Favourite Five Series: PAUL NASCHY

With the exception of the favourite fives I did for a recent Something Weird Video feature I have been concentrating on directors. Paul Naschy will be the first actor to grace my favourite five series. Paul Naschy has one hundred and four acting, forty-four writing and fifteen director credits. The Spanish Lon Chaney as he is sometimes referred has played a host of classic monsters but he is best known for playing the wolfman; a role he played eleven times. Naschy was born Jacinto Molina Álvarez in Madrid Spain in 1934; his stage name is Paul Naschy but his birth name is what he uses when he is in the director’s chair. Naschy had a long career in the film industry and sadly, died in 2009 at the age of seventy-five with several unfinished projects on the go. Naschy never lost his enthusiasm for his work in the industry despite receiving little if any critical acclaim. Finally in 2001 he received one of Spain’s highest honors; the Gold Medal in Fine Arts. I have met many folks online with similar taste in film to myself and even much of this crowd are barely familiar with the films of Paul Nashcy. Paul Naschy was a multi-talented, charismatic tour de force who loved his fans and his work; I hope that this list will at least pique your interest in checking out his films. As well as the five films listed below I love and adore and love some more: Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) directed by Carlos Aured, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse (1974) directed by León Klimovsky, Death of a Hoodlum (1975) directed by León Klimovsky, The People Who Own the Dark directed by León Klimovsky, Inquisition (1976) directed By: Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy) and The Traveler (1979) directed by Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy).

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THE MUMMY’S REVENGE (1973)
Directed By: Carlos Aured

The Vengeance of the Mummy

Amenhotep rules his kingdom with an iron fist and kills in order to provide blood as a sacrifice to his god. Tiring of Amenhotep’s bullshit his servants poison him. In present day a relative Assad Bey is determined to bring back his relative. Along with his lover Zanufer they make the sacrifices necessary to bring back Amenhotep. Meanwhile they have befriended a young woman named Helen who bares a striking resemblance to Amenhotep’s lover Amarna and Professor Nathan Stern and his assistant Abigail threaten to ruin their plans. When I compile these lists I simply pick the films I enjoyed most; it ain’t brain surgery. It is purely a coincidence that three of the five films here were directed by Carlos Aured; I obviously dig the director’s stuff. Aured directs with style. The sets are simply superb and the colors are lush and appealing. I loved how the draping of the sacrificial maidens matched the gauzy fabric of the curtains that adorned the room. The costumes and makeup were as vibrant and creative as the sets and there is plenty of unnaturally red blood to adorn the films multiple throat cuttings and head squishing. The amount of throat-cutting and head squishing is not insignificant. Naschy plays two roles; Amenhotep and his distant relative Assad Bey which he plays with a cocky menace. Jack Taylor is excellent as Professor Stern, María Silva is charming as Abigail, Helga Liné gives her usual oozingly sexy performance and Rina Ottolina who plays both Helen and Amarna is empathetic and gorgeous. Aured’s yummy and stylish take on the mummy mystique is made that much more delicious by the presence of Paul Naschy.

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BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (1974)
Directed By: Carlos Aured

blue eyes of the broken doll

An escaped convict named Gilles is hitchhiking his way across Spain in search of work. A woman named Claude offers him work at her home where she lives with her two sisters; Nicole and Yvette. Gilles arrival coincides with the grisly murders of women who have had their eyes plucked out, making him the most obvious suspect. But Gilles is not the only one with secrets in this sordid tale including the trio of lovely ladies, the doctor, the suspicious new nurse, the bitter barmaid and even the police captain. Blue eyes of the Broken Doll or more appropriately House of Psychotic Women (It’s alternative title) is a Spanish Giallo. It has all the adornments of your classic Italian Giallo including sexy women, grandly staged deaths, red herrings and a great soundtrack. It also has an excessively macho Naschy striking Captain Morgan-like poses. Of course all three of the sisters have their eye on Naschy’s Gilles. The interaction between Gilles and the ladies is quite entertaining! Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll has a fabulous cast! The trio of sisters played by Diana Lorys, Eva León and Maria Perschy were perfectly chosen. Naschy is in top form as the mucho macho maintenance man. There is sex, nudity and violence all delivered with considerable style. There are some well-executed moments of suspense and a particularly fabulous finale. I especially enjoyed Gilles dreamy flashbacks where he strangles a woman in an empty room as well as the shots of two black gloved hands dumping two freshly-plucked eyeballs into a bowl of water! It keeps you guessing right up to the end. Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll is terrific, trashy, Giallo-licious fun; Naschy is simply the cherry on top.

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THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (1981)
Directed By: Jacinto Molina Alvarez (Paul Naschy)

THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF

Waldemar Daninsky is staked to death and Elizabeth Bathory executed for the crime of practising witchcraft. Fast forward to modern-day 1981 and we meet three attractive female college students who are seeking the grave of Countess Bathory as part of their studies. Little do the trio know that the gentleman who has invited them to stay as guests in his home is the wolfman Daninsky who was awaken a short time before by grave robbers. Meanwhile one of the women intends to bring Countess Bathory back from the dead. This is one of Naschy’s eleven appearances as the wolfman. Naschy does double duty as director and lead actor in The Night of the Werewolf. The Night of the Werewolf has a werewolf and a vampire; vampires, plural to be precise. Naschy does a fabulous job of directing and the film looks great! The werewolf makeup and transformations are top-drawer and there is a decent amount of blood spilled throughout. It is loaded with cool sets and props, groovy wardrobes and nudity. Paul Naschy also gives a bang up performance as the strong and troubled Daninsky. The Night of the Werewolf is one of my very favourite werewolf films and was number four on my top ten favourite werewolf films list.

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PANIC BEATS (1983)
Directed By: Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy)

panic beats duo

After Paul Marnac’s wife is diagnosed with a heart condition they move to the Marnac family castle in the countryside. The castle once belonged to a relative by the name of Alaric De Marnac who murdered his wife and children, practised the black arts and terrorized the population with his trusty flail. That’s right, a flail! I learned something new today; I learned what a flail is when I looked up medieval weapons! You do not want to get hit with a flail; and you certainly do not want to get bashed to death by a flail. Not a nice way to go my friends. The Marnac Castle is the ideal location at least until the nasty dead relative starts to make appearances. It is a pretty straight-forward story that services the film quite well and a really electric atmosphere with some primo moments of intensity. Best of all it has some amazing gore! Some of the best gore I have seen in any Naschy film. Alaric De Marnac sports a suit of armour and beneath that suit of armor is one ugly rotted sonofabitch (I posted a grand set of Alaric on my tumblr page)! Panic Beats is well shot, bloody, gory, sleazy, sexy and has superb effects and makeup. Naschy is in the director’s chair and once again boasts dual roles as Paul and the brutal and sadistic Alaric. Naschy is a force of nature in this 80s-licious gore fest!

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CURSE OF THE DEVIL (1973)
Directed By: Carlos Aured

CURSE OF THE DEVIL

Countess Elizabeth Bathory swears vengeance on her executor Irineus Daninsky warning him that one of his descendents will befall a terrible accident and will be forever cursed. Several years later the accidental shooting death of a gypsy man by Waldemar Daninsky results in the gypsy’s people scarring him with the “mark of the wolf”. Simultaneously an escaped serial killer is knocking off women all over the countryside. This is good news for Waldemar as the murders he is committing as a werewolf have gone unnoticed; unnoticed, that is until the serial killer’s dead body is found. Another one of Naschy’s eleven wolfman roles and this one also has Satan-worshipping gypsies, a serial killer and a Countess Elizabeth Bathory tie in! The way that Waldemar is marked with the wolf curse was pretty unique. Paul Naschy gives another angst-ridden, hand-wringer of a performance as the wolfman Waldemar Daninsky and is particularly animated in this turn. The scenes where he transforms are a real treat with Naschy knocking shit over right left and center and clutching at himself furiously as he turns into the thing he hates. Waldemar falls in love with two of the film’s female characters instantaneously and love is a strong theme in the story. Love apparently can save a man from a werewolf curse; doesn’t happen, but it could. Curse of the Devil boasts lovely location shots, delightful makeup and transformations, gore, nudity and a particularly spirited and excellent performance from Paul Naschy.

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2 Responses to “Favourite Five Series: PAUL NASCHY”

  1. Victor De Leon Says:

    I seriously need to have a Naschy marathon! Great post!

  2. conradw58 Says:

    A fabulous five for sure,with excellent writing as always! Needless to say, I love all five films(and the other movies that didn’t make the list). I too have a particular fondness for The Mummy’s Revenge,and was happy see the film earn a spot on your favorite five. I enjoy the heck out of the soundtrack to The Mummy’s Revenge as well. I miss Paul Naschy because he really appreciated his fans,and always spoke with affection about the horror movies he made. Well done as usual,Goregirl!

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