ABOUT PAUL NASCHY
the Spanish Lon Chaney, Paul Naschy (born Jacinto Molina Alvarez
in 1934) had a long and enduring career in cinema since first
appearing as an extra in Nicolas Ray's KING OF KINGS (1960). His
work in the fantastique genre began in 1968 with LA MARCA DEL
HOMBRE LOBO (American title: FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR), a
film he not only starred in, but scripted. Thereafter, Naschy
portrayed several classic monsters of the screen--Count Dracula,
Mr. Hyde, a mummy, a hunchback--as well as a host of villains
real and imagined. His most popular characterization is the wolfman
Waldemar Daninsky. The Daninsky series comprises eleven completed
films. Some of Naschy's best films, EL CAMINANTE and EL HUERTO
DEL FRANCES, remain relatively unknown, even among his international
wrote the scripts for the films he appeared in, and with INQUISITION,
made in 1976, he added directing to his impressive curriculum
vitale. Later on, when the Spanish film industry was abandoning
the fantastique genre, Naschy became a producer, hoping to keep
the genre alive and viable. During this period, he branched out
to make documentaries for Japanese television. As a result of
his Japanese contacts, Naschy helmed several films that were the
first Spanish-Japanese co-productions, including the epic wolfman
film LA BESTIA Y LA ESPADA MAJICA.
In 1997, Naschy
finally penned an honest, heartfelt and richly poetic autobiography,
MEMORIAS DE UN HOMBRE LOBO (American edition, 2000: MEMOIRS OF
received numerous awards for his dedication and work in cinema.
In 2000, Fangoria Magazine entered Naschy into its "Hall
of Fame," an honor that is based on votes received from horror
fans worldwide. After decades of denying the value of its native
son, Spain finally acknowledged Naschy in 2001 with its most prestigious
award, the Gold Medal in Fine Arts.
30, 2009, Paul Naschy passed away from cancer, still enthused
with projects he was working on or planning.
is a resource for the appreciation and study of Paul Naschy's
work, and a homage to this remarkable, yet compellingly down-to-earth
OF NASCHY site also continues its mission to spread the good word
about Naschy and to assist Naschy projects worldwide. Thus far,
we have helped with the DVD releases of Naschy films in Germany,
England and America, and have played a central role in getting
Naschy's autobiography published in the United States. We have
helped magazines, conventions and film festivals regarding contacts
and material, and facilitated Naschy's involvement with Hollywood
the Naschy talk!
PAUL NASCHY FORUM
the Latarnia Message Boards
gran amor de Conde Dracula/Dracula's Great Love (1972)
orgia de los muertes/The Hanging Woman (1973)
A true champion
OF SUBKULTUR'S DER WERWOLF
WERWOLF, the German version of EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO/NIGHT
OF THE WEREWOLF, is the second release from Germany's Subkultur
Entertainment in its Naschy series, "Legacy of a Wolfman,"
but it presents the first Naschy film in the series as the initial
release was the Angel Agudo documentary on Naschy, THE MAN WHO
SAW FRANKENSTEIN CRY. When completed, the series will fit nicely
into a fold-out box and present some of Naschy's best films, though
none that haven't yet seen a digital release somewhere in the
world. As these are German releases, in the Pal format, Americans
will have to not only have a region free DVD or Blu-Ray player,
but also pay for an import anywhere from 40 to 50 dollars per
release, costing close to half a thousand dollars when all the
releases for the box set are done. This hefty financial outlay
from fans worldwide is certainly matched by a hefty financial
risk from Subkultur, particularly when the costs demanded by rights
owners of Naschy's films remain relatively high. When finished,
"Legacy of a Wolfman" will rival the American BCI Naschy
series and Spain's VellaVision Naschy releases as an important
testament to the range and talents of Paul Naschy, Spain's unique
options for this combo DVD/Blu-Ray release are in German and Spanish
(no English dubbing or subtitling, but future releases promise
different options if contractually possible). The picture is sharper
than the BCI Blu-Ray and many scenes "pop" with color
and vibrancy. The extra sharpness has the effect, however, of
eliciting more grain than would otherwise be evident, though I
was only sporadically made aware of its presence and certainly
not particularly bothered by it.
special problem is evident, however, in the culminating battle
scenes between Naschy and two vampire women. Depending on one's
settings, a few moments are so dark as to be almost unseen. This
isn't just a problem with the Subkultur presentation. The BCI
DVD contained the same problems, while the older Spanish Tri-Pictures
DVD had these moments almost in black-and-white.
studying the BCI and Tri-Pictures DVD releases of this film, I've
come to the conclusion that these visual quirks are inherent to
the film, perhaps caused by insufficient lighting. The BCI Blu-Ray
(not the DVD) does offer up these darker scenes with more visibility,
but it's clear that a problem exists in the film element, at least
the one readily available for transfers. (I saw a print of THE
CRAVING, the American titled version of EL RETORNO, during the
summer and wasn't aware of any such issue, but I wasn't looking
for it, either.)
extras on DER WERWOLF are nicely presented, but, aside from a
"retro" German version of the film, they have already
been seen on the BCI release. That retro version, btw, is just
simply the film without an HD upgrade, a fairly useless extra,
unless I'm missing something.
Subkultur's release is marred by a booklet insert written by Carlos
Aguilar, a writer with a long list of credits in Spain, but otherwise
almost completely unknown to the international public. The choice
of Aguilar is befuddling as Aguilar has gone on record as proclaiming
"the irrefutable reality that Naschy's filmography is very
bad." His opinion of Naschy, the person, is not much better.
the booklet Aguilar slams Naschy for a gigantic ego, and mockingly
chides Naschy for wearing a hairpiece in EL RETORNO and making
his character in films "very attractive" to women. He
even accuses the actor of adultery!
course, a writer, if he adheres to a standard of professionalism,
can stifle his obsessive hatred of his subject and get to the
meat of the matter, writing about the making of the movie and
its filmmakers in a honest yet respectful manner, but Aguilar
drops any pretense at professionalism and let's his disdain for
Naschy loose with frequency. For sure, as he was placing his malicious
comments, he gloated and smiled over the fact that Naschy fans,
whom he especially despises, would be put off and angered by the
can certainly look at a human being from various perspectives.
In Naschy's case his ego (yes, he had one, as most everyone, including,
Aguilar, does) was a stringent necessity because he was his own
promoter, his own mover-and-shaker, the man who wrote the scripts,
starred in the films, and later, produced and directed them. Many
talented and ambitious people are hampered from even trying to
display their talent because of fear of rejection and ridicule.
To overcome the natural tendency of doubt and fear, ego enters
into the game as a layer of protection, as a way of moving forward
instead of remaining at standstill. Had Naschy not had a strong
ego, he would never have succeeded in making a single film.
unsympathetic--and dare I say, inhumane--take on Naschy ignores
the reasons a self-motivated creator would need to psychologically
buttress himself with ego. He ignores, or isn't aware of, the
doubts and depressions Naschy had as he was striving for artistic
expression and battling to get many of his films made. He ignores
or isn't aware of the tears Naschy wept when a couple of his films
were sabotaged by inartful directors. Instead, Aguilar superficially
and maliciously aims barbs at Naschy's "ego", culminating
in the astounding parenthetical insertion at the end of one paragraph:
"Naschy's irrational narcissism could well be the subject
of a thesis"!
discomforting are the charges of plagiarism leveled at Naschy
by Aguilar. Aguilar states that the mask adhered to Daninsky's
face in the pre-credit sequence plagiarizes BLACK SUNDAY and the
resurrection of Countress Bathory through the dripping blood of
a human sacrifice plagiarizes DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS. I'm
using the word "plagiarizes" as intended by Aguilar,
not such more accurate expressions as "influenced by,"
"suggested by," "in honor of," etc. Plagiarizes.
Steals from. Even though, if you juxtapose those scenes with the
Bava and Hammer film, they are not duplicates, and in the Countess
Bathory sequence, the supposed plagiarization far surpasses its
original influence, at least in my opinion. In the "mask"
case, the mask is not BLACK SUNDAY's "Mask of Satan"
with its inward-facing spikes, but the "Mask of Ignominy",
with no spikes, that clamps around the head. (Naschy was a passionate
researcher in the weird and horrorific and would frequently use
historical fact to inform his films.)
many countries, a charge of plagiarism would be legally actionable,
but Naschy, being dead, can't sue, and it would be too much of
a burden, financially and time-wise, for anyone in his family
to do so, if they could manage to do so in another country.
Aguilar, this supposed respected writer, gets his facts wrong,
states that LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO premiered in Spain in 1969
at the Bulevar theater in Madrid, when, if we go by the official
Spanish Ministry of Culture, it actually premiered in 1968 in
Valencia, in Barcelona in 1969, and only in Madrid at the Bulevar
in 1970. He informs us that as the wolfman, Naschy always wore
a blue shirt! (Though this error could be--I don't know how--a
fault of the translation.) Aguilar makes a point of stressing
that Morricone's harmonica theme in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
was used in EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO, when it wasn't. (Of course,
Aguilar considers this another case of plagiarism.) He claims
that EL RETORNO is Naschy's swansong, completely forgetting, or
purposefully omitting, that Naschy made worthy films after EL
RETORNO, to include THE BEAST AND THE MAGIC SWORD, HOWL OF THE
DEVIL (on which Aguilar worked as a press agent) and ROJO SANGRE.
non-judgmental opinions even puzzle, particularly when Aguilar
makes the point that the film has the look of a Hammer film from
the 1960s, when nothing about it, from the camera movements and
filters to the sets has the look of a Hammer film.
justice would have it, the German translation of Aguilar's text
is grammatically awkward, if not awful, and presents the writer
in an unfavorable light as much as his nasty text does. Good,
I say. Couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow.
leads me to discuss why Subkultur would accept such a disparaging
and legally problematic text, one that insults the very subject
of a box set supposedly crafted in his honor and meant for his
fans? Subkultur head honcho Tino briefly answered this on a German
forum, claiming, rather disingenuously, that he didn't want all
the booklets to have a laudatory fannish aspect. Since then there's
been silence from him as the brouhaha over the booklet increased
and increased. Six weeks ago, Tino promised to send Aguilar's
original text to Sergio Molina, Naschy's son, but has yet to do
so, no doubt due to understandable embarrassment.
sensible person in Tino's place would have shown Aguilar the door
and thrown his hateful and faulty text after him, but Tino, perhaps
because he didn't have a quick back-up or, more likely, felt Aguilar
was more important than his self-promotions would lead others
to believe, kept the insulting and libelous text, so that it now
is tagged with one of Naschy most important and splendid films
in this otherwise fine release.
is strongly assumed that future booklets in the series will not
have a similar problem. And, yes, at least the film and Naschy's
accomplishment survive. And, yes, that is paramount.
BORN SEPTEMBER 6,
Born September 6, 1934:
Spain's legendary man of horror, actor, writer, producer, director--Paul
Naschy. Once in a while, Naschy would send me copies of photos,
writing on the side or on the back what the photo was about. This
one he tagged as his first publicity photograph from 1967. He
is always missed.
Major Classic Spanish
Horror Film Festival in New York City to feature three Naschy
films in 35mm!!!
Anthology Film Archives
will be presenting The Golden Age of Spanish Horror Cinema, from
October 30 to November 10. On the schedule are showings of:
THE WEREWOLF VS.
THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS)
GREAT LOVE (EL GRAN AMOR DEL CONDE DRACULA)
THE CRAVING (EL
RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO)
ALL IN 35mm!!!
This is an opportunity
of a lifetime for Naschy fans in the area (and even beyond) to
see these classic Naschy films on the big screen in 35mm.
here for a complete schedule.
BMW (BoPaul Media
Worldwide) is now the representative of the Victory Films catalog
of high-definition Naschy films. The list includes those films
which were released by BCI several years ago (NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF,
HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, HUMAN BEASTS, etc), as well as holdings
that didn't get to see any hi-def or blu-ray U.S. release: A DRAGONFLY
FOR EACH CORPSE, COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE, THE WEREWOLF AND
THE YETI, HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE, THE DEVIL'S POSSESSED. BMW
also has secured several films in the Jose Frade Productions catalog,
one of which is Naschy's DR. JEKYLL AND THE WOLFMAN. Contact info
can be found on the BMW
website. Obviously, it would be fantastic to see these Naschy
films released in blu-ray editions (only NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF
and VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES attained that honor when BCI was
releasing the Victory catalog), as well as high definition DVD
versions of releases either out of print or never released in
authoritative versions from original elements. According to a
BMW press release, HUMAN BEASTS and HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE have
already been sold to Medallion Media in Japan for hi-def releases
in that country.
was released, finally, in Spain in November. The stop-motion animated
feature marks the last movie work of Naschy, who supplied the
voice for the "archpriest" before he passed away in
2009. The poster above contains the image of Naschy's character.
Below, Paul's son
Sergio holds a figurine of the character at the premiere of the
features have difficulty in getting distribution in the United
States, but should the film receive awards (and, in particular,
an Academy Award or nomination), we may very well see it on our
shores, at least in art houses.
updated MUCHAS GRACIAS SENOR LOBO, greatly expanded with many
new graphics and in FULL COLOR is available now! This stunning
book is a must have for all Naschy fans, Spanish horror fans and
horror film fans in general! Order