Fantastic Factory Presents… (cert. 18), featuring Beyond Re-Animator, Faust: Love Of The Damned, Arachnid and Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt, will be released on DVD (£39.99) by Arrow Video on 18th April 2011.
Of the four titles in upcoming Arrow Video collection The Fantastic Factory the one that stands out for me personally is Romasanta. While the other movies are good horror titles – Beyond Reanimator splashes the gore, Arachnid scratches the monster movie itch and Faust is colourful, over the top fun – Romasanta, from the director of the Rec movies, is the lupine sleeper hit in this box set.
As an iconic horror creature, the werewolf is the trickiest to get right. Vampires can be created with a little gothic white slap and a pair of fangs, Lucio Fulci rolled local tramps in the mud to make his zombies and Frankenstein is so open to interpretation that a few well placed scars can carry the day. A werewolf is a little tougher to pull off which is probably the reason why American Werewolf in London and Company of Wolves still burn brightly in the collective imaginations of fantastic cinema lovers. They nailed the transformation and the torment of being half man, half beast.
Romasanta comes at the werewolf myth afresh as it deals in how legends are born. It makes perfect sense that in times past the crimes of a particularly vicious serial killer could be attributed to a supernatural monster. After all, brutal murders are hard to fathon, particularly when scientific and medical knowledge about the workings of a psychotic mind are at best extremely limited.
The movie deals in such abiguity. Could the slayings portrayed have been committed by a man or is something more sinister and infinitely more terrifying responsible? Our suspect is a travelling man, moving between towns and villages as he trades. He shares this wanderlust with infamous killers like Ted Bundy and Henry Lee Lucas; Predators who killed and moved on, leaving a mystery in their wake.
The Fantastic Factory collection has hours of great, gore drenched entertainment to enjoy and I’ll be returning to the ugly world of Herbert West and reliving the spider invasion of Arachnid some time soon, but Romasanta is the movie that made me think just a little bit more.