Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Buenas Noches, Señor Monstruo – review

Director: Antonio Mercero

Release date: 1982

Contains spoilers

Poor, poor Paul Naschy, to think that, once upon a 1982 he ended up in this; and just to note that his wolf man in this does not use the Waldemar Daninsky name as (according to the IMDb trivia) he “detested the script”.

This had been on my radar for some time but it is only recently I got to see it with fan-subs and, whilst I was expecting a kid orientated flick I was not expecting a vehicle for Spanish kid-pop-group Regaliz, full of cheesy pop songs (with context accurate lyrics) and dance moments. That said, it does have Dracula (Luis Escobar) in it so it deserves its place here.


The film starts with a school trip to the lake. Jaime (Jaime Benet) and Eduardo (Eduard Navarrete) are bug hunting, keeping in touch by walkie talkie (Jaime is unsure as to why they have to use code names). Jaime reports in that he has seen a large lizard and Eduardo tells him not to let it get away. Jaime resolves to use his blowpipe (!) and Eduardo counsels to aim for the tail. Well, he’s nowhere near the tail but he does hit teacher (Rosa Redondo) in the butt. He is chased and, collecting Eduardo as they run, they become lost in the wood. Then the storm hits.

the hearse

So they think they see feet passing by and decide to leave their hidey hole/shelter and immediately run into Astrid (Astrid Fenollar) and Eva (Eva Mariol) – so that’s the members of Regaliz all together. Anyway, Jaime remembers that he has sparklers and so they light them and sing through the forest. Eventually they come to a road and a coach comes past, recognised by the kids as a hearse carrying two coffins and, apparently, driverless. They then spot a castle and go to look for shelter/help.

Luis Escobar as Dracula

In the castle the (currently human) Wolf Man (Paul Naschy) and Quasimodo (Guillermo Montesinos) are bowling with skulls. An alarm wakes Dracula, who grabs his fanged dentures as he leaves his coffin. Frankenstein (Andrés Mejuto) is still working on perfecting his Monster (Fernando Bilbao) and bemoaning that the monsters are no longer feared by the humans. When the kids turn up he decides that they should feed them, give them a bed for the night and then (at midnight) scare them. There is singing and dancing amongst all this and the kids find a surprising ally in the Son of Dracula (Miguel Ángel Valero).

dance routine

This is silly, kids’ fodder and doesn’t have a secondary adult layer to it to keep the parents entertained. The kids look to be having fun but much of the cast, including some of the kids, are dubbed. We get some nice bits, like Dracula taking his dentures out and filing his fangs sharp, and Wolf Man is a reluctant monster despite living with the other monsters. The story isn’t much to write home about – the kids are surrogate for the world the monsters want to terrify and defeat the monsters partly due to the monsters’ pratt falls and partly through the power of song and dance. When ‘rescued’ by a search party no one believes there were monsters there. You can track this down, there are fansubs out there but the DVD is not English subbed. I am sure that for some this will be a film that invokes rose-tinted glasses, for the rest of us 3 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On DVD (no subs) @ Amazon US

On DVD (no subs) @ Amazon UK

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