Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beyond Naschy #21 - NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND DESIRES (1984)

Jess Franco's long list of credits is a nearly never ending fountain of delirious delights. Even for a dedicated fan there always seems to be a new experience just around the corner waiting to be discovered. And if those new experiences are sometimes strongly reminiscent of other Franco work, that is just part of the fun. Finding common themes, similar characters and shared motivations are part of the fascination of a Franco film with each element something to be studied and contemplated like a well cut gemstone. What is 'Irina' up to in this story? Is there a Dr. Orloff lurking behind an almost closed door, listening to secrets and making plans? Is the lovely Lorna helpful or harmful in this incarnation? Is that look from the mysterious stranger one of love, lust or disgust? Only time and Uncle Jess will tell. If we're lucky!

After far too long a break Troy and I slip back into our comfortable contemplative clothing and check out a bright, colorful descent into sex, murder and emotional trauma called NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND DESIRES (1984). Part of a very fertile career period but little seen outside of Spain until now, the film sports another in a long line of brave performances from Franco muse Lina Romey. She may spend most of the film nude but it's her character's dark path and sad emotional turmoil that'll keep your eyes glued to the screen. This is an exquisitely beautiful movie shot in languorous, carefully composed shots that draw you into the twisted tale of psychic visions and hidden drives. It's both delicate and vicious which is a difficult trick to pull off. This isn't an easy Franco film at times but for the initiated it's a significant addition to the cinematic portrait he painted all his life.

Comments and suggestions can be sent to naschycast@gmail.com in either typed or MP3 form. We'd love to hear from you! In fact, the mailbag makes a belated return to the show this time out and we even have a couple of gracious donations to thank kind listeners for.  If you would like to help us out there is a donate button on the right side of the blog page - feel free to click it and send a couple of bucks our way. Thank you for checking out the show!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Beyond Naschy #20 - THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED (1970)

Writer/director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador only made two feature films and in this episode we cover the first. THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED is a carefully paced tale of sexual repression and murder in an all girls school and if that makes you think of a much more famous European genre film from a few years later you might be onto something. As we go through this film we point out some of the movies that seem to have been influenced by THE HOUSE THE SCREAMED as well as a couple of movies that might have served as influences for this under known classic. Set in France in the late 19th century it shows a depth of period detail both in the house itself and in the authoritarian culture it is commenting upon. Often seen as a proto-slasher, the film was known as LA RESIDENCIA in it's home country and under some truly bizarre titles in other places around the world.

The film is elevated by a talented cast lead by the legendary Lilli Palmer as the strict headmistress in charge of a few dozen 'troubled' girls placed in her out-of-the-way boarding school.  As these girls range in age from about age 15 to 21 you can imagine what some of the problems might be. Spanish actress Cristina (THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE) Galbó plays the newest student enrolled and serves as our proxy as she learns about the place's dark secrets. British actress Mary (CRUCIBLE OF TERROR) Maude is Irene, the student most trusted by the headmistress to help keep the other girls in line, which she does in some often harsh ways. John Moulder-Brown plays the overprotected teenaged son of the headmistress who spies on the girls but is forbidden to associate with them. And NaschyCast favorite Victor Israel turns up as the school's all-purpose handyman who just might be the killer!

Join us as we dive deep into this one with our observations ranging from the cerebral to the silly. We certainly take great delight in the beauty and intelligence on display in the film and we don't just mean the lovely cast or exemplary acting. This is one of the finest films we have yet to cover and we hope to encourage you to seek it out.

We can be contacted at naschycast@gmail.com or over on the NaschyCast FaceBook page. Let us know what you think of this or any other Spanish horror films. Thank you for downloading and listening.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Beyond Naschy #19 - WHITE COMANCHE (1968)

In 1968 westerns were being churned out by the dozens in Europe. The huge success of Sergio Leone's Dollar films had stoked a fire for the genre that had been little more than cooling embers. When those Clint Eastwood star making movies helped turn a samurai film into Italian gold every European producer with access to horses saw a fortune in them thar oats. Just sign up an American (or Canadian) star (or two, if cheap enough), build some clapboard shacks, strap on six-guns and ride, baby! Enter William Shatner. On a break from shooting Star Trek he travels to Spain to make WHITE COMANCHE and, from his own accounts, is miserable the entire time. But did great art come from his suffering? We shall see!

Of course, the reason we are covering this odd Euro-Western is because it is a Spanish production and it stars several actors we have seen before in the films of Paul Naschy. The lovely Rosanna Yanni, the saucy Perla Cristal, the deadly Victor Israel as well as the amazing Barta Barri turn in excellent performances here showing real talent and professionalism. And I'm sure the fact that nearly all of them got to share scenes with the legendary (slumming) Hollywood actor Joseph Cotton had to be a career highlight. Cotton plays the town sheriff in what is easily the best role the script has to offer. Every scene he is in is better off for his presence and his skill elevates some sequences to a place the director rarely could manage on his own. And did we mention the inappropriate score? This is a film with much to talk about.

We close this episode out with a few pieces of mail that come packed with some interesting information. One alerts us to a source for a bootleg NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST disc while another points to some connections between COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE and Hammer's Karnstein Trilogy. The horror geekiness is in high gear in this one, folks! If you have any comments or questions please write us at naschycast@gmail.com or join us on the Naschycast Facebook page for occasional updates and links to things of interest for Spanish Horror fans. Thanks for downloading and listening!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Naschycast #56 - Revisiting HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB (1972)

In this episode we change the script a bit. There have been some great new Blu-Ray releases of Paul Naschy films and we wanted to give each of them a look to see what new information about the great man might be gleaned from them. So, in the first segment of the show we discuss the CRIMSON and COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE discs at length giving our opinions of these fresh presentations. No one will be surprised that this leads to discussion of the merits of the two films as well so be prepared. This is the Naschycast after all.

Then we turn to the main topic of the evening - a look back at HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB (1972). We originally podcasted about this classic over six years ago in episode #2 and for an in depth scene-by-scene dissection I will point everyone to that show. Here we speak more broadly about the movie and the elements that we still find impressive and of value. To add to the discussion this time we convinced fellow podcaster an all around good guy Christopher Page to send in his thoughts on the film. He has only recently begun to discover Naschy's work and his point of view informs how your longtime co-hosts dig into the beating, bloody heart of HRFTT. With a little luck we'll be incorporating other fan's thoughts on the classic films of Naschy in the future.

We end this episode with what turns into a rant. The topic is one that hadn't been on our minds until recently but once broached we felt it should be talked about. Thanks to longtime listener Villa Wolf for sparking this discussion and helping both co-hosts come clean about our past fanboy tactlessness. Down with the gate-keepers!

If you would like to contact us the email address is naschycast@gmail.com and if you listen to the show through iTunes please rate and review us over there - It gets more eyes on the podcast. Also, if you'd like to help us pay the hosting fees for the show there is a Donate button on the right side of the blog page - every little bit you send our way puts more lead in our pencils! Thanks for downloading and listening. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Beyond Naschy #18 - SANTO VS DOCTOR DEATH (1973)

This episode of Beyond Naschy has us coloring outside the lines in a couple of different ways. We are covering a Mexican wrestling film starring the magnificent El Santo which puts us well outside of our usual area of expertise. So, to add some well needed context and background, we called up our buddy Juan from the Creepy Swamps to help us understand the world of Santo and his amazing career. If you have ever listened to the excellent B-Moviecast show you will be aware of Juan and his deep knowledge of cinema. His lifelong fascination with horror and science fiction movies has made him a great resource for information on classic (and not so classic) b-flicks and we are thrilled he agreed to join us for this discussion. We talk about SANTO VS DOCTOR DEATH as well as El Santo comic books and I even get him to list his favorite movies from the great masked wrestler's career.

Then. of course, Troy and I put the film under the microscope and marvel at its high quality. Filmed mostly in Spain it stars several Spanish actors familiar to fans of Paul Naschy. In fact, this movie feels a lot more like a Euro-Spy film than a typical Santo adventure but it fits comfortably in both worlds. We talk about the great secret life Santo has as a freelance Interpol agent, the joys of Mexican style wrestling, the ability to fly on commercial aircraft wearing a mask, what accommodations you can expect when you buy a castle and just how far some people will go to own art. Both of us were impressed with the well choreographed fight scenes throughout the film and any movie that ends with a combination boat/helicopter chase is obviously a classic! Be aware that we spoil the entire film so if that is something you wish to avoid you might want to stop the show at about the two hour mark. Sadly, that means you will miss the mailbag section which is packed with some great information regarding our last three shows.

And if you have any information for us the email address is naschycast@gmail.com or you can find us over on the Facebook page. If you subscribe through iTunes please consider rating and reviewing the show over there. Thanks for downloading and listening!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Beyond Naschy #17 - WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? (1976)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of one of the best Spanish Horror films of the 1970's but it's also one that gets less attention than it deserves. There are several reasons that WHO CAN KILL A CHILD is less well known than other genre movies of the period - there is no overt supernatural element, there is no monster in the traditional sense and the story is unnerving no matter how you choose to view it. Director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador is best known for his two feature films but has had a much more prolific career as a creator and director for television. Interestingly, his theatrical films are considered two of the best and most influential of the Spanish Horror boom leaving fans to lament that he never made more features. I guess we just have to be glad he made the classics we have instead of wishing for more.

Beautifully shot, well acted, smartly paced and very tense WHO CAN KILL A CHILD brings much to the table for discussion. Besides the obvious central question of an adult's reaction to a dangerous child there are questions of abortion, discipline, innocence, gender politics, the human cost of war and even nods to the idea that survival is by necessity a dirty business. Moral questions crop up repeatedly in the narrative but these concepts never slow the story. Troy and I have been looking forward to talking about this one for a while and we dig in with gusto. Regular listeners will detect a slight difference in my voice as, at the time we recorded this show, I was still recovering from a nasty bladder infection. My energy had returned but not my voice so be aware that I sound a little off. Or more off than usual! 

As always, thank you for downloading and listening to the show. If you have any comments or questions please write us at naschycast@gmail.com where we'll be thrilled to hear from you. If you get the show through iTunes consider rating and reviewing us in the iTunes store. We announce at the end of the episode what film we'll be covering next and it's going to be a major surprise, I think. We are certainly broadening the scope of the podcast! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beyond Naschy Special - Video Watchdog and Jess Franco!

This month we bring you a special episode of the show. If you've listened to many of our shows you will have heard us mention the magazine Video Watchdog in reference to something or some movie. Both Troy and I have been readers of the 'Perfectionist's Guide to Fantastic Video' for decades now and each issue brings new delights. The depth and breadth of the coverage in the pages of this digest sized joy is incredible. Several years ago we met duo behind the magazine and became great friends  resulting in many fun evenings of movie (and music) discussion that often saw the sun rise before we called things to a halt. Call them publishers, editors, writers, film historians or just great folks Tim and Donna Lucas are two of the nicest people in the world and we're proud to bring you a chance to sit in on a conversation with each of them. First up, Donna takes the opportunity to explain the details of Video Watchdog's move to the digital world. Luckily this does not mean the end of the print version of VW (Thank the stars!) but the bells and whistles added to the online versions of each issue are astonishing. And proving just how nice a lady she is, Donna let's you in on an amazing deal - By using coupon code PODCAST at the Video Watchdog online store checkout you receive 50% off the Digital Archive (176 issues) until December 31, 2016. That's right! For the rest of this year you can grab the VW Digital Archive for half off the (already low) digital price! And did I mention that each new issue is online to read free for the first two months after it's published for FREE! Amazing. So go check out the latest issue inline and see what's going on! The current issue has tons of reviews and a huge article on Carmilla and the various screen adaptations of that classic female vampire tale.

Longtime listeners will know that back in 2011 I got Tim Lucas to sit down for a couple of chats about Naschy's films resulting in some great discussion. I still think his defense of several aspects of BEAST AND THE MAGIC SWORD are eye opening and it is just such differing, knowledgeable opinions that I want when talking about genre film. Of course, Tim is one of the top genre film writers working today and his recent awards for his Mario Bava commentary tracks show that his skills translate from page to audio very well. Here we spend some time discussing several Jess Franco films and a few of their variations. Movies we touch on include THE OBSCENE MIRROR and it's non-porn Spanish language version THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR, FURY IN THE TROPICS, THE DIABOLICAL DOCTOR Z, THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN and Franco's two Fu Manchu films. I think that in my excitement I may have babbled too much but just listen in for the pearls of insight and wisdom Tim brings to the table and it will all even out! I hope!

Here are the links to take advantage of the Video Watchdog Digital Archive Sale and look over the newest issue for free!

Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout to receive 50% off the Digital Archive (176 issues) until December 31, 2016.

Digital 'Dog Blog:  http://vwdigitaldog.blogspot.com/

Link to the Naschy Cast page in VW 175: http://content.yudu.com/A2idht/current/resources/94.htm

Video Watchdog Website: www.videowatchdog.com