Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy
Published by CreateSpace, 2018. 344 pages
By Troy Howarth
Followers of the Krypt might know of my slight fondness for the work of Spanish writer/director/actor and all around horror fan, Jacinto Molina, better known as Paul Naschy. Besides his own autobiography, Memoirs of a Wolfman or Muchas Gracias Senor Lobo that showcases all these amazing posters, lobby cars, and other material from his movies, there hasn’t been a book out, at least that I know of here in the states, that covers the massive filmography of Naschy. Until now.
Let me say right from the start that Howarth is not only a good friend of mine, but that I also have a very small part in this book, in the Naschy legacy section in the back. Also, that I’m a die-hard Naschy fan that is just thrilled to death that there is finally a book about him and his films. But I would ask you to believe that if I had issues with Troy’s writing, or this book in general, that I would be up front and honest about them here. I don’t mix words when it comes to reviewing, especially books, even more so when they are about a subject that I am very passionate about.
El Caminante (1979)
Directed by Paul Naschy
Starring Paul Naschy, David Rocha, Sara Lezana, Ana Harpo, Blanca Estrada, Silvia Aguilar
Recently released on Blu-ray from Mondo Macabre under the title The Devil Incarnate, this is noted as being one of the writer/director’s favorite films. But for those expecting the usual horror outing from Naschy, with vampires and werewolves, you might be a little disappointed. If you’re looking for a very unusual horror/comedy, one that had a very deep and personal meaning to the writer/director, then you might find yourself very intrigued by it. While I really did enjoy it, I sort of felt sad that its creator was ever in that dark of a period in his life, of not trusting many people in the business around him.
In his autobiography, Memoirs of a Wolfman, he stated “I wrote El Caminante in a very special frame of mind. Life had dealt me several harsh blows and I had gained a pretty negative impression of people. For me personally, friendships had been a lamentable disappointment. I knew all about betrayal and lack of loyalty and apart from my family – my parents, my wife and two sons – I didn’t believe there were many things worthwhile in this filthy rotten world. Later on three people appeared in my life who I consider true friends. However, the cry of anguish from the bottom of my soul which found expression through this movie is still valid today.” This film was made almost 40 years ago, and like Naschy wrote in his book over 20 years ago, the way society is still today, this message still rings true. Which again, is a pretty sad statement.