Monday, September 26, 2011
One of the best things about doing a podcast of this type is the chance to discuss in detail the more obscure movies we love. From the start Troy and I felt that it would be great to get others to join us in digging into Paul Naschy’s films to add to the overwhelming wall of our babble. We’ve been trying to get more folks in the mix in various ways including reading and responding to emails as part of the show but the opportunity to sit down and talk directly with other fans of Naschy is always preferred. With episode 18.5 we present what we hope will be just the first in a series of interviews with notable fans speaking about their encounters with Naschy’s movies, Spanish Horror in general and whatever other films that get brought to mind.
Tim Lucas is the man we generally refer to as the Video Watchdog if, for no other reason, he is the prime mover (along with his charming wife Donna) of the 20 year old magazine of that name. He is the man I can most blame for my repeated dips into the Jess Franco pool of sinema because without his strong defense of the man’s work I’d have written him off long before I encountered many of the films I’ve grown to love. Although Tim’s contributions to genre film criticism can’t be underestimated the work he’ll no doubt be remembered for is his massive book about the life and films of Mario Bava. Entitled ‘Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark’ it was truly a labor of love. This gorgeous tome was the result of decades of research and interviews but it is brilliantly boiled down to a thousand (!) pages of fascinating reading. It really is a must for any fan of the maestro’s films. The book has so much information about so many movies that at times it seems to be almost too much. I like that!
Luckily Tim also loves Naschy and his work although, as you’ll hear, he often has a very different take on certain movies than your humble podcasters. So join us for about ninety minutes of geeky horror talk about Waldemar Daninksy, Spanish Horror and whatever else seems remotely connected. Let us know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below. Enjoy!
Friday, September 23, 2011
NaschyCast 18 is coming right at ya! We dip into director Leon Klimovsky’s work again for this very good film that just seems to get better with the passage of time. A strong story is ably assisted by a strong cast including Alberto de Mendoza, Antonio Mayans, Maria Perschy and the luminous Julia Saly. Also in the film as our ‘Final Girl’ is Nadiuska who exudes sexuality and went on to play Conan’s doomed mother in John Milius’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN. I meant to bring that up in the podcast and completely forgot! Our man Naschy plays criminal businessman, gun runner, drug trafficker and all around jerk Borne/Bruno/Warner or whatever his character is called in whichever version of the film you see. Even as a member of a talented ensemble he stands out and, one could argue, comes off as a better actor than in some movies he scripted himself.
Troy and I ruminate on possible Drive-In co-features, the wisdom of overdressing for the apocalypse, living through the Cold War, rooting for unlikable characters, the history of the phone as a communication device, black & white giant ants and the satisfaction of a non-happy ending. If we ever had doubts about covering this film they were quickly dismissed when we were able to compare the shorter English language version with the longer Spanish cut. We both feel the extra scenes strengthen an already good movie and are curious to hear what others think on the subject. To weigh in drop us a note at email@example.com or pin a message to the NaschyCast Facebook page.
Hey! We've been doing this for a year and a half now! Wow.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This is a very special episode. Since most of Paul Naschy’s collaborators are European natives our chances of getting the opportunity to sit down and talk to one of his co-stars about their experiences are slim. We’ve got a lot of questions about what it was like working with our favorite werewolf but our trips to Spain, France, England and Italy are few and far between. Luckily the lovely Caroline Munro makes a few convention appearances on this side of the Atlantic each year. After realizing that she would be in Louisville, KY in May we quickly made the decision to try to get her on the record about her time filming HOWL OF THE DEVIL. We expected a long, difficult experience ending in bitter disappointment and harsh recriminations that might well destroy the harmonious thing that is the NaschyCast. Surely it would be supremely hard to get an interview with one of my favorite cult actresses. Surely scores of PR people would line up to prevent easy access to the lady I’ve been in love with since my first viewing of THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD. How wrong we were! Miss Munro was more than willing to talk about her time working with Naschy and I was even able to ask a few questions about her little seen second collaboration with STARCRASH director Luigi Cozzi THE BLACK CAT (1989).
We can’t thank Caroline enough for letting us bug her about these often overlooked gems. She could not have been nicer, more accommodating or more giving with her time. It’s always amazing to meet one of your idols and its even better when they turn out to be genuinely wonderful people. Remember to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
ASSIGNMENT TERROR turns out to be a direct sequel to THE MARK OF THE WOLFMAN which surprises both of your humble hosts. We should have looked that tidbit up before we pushed record, huh? It just doesn’t seem that it should be a direct follow up since its more than 45 minutes before Daninsky even has a line of dialog! Well anyway- hang with Troy and I as we stagger our way through this funhouse of mirrors and monsters with a few side shifts into discussions of Star Trek, Pink Floyd album titles, mispronounced creature names, pesky emotions and the joys of mini-skirts. It’s a bumpy ride because we get a much compromised Monster Mash that did not turn out quite the way Naschy hoped it might. Cheesy, slap-dash, messy and goofy as it can be the film is far from the best in his filmography but it has its points of interest. It sports two great monster battles and several beautiful ladies while moving at a brisk pace. Of course, at times this speedy pace seems to come from having whole chunks of the narrative ripped out! Although Daninsky is a featured player he is certainly not the main character in this pulp science fiction story which points to the strange elements any fan has to notice. What kind of Waldemar Daninksy film doesn’t give our tortured Wolf Man any dialog for the first half of the running time? Still, the movie is at its best when the monsters are onscreen creeping around the Gothic styled dungeons of the castle/monastery so those are the moments when the entire thing pays off. Monster fights!
Remember to drop us a note at email@example.com or write on the NaschyCast Facebook wall to let us know your thoughts on ASSIGNMENT TERROR or which Jess Franco film we should cover. The show can be downloaded below or grabbed on iTunes. Thanks!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
As Naschy entered the 1980s his creative vision took on a darker tinge. Feeling that he had been betrayed by business partners and friends alike he began to see the world in a much more negative light and the movies he produced in this period reflect that. HUMAN BEASTS is a good example of him both stretching into types of storytelling he was less known for and strongly presenting his increasingly pessimistic viewpoint. So intent on making his case he may have overshot the mark for some viewers by underlining some aspects of human nature too heavily but luckily the film remains entertaining even when it becomes a bit too unsubtle. Naschy described this film as a tale of ‘devourers, where in one manner or another, everyone is devoured among themselves.’ In his autobiography he states that he was very pleased with the film ‘which, like EL CAMINANTE, sums up my position as regards human behavior.’ Having now watched those two film within just a few weeks of each other I think I would do well to watch a marathon of Looney Tunes just to reorient my outlook on life! Whoa!
Troy and I have a good time dissecting this one. We each find problems and strengths in both the broad strokes of the story and the peculiar details that sometimes seem absolutely pointless. Fascinating and dark, HUMAN BEASTS is a good film but neither of us feel its one his best works. It shows an ability to stretch both behind the camera and in front of it that should have made the 1980s another series of cinematic triumphs for Naschy. That his luck and the vagaries of fate were to hamstring his career by the middle of the decade might be seen as the natural outgrowth of the cynical view of life on display here. Still, for any fan it is essential viewing and quite rewarding as a study in its variations on themes he had worked with a few times before.
Please let us know your thoughts on the show, Paul Naschy and which Jess Franco film we should cover in our next Beyond Naschy episode. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a comment on the Naschycast Facebook page. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. This is a labor of love but it is still work.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
If I was forced to choose my favorite horror film produced in Spain during the 1970s I think I would point to this one. As great as I think many of Paul Naschy’s movies are TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD is so good in so many ways that it stands out as a truly brilliant example of how to take an idea that could be silly and turn it into something grand. With this movie Amando de Ossorio created the greatest monsters of the decade in the undead Templar Knights and he manages to bring a great concept, sinister atmosphere, a haunting score and a creepy setting together in a mesmerizing 97 minutes of sheer Euro-Trash joy. Easily one of the most important horror movies of the past 50 years it is a must see and I can also recommend the three sequels. Strangely, while the Blind Dead films can be seen as zombie movies I have to admit that I never thought of them that way until someone else pointed to the fact that the undead Knights Templar are obviously of that genre. I always just thought of them as their very own ‘type’ of monster with their own rules and drives. I guess that points to the unique nature of TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD. It’s such a singular piece of cinema it took me years to think of what might have influenced it rather than what others drew from it.
Troy and I spend a long time discussing this classic – maybe too long- and try to touch on most of the obvious points of interest. Trying to keep the lustful drooling over the lovely ladies in the cast to minimum is hard but mad morgue attendants and Bava-esque lighting keep us distracted from the feminine beauty long enough to remind us of our obligations to our listeners. We both love the movie and have a personal connection to it as it shaped our fascination with Euro-Horror in much the same way as Paul Naschy’s work. Please be aware that we try not to spoil the movie but I’m sure we give away some of the more shocking elements as we talk. Enjoy the show and please let us know what you think about the Blind Dead, Paul Naschy and anything else you want at email@example.com and check us out on Facebook as well. Yes! The long awaited Naschycast Facebook page is up and running! Drop on by and ‘like’ the show to let us know you’re out there.
NaschyCast 15.5 LINK
Friday, September 9, 2011
Maybe the last thing we expected when we watched EL CAMINANTE (a.k.a. THE TRAVELLER) was that we would discover one of Naschy’s best movies. That it is also an incredibly funny, bawdy, cynical and darkly incisive view of how the world works was a revelation. The last time we strayed away from his horror output we were cursed by CRIMSON but this time we struck blessed gold! Naschy described EL CAMINANTE as the most personal and sensitive of all his films and it was also one of his most critically lauded works. Looked at as a morality play it is brilliant and as a sharp critique of the ethical deficiencies of mankind it is excellent. As writer, director and star Naschy uses the classic tale of the Devil travelling the world to explore his own philosophy of life while never losing sight of the need to make an entertaining story. Even as the fable becomes more disturbing, reflecting his unfortunate disillusionment with people, the film retains its engaging spirit. The story’s episodic nature keeps it unpredictable and fun with one adventure leading to the next as each of the seven deadly sins gets its moment on stage. It may just be that my own view of life lines up pretty closely with Naschy’s but I found a lot with which to identify in this film and I feel that it is easily one of his finest works. Graced with fantastic dialog, fine performances, a good score and a creator in full flower EL CAMINANTE is a true classic that should be seen by anyone with an interest in quality cinema. This is our most surprising discovery from Naschy’s filmography yet and I recommend that everyone seek it out.
For more information about one of the many stories Naschy adapted into this film check out this page about El Buscon. And you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We’re back with our second Beyond Naschy mini-episode in which we talk about…well… a lot of things actually, but we try to stay on topic. The IMDb lists THE STRANGE LOVES OF THE VAMPIRE as a 1977 release but it turns out that Phil Hardy’s guide to horror films claims it as a 1975 film so your guess is as good as ours. I think it is likely that the film debuted in the US in 1977 and Europe two years earlier making both dates accurate depending on your location. Further complicating things is that in the US the film was given the misleading title of NIGHT OF THE WALKING DEAD! I suspect that drive-in patrons in ’77 expecting a zombie movie, maybe even a sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, had to feel disappointment but I can’t imagine the sight of the frequently nude Emma Cohen made the men in the audience unhappy. Wowsa!
Only available as a bootleg sourced from a Dutch VHS tape (I mistakenly say Turkish in the show!) with subtitles hardcoded onto the screen this turns out to still be a film well worth hunting down. Although we complain a lot about the crappy print quality the film’s strengths win us over and it joins my long list of movies that need a good DVD release. Settle in and listen as we try not to spoil the movie while praising its finer points, and we don’t mean just the several sets of impressive nipples on display. Write us at email@example.com and let us know what you think of our efforts.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The good, the bad and the primordial! Naschy called HUNCHBACK ‘one of the best Spanish Fantastic Films of all time’ and who are we to argue? Among the many awards heaped on this standout film was Naschy’s first acting prize- the George Melies Award for best actor and his beautiful, sensitive performance is only one of many reasons to see this classic. Of course, this being a horror film, Naschy’s sad character Gotho is more than able to dish out the violence when pushed. This leads to some of the strongest gore of any of his movies with heads flying from shoulders, intestines spilling across floors and medieval torture implements doing what they were designed to do. And did I mention the unrequited love and unexpected romance angle? Ah, yes! This one has something for everyone so gather the family around the screen and lets enjoy this tale of sad outcasts, mad scientists, ineffectual cops and Lovecraftian monsters. It’s one of the best tasting stews that Spain will ever cook up!
The show can be grabbed at the link below or subscribed to over at the iTunes store. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your rankings of the the films we've covered so far. The mailbag segment is really turning out to be one of the most fun sections of the show! And thanks to Dan for the cool image below. If only we looked that good while recording the show.
NaschyCast #14 LINK
Thursday, September 1, 2011
In our first ‘Beyond Naschy’ episode we take a look at Leon Klimovosky’s bizarre gender switch film I HATE MY BODY (1974). To call this a strange film is to undervalue the concept of weird cinema. I have no idea how folks who might have seen this movie at a drive-in theater in the 1970s actually reacted but I can guess that stunned shock would be at least a fairly common response. Until I can dig up a detailed interview with director Klimovsky we will just have to speculate on the reasons for choosing such an outlandish story but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves and it shouldn’t stop you either. We make sure to not spoil too much of this hard-to-find bit of sleazy Euro-trash even as our discussion rambles all over the place. We talk about the use and misuse of voiceovers, the definition of lesbian sex and the choice of pet names in a relationship. Please forgive my occasional cough as I work my way through a headcold and be glad that, unlike Troy, you weren’t in the room when I had to blow my nose. We can be reached at email@example.com and the podcast can be found on iTunes. We look forward to your thoughts.
NaschyCast # 13.5