I made a choice years ago, right before Sideshow decided to make the horror toy market explode. I realized that if they started to bust out a ton of different figures, if I started collecting them, I’d have to get them all. I decided that, for the most part, I was not going to collect horror toys. They are cool and would be great to have, but that is not where I want to put my money. No judging, just a personal choice.
Granted, I have taken the plunge every now and then and picked up one or two, such as the Waldemar Daninsky figure from Night of the Werewolf from Distinctive Dummies, since, I mean, it is Paul Naschy, after all. And then there is the Emily & Dickie figure from The Beyond that Pallbearer Press & Distinctive Dummies put out, and then all those Hammer Horror figures from Mego, and a few Funko Pop figures, but that’s it!
What amazes me is the custom figure market that has developed over the last few years and has seemed to explode. These amazing and creative creations, as well as the obscure characters they decide to produce is just stunning. Which brings me to one figure I recently came across that almost had me busting into my wallet.
I’ve been wanting to post something about this earlier but have been too busy or maybe just too giddy to type comprehensive sentences! But last weekend, Vinegar Syndrome announced that they would be releasing Paul Naschy’s 1971 film The Werewolf vs the Vampire Woman. Anchor Bay had originally released on DVD back in 2002 under the title Werewolf Shadow, followed by another release by BCI in 2008 under the same title. But it had never been released on Blu-ray here in the states, let alone in 4K UHD! This Vinegar Syndrome release will have 3 different cuts of the film: the international export version (which has the nudity) that runs 87 min, the Spanish clothed version, which runs 94 min, and an integral “nude” version. that runs 95″ min.
For those out there that either haven’t delved into the world of Paul Naschy, or even those that might have dipped their toes into the water but still haven’t dived in, now is your chance. Shout Factory is having a sale on their Box Sets, at 40% off retail price until this Tuesday the 19th, and both the Naschy Collections are included in there. Both are priced at $35.99, which includes 5 movies in each set. That’s like $7 a title!!!
Night of the Howling Beast (1975), Night of the Werewolf (1981), and The Beast and the Magic Sword (1983). In the annals of the Spanish horror genre, you can’t go far without running into the name Paul Naschy, especially the werewolf films that he made, numbering over a dozen! In his 40+ year career, Naschy made over 100 films, many in the horror genre, even directing almost two dozen of them, and writing over fifty of them!
In this episode, we cover 3 of Naschy’s werewolf film, where he always re-invented the character of Waldemar Daninsky character, who always seems to be cursed to turn into a snarling beast. Tune in and take notes!
(1983) Directed by Jacinto Molina Starring Paul Naschy, Julia Saly, Lola Gaos, Manuel Zarzo, Jose Vivo.
My first experience with Latidos de pánico, aka Panic Beats, was a terribly looking bootleg VHS, which at the time, was the only way to be able to see this title. It was said to be a sequel to Horror Rises from the Tomb (1972), a personal favorite of mine, so I knew I had to see it, no matter what the quality of the print was. Through the grainy print, with the blacks being so black you couldn’t see anything, to just the almost blurry quality, it was difficult to watch. But because this was a Naschy film, and this was the only way to see it, it didn’t matter. Now, decades later, thanks to Mondo Macabro, we have a nice, beautiful looking Blu-ray to enjoy!
When Dracula Met Frankenstein: My Years Making Drive-In Movies with Al Adamson Published by Murania Press, 2021. 377 pages By Sam Sherman
You can’t be a fan of exploitation cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s and not know of Sam Sherman, either by name or the multitude of film titles that he had his fingers in. Sherman only has 28 credits as a producer, many of them for films directed by his good friend Al Adamson, but his mark on the film world is so much greater. He was an ad man who could come up with some of the best titles, promotional ideas, gimmicks, and all the other ballyhoo so memorable, sometimes more than the films themselves!
He is also the man that was responsible for introducing Paul Naschy to the states, when his company, Independent International, picked up Naschy’s Mark of the Wolfman when they were looking for a Frankenstein picture that they had already promised distributors. It featured two wolfmen and two vampires, but definitely no Frankenstein or his creature. But somehow, due to the creative genius of Sherman, Mark of the Wolfman now became Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror. If you don’t know the whole story already, then you’ll have to buy the book to find out!
Today would have been Jacinto Molina’s 87th birthday. But even though we lost him over a decade ago, I still think he is more alive with us than ever. When you think how many of his movies have been released in amazing looking Blu-rays, some titles seeing releases in any format for the first time, and even a few that were thought lost, but now are available for everyone to see. To me, that shows that the last impact of his work still is as powerful, if not more, than before.
While I anxiously wait for my copy of Naschy’s Howl of the Devil Blu-ray arrive from Mondo Macabro, it got me thinking. I actually can’t believe I didn’t have this one way before now! I guess now is the time! Most of you that follow me and this site know my fondness for the works of Paul Naschy, from his many times as the tormented Waldemar Daninsky to the plethora of other characters that he has played throughout his massive career. From vampires to zombies to hunchbacks to even the devil himself, Naschy is one of the few actors to have played that many monsters on screen. And it was something he was very proud of.
When the first couple of Paul Naschy movie titles first hit Blu-ray, even the biggest fan out there couldn’t not have a clue of just how many of those titles were going to continue to come out in that format. Some titles even hitting the digital format for the very first time, while some never even officially released here in the states. So grainy multi-generation bootlegs is all that we had to deal with. But thanks to companies like Shout Factory, Scorpion Releasing, Mondo Macabro, and others, they continue to show the care that these movies deserve, and putting out some amazing releases, helping to save these from moving into obscurity.
Today, Mondo Macabro announced two more Naschy titles they will be releasing some time next year. The first one is El aullido del diablo, better known as Howl of the Devil (1988), co-starring Howard Vernon and Caroline Munro, who told me that Naschy was “a huge favorite of mine to work with.” In the film, Naschy appears as more than a few of the classic monsters, from Frankenstein’s creature to the wolf man, Quasimodo the Hunchback to the Devil himself. This was one that fans have been dealing with shabby looking bootlegs for years. But now, it will get an official release for the first time anywhere in the world, AND a 4K restoration from a recently discovered negative.Continue reading →
Back on this day, in 1934, Jacinto Molina was born. He would later adopt the name of Paul Naschy for his film work, which happened to be massive by the time of his death in 2009. He wasn’t just an actor, writer, and director, but he was one of us… a lover of the horror genre. I can’t think of too many other people in the industry that has created the work he had in his lifetime, dedicated to this “cinéma fantastique”, as he referred to it. That really puts him in the icon status. Not to mention that he made a hell of a lot of entertaining films!Continue reading →