Romasanta is a pretty serious movie. It's based on a true story, evidently staying close to accounts of the events outlined during Romasanta's trial. The thing that may not be entirely historically accurate is the whole wereman thing, though it does seem that some people in the area blamed the deaths on a lycanthrope, saying the killings were the work of the "Werewolf of Allariz." The legend that rose up around Romasanta's murder spree provides the basis for the film, and it's an interesting story but the movie unfortunately is not able to capture the intrigue of the real life incidents.

The film feels like a low rent Brotherhood of the Wolf, but with less style and even more slow bits. Romasanta is ambitious, but it ultimately falls flat, getting trapped in the quagmire that catches many a psychological horror movie: Not much happens. The low budget production values prevent the film from having a realistic 1850s vibe, leaving everything feeling too modern for the era the movie's supposed to be set in. The cast are almost all awful, perhaps hired to make Sands look like a talented thespian, which removes any credibility the film might've built.

There are some real wolves, but they disappear early in the piece, and I kept waiting for the werewolf. Then I realised that the subtitle of The Werewolf Hunt might be meant in a Where's Wally kind of way, because I spent a lot of the movie saying "Where's the wolf?"
Video
For a low budget film, this transfer looks pretty good. The print is mostly clean and pretty clear with some decent detail. There is some edge enhancement, but overall the transfer's not bad.
Audio
The 2.0 track has some volume fluctuation, but is otherwise okay.
Extra Features
There's a short making of; a selection of cast and crew interviews, some of which are extended bits from the making of; scene clips in case someone doesn't want to watch the whole movie, I guess; b-roll and behind the scenes footage; and the trailer plus trailers for Prey for Rock & Roll, CSI Miami, Zero Day, Scare Tactics, Momentum and Bad Girls from Valley High.
The Verdict
Some people really like Romasanta, but I found it talky, dull and pointless. It failed as a historical drama, and as a werewolf movie it has about as much werewolf as Howling V. Okay, maybe it has a little more than that, but it's still not much!
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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