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.
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.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
Directed Dario Argento
Starring Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salemo, Eva Renzi, Umberto Raho, Renato Romano, Giuseppe Castellano
This is a very important title to Italian horror fans. It is, of course, the directorial debut of Dario Argento, and what would be the first film in his ‘animal trilogy’. It was this picture that would start Argento down his path as one of the most popular Italian directors, whose career has spanned more than five decades. Sure, some might frown upon some of Argento’s later films, even from the last couple of decades. But no matter how bad you might consider those films, that doesn’t change the fact that the titles in the early part of his career still are stunning classics and, more importantly, still effective today. As Troy Howarth points out in his commentary that is featured on this new disc from Arrow Video, “His reputation as one of the most influential and imaginative of genre filmmakers can never be taken away from him.” So there you go.
Every single horror fan out there probably knows of and has seen The Blob. Probably both versions! But how many of them has seen the Caltiki: The Immortal Monster!
This Italian film came out a year after we all saw Steve McQueen do battle with the large purple gelatinous form. But Caltiki gives us another deadly devouring mass, which was directed by Riccardo Freda, with none other than Mario Bava as the cinematographer. Though, as the stories go, during production, Freda left, quit, or just walked off the film which was then completely by Bava. None the less, this film is a must for horror fans. There are some effects in here that are pretty damn creepy and gory for a film that came out in 1959.
Now, thanks to Arrow Video, you will have the chance to see this film in all its gory glory. This release will feature a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, with High Definition blu-ray (1080P) and standard definition DVD presentations. It will also feature the original mono Italian and English soundtracks, with newly translated English subtitles for the Italian language track.
As horror fans, it is very important to know what came before, to help us understand and enjoy the films of today. Of course the way to do that is to keep watching older films. But how far back do you go? Just to the Universal classics? Of do you dig a little deeper and get to the silent horror films? I really hope all horror fans do jus this because there are some incredible titles out there from the silent era that are still available today. Some of the imagery they show us is not only truly frightening, but also amazing that they created them a hundreds years ago!
One of the great things I loved about Monster Bash is the presence of not only books but authors as well. Last year, I got over dozen books signed by a few different authors that were there. And it didn’t cost a penny! It would have been a lot more books but author Tom Weaver wasn’t able to make it to the show. But this year he was, and I was prepared for his return to the Bash, bringing well over a dozen of his books alone for him to sign. Weaver is a deity when it comes to horror history, spending his time seeking out and interviewing stars of the movies we love, both bigger names and not-so-bigger names, and getting their stories and memories down in print for us monster fans to read and learn even more about them.
In a couple of weeks, Arrow Video will be unleashing two films from writer/director Emilio P. Miraglia in a double feature box set called Killer Dames! The set will consists of the 1971 film The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and the 1972 film The Red Queen Kills Seven Times. Each film will come in both DVD and blu-ray format, both also with a ton of extras, though will be limited to only 3000 copies. So if you’re interested, you better get those pre-orders in now. Both films have brand new 2K restorations from the original camera negatives. They will also have the original Italian soundtrack, with newly translated English subtitles, as well as the English dubbed version as well. There is also a 60-page booklet containing information about the films.