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.
I’ve been seeing posts all day on social media about today being the anniversary of the death of one of the greatest horror icons to work in the genre, Jacinto Molina. Or as most of us knew him as, Paul Naschy. I can still remember being at work when my friend Aaron called to tell me that he had passed away. Following genre for so long, it wasn’t an uncommon thing when a horror celebrity passes away, but this one stung.
How fitting to see this in the night sky on the birthday of Paul Naschy. Then again, I’m really not surprised. In fact, every month when I see a full moon, I know that somewhere, our tragic friend Waldemar is going through the change and terrorizing the countryside. And his fans are rejoicing.
While is this is a sad day because the lost his friends, family, and his fans, as well as the genre as a whole, felt when he left us, I am so happy in knowing that his legacy will clearly live on. With all the special edition Blu-rays that have been coming out this year alone, it really shows the love and respect he so rightly deserves. And even better, that it will continue to do so. Younger fans will find it so much easier to discover and enjoy the work of Paul Naschy, though the grumpy old man inside me is more than a little jealous since we had to really work at finding his films! But none the less, him and his films are now a permanent chapter in the horror history books and will never be forgotten, and will live on for future generations to come.
Our thoughts are with you, Jacinto Molina Álvarez.
Long Live Waldemar. Love Live Paul Naschy.
“I would write that Paul Naschy had at least done his best and that he cared about what he was doing. I was capable of mistakes – to do it well or to do it poorly – but I assure you is that I did it with feeling and affection. I love the fantastic cinema.”
Paul Naschy on himself
Today would have been Naschy’s 81st birthday, had he not passed away almost six years ago. Kind of hard to believe that we lost him that long ago. But when you think about it, he is still alive and well and continues doing what he strived to do with his career that spanned for more than four decades. Because of his movies that he left us, his memories will not only live on, but he will still be entertaining horror fans for years to come. And to those new to the fantastic cinema of Paul Naschy, they will get to discover him for the first time, and have countless hours of excitement just waiting for them to discover.