Today would have been the 82nd birthday of Spanish horror icon, Jacinto Molina, better known to us horror fans as Paul Naschy. Though he has been gone for almost seven years now, his memory and legacy is still as strong now, if not more, then when he was still with us. I think that has something to do with the fact that Naschy himself was so passionate about his work that it still comes through in the countless films that he left us. And with each new year passing, younger fans become aware of him and his work and his legacy continues. Thanks to DVD and blu-ray, and companies like Demios, Vinegar Sydrome, Kino Lober, Code Red, and the rest, they are helping keeping him and his films alive and well, and available for years to come.
Born June 13th, 1929 – Died Sept. 19th, 2009
If you’ve watched any Spanish horror films of the ’70s, then I’m pretty sure you’ve seen Victor Israel before. This guy is like the Spanish version of England’s Michael Ripper. Making well over 150 films, he usually was cast as little bit parts, but was always so recognizable, that it would always make you think “hey…I’ve seen that guy before”. He played in several different genres, like appearing alongside Lee Van Cleef in Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). Of course, for us, it was the countless horror movies that he appeared in that had us remembering that face of his. With his pudgy appearance, balding and strange eyes, he was always easy to spot. It is actors like this, that never make it as a top-billing star, but are the ones that fill out the colorful pallet of the movie, making it so much more interesting to watch. I know that is definitely the case for me when it comes to horror films.
Some of his most noteworthy appearances were in films like The House that Screamed (1969), or Graveyard of Horror (1971), Paul Naschy’s Night of the Howling Beast (1975), and of course as the baggage clerk in Horror Express (1972). He even appeared in Bruno Mattei’s Hell of the Living Dead (1980).
If the east coast survives this lastest snowageddon, in February, the fine folks at Exhumed Films are putting on an amazing triple feature that is putting the spotlight on some awesome Spanish Horror films. I’m sure my feelings might have something to do with the fact that two out of the three films are Paul Naschy films, but that is purely beside the point.
On Friday, Feb. 12th, starting at 7:30pm, they will be screening the following films, all from 35mm prints (which impresses me even more!):
I recently came across these wonderful busts of different Spanish Horror Icons and knew I had to show them here. Being a huge fan of Spanish Horror, especially of Paul Naschy, anytime I see something this, I need to help spread the word. Honestly, I just love the fact that there are other people out there spreading the love of this much underrated genre of fantastic cinema, as Naschy used to refer to it.
According to the website, these will be around 8″ tall, but no word on the pricing. I’ve reached out to them to hopefully get some more info, as well as when they are going to be released. But in the meantime, you can check out the ones they have photos of so far. For me, the Blind Dead really need to have their facial hair…just doesn’t look right otherwise. But the two Naschy figures, I would love to add to my collection. Hopefully they won’t be too pricey! Of course, if anybody would like to pick these up as a gift for me, I’d be enternally grateful. Just throwing it out there….
You can check out their website HERE, though warning, it is not in English. But with the help of Google translator, you should be able to manage your way around.
Paul Naschy’s Waldemar Daninsky
Paul Naschy’s Amenhotep from La venganza de la momia (The Mummy’s Revenge)
Pánico en el Transiberiano (Horror Express)
Count Dracula from La saga de los Drácula (The Dracula Saga)
The Blind Dead
“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.