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.