Romasanta, also known as Romasanta, la caza de la bestia, is a 2004 Spanish-Italian-British horror film directed by Paco Plaza and starring Julian Sands, Elsa Pataky and John Sharian. It is available on DVD from Lion's Gate Entertainment under the title Werewolf Hunt.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paco Plaza|
|Produced by||Julio Fernández|
|Written by||Elena Serra|
|Story by||Alfredo Conde|
|Music by||Mikel Salas|
|Edited by||David Gallart|
Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA)
Xunta de Galicia
Televisió de Catalunya
Televisión de Galicia (TVG) S.A.
|Distributed by||Filmax (2004, Spain - all media)|
Based on a script by Alfredo Conde, according to the end credits the film is based on a true story, that of Manuel Blanco Romasanta, Spain’s first documented serial killer. Conde is a descendant of one of the doctors involved the original Werewolf of Allariz court case that took place in 1853/54 in Galicia, Spain. He went on to write a fictional novel, The Uncertain Memoirs of a Galician Wolfman: Romasanta. The same case previously provided the basis for the 1968 Spanish film El bosque del lobo ("The Wolf's Forest").
The story takes place in 1851 in a small Spanish village apparently plagued by what we would now call a serial killer, as corpses are discovered bearing both savage mutilation and precise surgical incisions. Clues point toward Manuel Romasanta (Julian Sands), who confesses to the crimes, but claims that he is a victim of lycanthropy. A scientist, Professor Philips (David Gant), argues that Romasanta suffers not from a supernatural curse but from a mental disorder.
In Variety, critic Jonathan Holland wrote: "Spinning something cinematically new out of lycanthropy is always a challenge, but director Paco Plaza intermittently achieves it with his sophomore feature. (...) Offbeat pic is cleverly ambiguous where it counts; however, it lacks dramatic focus. (...) Sands' wolfish visage provides an appropriately sexy combination of attraction and threat, and script is clever enough to coax out some sympathy for him during the final 20 minutes. As Barbara, Pataky turns in a career-best perf."
Romasanta was nominated for a number of Spanish awards, including two Goya Awards (Best Cinematography and Best Special Effects) and two Barcelona Film Awards (Best Film Editing and Best New Director).