Monday, October 19, 2020

Beyond Naschy #32 - SLEEP TIGHT (2011)

 

Filmmaker Jaume Balagueró made the big time when he co-directed 2007’s REC but he is a much more accomplished than a found footage zombie film would imply. His feature film debut THE NAMELESS (1999) managed to both brilliantly adapt a Ramsey Campbell horror novel and find a smart way to darken the wrenching finale of the tale. Over the last twenty years he has become one of Spain’s hidden masters of taut thrillers and smart horror tales. The only complaint I have with his career is that I wish he had more completed films released but I continue to hope for more excellent cinema from him in the future. 

SLEEP TIGHT (2011) is both a thriller and a character study of a deeply unhappy man named Cesar. As the concierge of a Barcelona apartment building, he presents a pleasant face to the upper middle-class residents but behind this mask he seethes with rage at their contented lives. Since he is incapable of being happy, he staves off his suicidal ideation by finding ways to make the people he serves in the building miserable. In both small ways and large he wages a one-man war to make them uncomfortable, embarrassed or inconvenienced in any way he can imagine. But he reserves his most vicious attention for Clara, a beautiful single woman of such sunny disposition as to seem angelic. She is the focal point of Cesar’s most persistent activities aimed at making her life unbearable. His repeated failures to change her optimistic outlook seem to only enrage him further until he finally resolves to escalate things to violence. But will circumstances allow his plans to succeed? 

Troy and I dig into this film and its themes but we do our best not to spoil the final act’s shocks and surprises. Indeed, we begin the show with a discussion of several recent viewings to get the Halloween season off to the right start. We touch on THE GHOST AND MISTER CHICKEN, THE OPEN HOUSE, THE CHANGLING, the remake of THE BLOB and our plans for 2020’s indoor October 31st. It’s been a strange year, folks. We end the show with a listener email that prompts a series of interesting horror icon mash-ups. 

We hope you enjoy the episode and if you have any comments naschycast@gmail.com is the show’s address. Thank you for listening and we’ll be back soon. 

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Saturday, August 22, 2020

NaschyCast #64 - Samm Deighan Visits!


As 2020 rolls on we continue to bring new voices onto the show! This time Troy and I sit down with the amazing Samm Deighan to talk about the joys of Spanish horror. Miss Deighan is an associate editor of Diabolique Magazine and co-host of the Daughters of Darkness Podcast. She is also the editor of Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin and her book on Fritz Lang’s M (1931) is a must read for those interested in movie serial killers. We are very lucky to have her on the show!

While the main subject of this episode is the brilliant and underseen A BELL FROM HELL (1973) there is no way to be a guest on the Naschycast without talking a (long) while about the hirsute icon of the genre – Paul Naschy! That means that at some point chest hair is brought up and hairpieces are discussed. It cannot be avoided.

Samm comes with a list of her favorite Naschy films and manages to gives us a fresh perspective on a couple of them. The repressed Spanish society is a major topic with the country’s rigid genre roles playing into the ways that these stories are told. A BELL FORM HELL is especially interesting when examining the skewed power dynamics of the story with the wheelchair bound aunt exerting her control over the only male in the family. Also, we dig into the often bizarre 1970’s film attitude toward rape as a plot point or harmless joke with the women sometimes seeming to long for the act or even encourage it. Repressive cultures shape psyches into twisted forms! The genre’s common scenes of animal cruelty get into the mix with Samm’s take on modern sensibilities bringing some unexpected laughs to Troy and I. 


But nothing can prepare you for the out-of-left-field discussion of Yeti nipples! You’ll just have to listen to understand. Plus, Troy and Samm briefly talk about their mutual love for the severely neglected folk horror film EYES OF FIRE (1983) and their wonder that it has yet to appear on any form of digital media. What is up with that?

If you have any comments or questions the show can be reached at naschycast@gmail.com or over on the podcast’s FaceBook page. Thank you for listening!






Monday, June 29, 2020

Beyond Naschy #31 - THE BLANCHEVILLE MONSTER (1963)



THE BLANCHEVILLE MONSTER (1963) is a gothic horror film set in 1884 which has a small cast of characters wandering around a huge castle-like home searching for different things. At times the castle search is for the origin of a strange nighttime noise (Is that a man moaning in pain?) or for a missing companion (Did they go down to the dungeons for some reason?). Sound familiar? But, in the end, everyone is searching for both romance and the answer to a family mystery. Well, usually that’s what happens in these types of movies. Actually, this film throws us several curveballs by, at first, having a haunting mystery at its center (“Oh, you silly dear. You didn’t really see what you clearly saw.”) and then tossing it out for a darker plot involving disfigurement, madness and murderous intent. It all revolves around family curses so at least that aspect of gothic tales is kept all the way through!

Troy and I step carefully through this film’s dark corridors holding our candelabras aloft searching for the meaning of it all. We discuss the Gothic Romance as a genre and I outline my newer understanding of it. We talk about the usual tropes of these tales and the ways in which this one adheres and deviates from them. I was actually shocked that there was no incest! The period setting and real castle locations work well to create a fair amount of atmosphere and the fact that we can almost always see the actor’s breath adds to the chilly mood. It is really a shame that this movie’s status as a Public Domain work continues to keep a good looking print available. The black and white photography cries out for sharp resolution without the dark, muddy smearing that obscures from view the efforts of the legendary cinematographer Alejandro Ulloa. I sincerely hope that we one day get a remastered version of this interesting film.

We end the show with a new instrumental song called Mystery Machine from Troy’s band The Exotic Ones. This tune is on their forthcoming EP and it drops in the next few days. Check it out! The podcasters can be reached at naschycast@gmail.com with any comments or suggestions. As is evidenced by this episode we do take advice from listeners, so add your voice to the proceedings. We’re always interested in what Naschy related films we could cover next! Thank you for listening.








Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Beyond Naschy #30 - THE MAN CALLED NOON (1973)


Westerns are not the most frequent category of cinema covered on this podcast. In fact, this episode marks only the third one in the ten years we’ve been doing this! That might be considered strange when you know just how many fine examples of the genre were made in Spain employing Spanish actors and technicians. Because of the low costs of production many westerns were shot in the Spanish countryside and on the standing sets built for countless Italian movies including some American productions. The cleverest of filmmakers found ways to make those places look fresh and interesting. Such is true of THE MAN CALLED NOON (1973).


We discovered this film while digging into the credit listings of one of Paul Naschy’s most impressive female co-stars. The sight of Patty Shepard aiming a six-gun while dressed in an all black cowboy ensemble encouraged our curiosity and the online plot synopsis grabbed our attention. Based on a Louis L’amour novel? Directed by the guy who made THE ITALIAN JOB (1969)? The lead is played by Rambo’s boss? And the luminous Rosanna Schiaffino is in it as well? How could we resist?

The mystery at the heart of this twisty tale is unraveled slowly over the film’s running time so we do our best to keep spoilers out of our discussion. There are so many reveals and discoveries along the way that we thought it would be best to let new viewers find them as the story plays out. This is a movie with a lot of interesting characters and learning about them is more than half the fun.

We don’t have any new emails or messages to respond to in this episode so if you have any comments for the show we can be reached at naschycast@gmail.com or over on the FaceBook page. We’d be thrilled to hear from you!




Friday, March 27, 2020

Naschycast #63 - Ellinger and Monell Talk Daninsky!


The year of new guests continues as the 10th anniversary celebration rolls on!This time we have only two people visiting but we talk to them for quite a long time.

Kat Ellinger has made a name for herself in film fanatic circles over the last several years as the editor-in-chief of DiaboliqueMagazine as well as writing for both that site and the British Film Institute among others. She is a prolific commentary track creator contributing to dozens of Blu-Rays ranging from classic Hollywood to arthouse cinema to Euro-Trash of the filthiest type! She’s even a podcaster, teaming with up with fellow female film fans to discuss cult movies in Daughters of Darkness and Helles Belles. And did I mention her book about the great Sergio Martino? Kat was nice enough to add her voice to this show and chose DOCTOR JEKYLL AND THE WEREWOLF (1972) to dig into. I had a blast talking with her and can’t wait to do it again!


Robert Monell has been a guest on The Bloody Pit but never before on this show. His is the writer behind the amazing blog “I’m In a Jess FrancoState of Mind” where he has reviewed and dissected the work of that Spanish filmmaker since 2006. He has since branched out into creating extras for various Franco Blu-Ray releases and moved into commentating on movies as well. He also runs the Cinemadrome film forum which hosts some of the most interesting discussions of cult cinema you’ll find on the web. For his visit to this show Mr. Monell chose one of the most problematic of Naschy’s werewolf films, FURY OF THE WOLFMAN (1970). He has some interesting things to say about it starting with digging into the probable origins of its basic plot. It is quite an interesting find!

Troy and I end the show with an extended dive into the mailbag to finally catch up on our backlog. We answer a lot of questions and take notes on possible future episode subjects. We can be reached at naschycast@gmail.com or over on the FaceBook page for the show. Let us know what you think and we’ll be back soon with more Spanish Horror!




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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Naschycast #62 - 10th Anniversary Show!



With this episode we cross the one decade mark!

Neither Troy or I thought we’d still be making this podcast ten years after we began, but here we are! We realized that, although our enthusiasm for Paul Naschy’s work has only grown, it was time to actively seek out more new voices to include on the show. So, our goal for 2020 is to speak to a host of people who have never been on the podcast to get their perspectives on his movies. A diversity of opinion is always food for thought and we think this will be the perfect way to start new discussions about the long legacy of Jacinto Molina. These are great days for Senor Naschy as more and more of his films are available on Blu-Ray bringing a whole new generation of fans to his mad world of monsters and horror. That means people are discovering El Hombre Lobo and his other creations every day so its time to kick open the doors and see what his influence is a full decade after his passing.

This giant-sized episode includes four new voices to the podcast. I asked each participant to talk about one of the Waldemar Daninsky films and they (luckily) jumped at the chance. Adrian Smith has podcasted with me over on The Bloody Pit discussing INSEMINOID and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST but he steps up to discuss his first Naschy werewolf film - WEREWOLF SHADOW. Derek Koch is a podcasting O.G. with his incredibly popular Monster Kid Radio serving as a focal point for these kinds of classic (and not so classic) movies. He joins us to talk about the Naschy monster mash ASSIGNMENT TERROR. Author Steve Sullivan has been on the Bloody Pit in the past talking about the colorful Doctor Who films made in the 1960’s, but his love of all things Naschy bubbles over in our conversation about CURSE OF THE DEVIL. Matthew Kowalski is a longtime fan of the podcast and has often written in to give us his thoughts on the various Spanish horror topics we dig into on the show. He sat down to talk about his favorite of the Daninsky films – WEREWOLF SHADOW - giving us a different look at that iconic movie. Afterward, Troy and I tackle an email and makes plans to get to our backlogged correspondence over the next couple of shows. We promise!

I’ve already got a couple more guests for future episodes lined up including some folks I’ve never spoken with before. So exciting! This is going to be a great year for the Naschycast even if I don’t think we’ll produce another four-and-a-half-hour episode! Seriously, I’ll try to break things up as we go forward.

If you have any comments or suggestion please write us at naschycast@gmail.com or message us on the Facebook page. Thank you for listening and we’ll be back soon!









Friday, October 25, 2019

Beyond Naschy #29 - THE CORRUPTION OF CHRIS MILLER (1973)


The Naschycast returns for October! Barely. And we work diligently to NOT spoil this film for newcomers!

THE CORRUPTION OF CHRIS MILLER (1973) is one of the most overlooked and least talked about of the Spanish horror films of the 1970’s. In a way this is good because its rarity leaves its many secrets and revelations unknown to modern viewers. There’s a good debate to be had about how the film should be labeled. Is it a thriller or a horror film? Often the line between those two symbiotic genres can be teased apart but I think this film straddles the fence right up until the mid-point farmhouse set-piece. That is a sequence that is sure to impress even the most jaded of horror fans! Mark this film down as another precursor of the slasher genre.

We start off this show with some news and a sad goodbye to a good friend and contributor to the podcast. As stated, Troy and I do our best to not spoil the many third act disclosures that twist this amazingly well written thriller into new and wholly unexpected shapes. We talk a little about the three actors at the center of this pressure cooker drama with some attention to the earlier careers of the two female leads. Jean Seberg is a screen legend with a dozen films on her resume that would be the highlight of any actor’s life. The lovely Marisol is great here but it’s fascinating to learn of her very successful music career as a young woman. And we speculate that Barry Stokes may have been asked by a British director to essentially play exactly the same role he does here in a later film. I’d love to find out how much this movie influenced that 1977 picture. We marvel over the fine direction and cinematography, the sharp dialog and nuanced characters as we strain to keep from discussing the end of the story. It is not easy!

If you have any thoughts about THE CORRUPTION OF CHRIS MILLER or anything else we discuss in this episode please drop us a line at naschycast@gmail.com and we’ll include them in the next episode. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you again soon.