It looks like the Year of Naschy will continue into 2018!!!
El Caminante (1979), a film that Naschy co-wrote, directed, and stars in, will be making it’s way to Blu-ray early in January, from the fine folks at Mondo Macabro. For Naschy fans, this is a pretty amazing news since this title had never been released over here in the states on DVD or even VHS, so to not only be able to finally see it, but to see it in a nice brand new 4K restoration!?!?! Just amazing.
Also known as The Devil Incarnate, the story is about the Devil who takes human form and walks the earth to see how humans have progress over the years. But the story here is a very dark one depending on how deep you look, especially in today’s terms. In 1994, a special double Naschy issue of Videooze came out where the actor/writer/director himself talks about each of his films. His thoughts on this film are even more meaningful today than ever.
Naschy says that “we live in the age when becoming rich is the most important thing, no matter who may stand in the way. The age when friendship has no value; we sell it out for nothing. The age in which a man could take his friend’s wife to bed and think nothing of it. The age in which even murder is justified with politics. We live in the age of the Devil.” That was said over 20 years ago.
Mondo Macabro: Weird & Wonderful Cinema Around the World
By Pete Tombs
Published St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998. 192 pages.
Any fan of horror or just strange cinema has heard of the DVD/Blu-ray label Mondo Macbro and most likely has a few of their titles in their own collection. Well, this is where it all started from.
In 1995, Pete Tombs and Cathal Tohill wrote the book Immoral Tales: European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984. It talked about different European styles of cinema, like from German, French, Spanish, and Italian. They also covered directors like Jean Rollin, Jess Franco, Jose Larrez, and a few others. Well, four years later, Tomb follows it up with this title, Mondo Macabro, which goes even farther in his quest for bizarre cinema.
And yet we have even ANOTHER Naschy title being announced for a Blu-ray release. In fact, I believe this title never even got a DVD release, at least not here in the states. Up until now, we’ve had to deal with dupes off the old VHS tape. But today, Mondo Macabro announced they would be releasing the 1976 film Inquisition, a nice little tale of love, Satanism, and those purveyors of evil…the church!
Obviously one of the things I preach here at the Krypt is Discover the Horror. By that, I mean to explore and seek out new things in the genre, both old and new…but mainly old. One of the things that makes this a little easier these days are these Blu-ray companies who are putting out some amazing titles, some that were on the verge of being lost in the vast wasteland of obscurity. But thanks to companies like Synapse, Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow Video, Shout Factory, Code Red, Severin, Dark Sky, Mondo Macabro, just to name a few, they are not only keeping these films alive and available, but giving some titles a treatment that they probably never had before, even when they were first released.
To say the news of more Paul Naschy films hitting blu-ray is a bit exciting to me, especially when they are two titles that never even hit DVD, is the definitiion of an understatement. Earlier today, Mondo Macabro announced that they will be releasing both of these titles at some point next year. They haven’t said what the extras might be, but at this point, who cares. The fact that they are coming out is amazing and whatever extras they do come up with is just going to be icing on the cake.
Doctor Jekyll Versus the Werewolf aka Doctor Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo (1972)
Directed by León Klimovsky
Starring Paul Naschy, Jack Taylor, Shirley Corrigan, Mirta Miller, José Marco, Luis Induni, Barta Barri, Luis Gaspar
If there is one thing you have to give credit to Paul Naschy for, it is the fact that he made so many Waldemar Daninsky werewolf pictures and always tried to throw something new and different in them. And this film is a prime example of it, as well as how creative and inventive Naschy was for even coming up with a plot like this!
Without going into too much detail, Dr. Jekyll, played by Jack Taylor, is going to try and cure Daninsky’s hairy curse by using his grandfather chemical cocktail. His theory is that by transforming him into a Hyde character, he will be strong enough to beat out the urge to turn into a werewolf. Seems legit, right? But no matter how crazy the theory is, what it does do is give us a chance to see Naschy not only bust our his usually entertaining lycanthopic side, but also become one of the best Mr. Hyde performance I’ve seen since Frederic March in 1932.
While José Ramón Larraz is most known for his 1974 blood thirsty picture Vampyres, he also made another film that same year (actually a few in 1974) that starred the daughter of the immortal Donald Pleasence, Angela, who gives us a very creepy performance here. I don’t believe this film has never gotten an actual video release here in the states other than in the bootleg market, but it is one that should be seen, if only because of Pleasence’s performance. The film has such a strange and eerie look and quality to it, with a good and slow burn, but worth seeing.
And now, thanks to Mondo Macabro, you will have that chance. They will be releasing this film this spring that will have plenty of extras, besides the film being fully restored from the original negative. The extras include a documentary on Larraz by Celia Novis called On Vampyres and Other Symptoms, the 1999 entry from the show Eurotika series that was on Larraz, a new interview with actresses Angela Pleasence and Lorna Heilbron, and editor Brian Smedley-Aston. Continue reading