As Paul Naschy Week winds down here at the Vicarage and the Duchy, it's a bit of a sad sight. Crepe paper streamers twist lazily in the breeze, confetti and bones of roasted boar litter the Main Hall, empty wine tuns are rolled down the stairs by Faulk and the Duke's pet gorilla Shnazzerpuss while Italian-American plumbers flee in terror, and of course the serving girls apply salve to their raw areas and pray for the somber stroke of midnight that will signal the end of the celebration.
But before we take the Vicar's cassock down from the Duchy's flagpole (where ALL salute), and bleach the Duchal Pantaloons for the first in a series of ritualistic scrubbings, we thought we'd lift our spirits once again by revisiting some of our favorite Faces of Naschy. Come with us, won't you?
10. Naschy as Mr. Hyde (Dr. Jekyll and the Wolf Man, 1972)
Vicar of VHS: He wasn't Mr. Hyde for very long in this one, Duke, as the Wolf inside could not be denied...however, you have to admit he makes a dashing Hyde. That cravat is what really sells it for me, even more than the undersized hat.
Duke of DVD: Yes, verily, he looks to be about to call for a horse and carriage, to whisk him away into the London fog, perhaps to a small pub I once visited called "The Strangled Goose", where he might sit at a scarred, wooden table and sip a glass of port. I appreciate not just the cream cravat, which is brilliant, but also his fully buttoned coat.
9. Naschy as Amenhotep (The Mummy's Revenge, 1973)
V: Any role that allows Naschy to rock the Egyptian headdress and bicep bracers while also going shirtless is okay in my book. Though they must have had a crew of shaving technicians on staff at all times, I'd wager.
D: No doubt about that, I suspect they had to shave his chest between each take, sometimes forcing a cut during dialogue to try in vain to tame his thick nest of tangled hair. Of special note here are the golden necklaces, which no doubt absorbed so much Naschy Musk(tm) during filming that they had to be smelted and formed into bullets to be used to assassinate only the most powerful of demon lords.
8. Naschy as The Devil (Vengeance of the Zombies, 1973)
V: What can you say about this one? From the movie that started us down this road all those years ago, this is an image that never fails to put a quiver in my ribcage.
D: The crazed expression is what gets my blood pumping. No one sells "intense crazy" like Paul.
V: He's just perfect here--the horns, the most goatish goatee you could imagine, the crazy eyes and skull/black drop backdrop. Which incidentally they reused in The Devil's Possessed.
D: I have that same backdrop hanging behind my evening reading chair. Notice Paul's ruby red lips, as if he's already been feeding upon a virginal youth. Exquisite!
7. Naschy as Irenius Daninsky (The Beast and the Magic Sword, 1983)
V: This still more than any other makes me wish Naschy had made a true sword & sorcery flick. Can you imagine him in the Conan role? You don't have to imagine it: here he is. And he looks AWESOME.
D: He wears manliness like a cloak. Speaking of cloaks, he appears to be physically wearing the tanned hide of a yeti. He resembles a Viking god, and if I were sitting in a tiny seaside village and saw a longboat arrive with him at the helm, I'd open my wrists and toss myself down the nearest well.
6. Naschy as Dracula (Count Dracula's Great Love, 1974)
V: Naschy wasn't afraid to stretch, and playing the King of the Undead was admittedly a bit of a stretch for him. I love the movie of course, but like his idol Lon Chaney Jr., I think it's clear he was more comfortable playing the werewolf than the suave sophisticated vampire.
D: I concur, but I applaud his noble effort. Naschy looks young here, fresh-faced, with just a hint of stubble. I would imagine they overran their shooting schedule due to him bedding all of the female cast repeatedly. Just look at him! How could anyone resist?
V: He does look great here, with the pale skin, lowered brows, rockin' sideburns--kinda like Glenn Danzig, but taller and more awesome.
D: It might seem hard to be more awesome than Glenn Danzig, but Paul achieves it with little effort.
5. Naschy as Father Adrian Dunning (Exorcismo, 1975)
V: Much like Irineus up there makes me wish for a Naschy Conan, this one makes me thirst for a Naschy Nunsploitation.
D: The world is not ready for that, dearest Vicar. Oh no! I love Naschy's horrified look here, and that sacramental drape doesn't look like standard Vatican issue. It's just how Naschy rolls.
V: Indeed, the orange velvet with apparent paisley pattern may not be what the Pope had in mind, but only because he didn't think any priest could pull it off. Naschy is the exception that proves the rule.
4. Naschy as Alaric de Marnac (Horror Rises from the Tomb, 1972)
V: The arrogance. The Evil. The supreme self-confidence, even in the face of Death. Naschy fucking OWNS this scene.
D: He does indeed! Look at the wild, wavy mane of hair, and the bushy beard that says "Hey, look at me, I'm Grizzly 'Fucking' Adams." That headsman behind him looks positively terrified.
V: As well he should be! Alaric really is the opposite of his Waldemar Daninsky character, and you can tell Naschy has a great time being the all-out evil villain. Plus he gets to look at Helga Line's boobs. LEGEND.
D: While the Waldemar character will always hold a special place in my heart, his Alaric truly is a special accomplishment. Plus the Euro-boob.
3. Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky (Curse of the Devil, 1973)
V: This one's all yours, Duke.
D: Oh dear. Where to begin? I would beggar my kingdom to own that chain tunic he is wearing, or to drink wine from that studded skullcap. Naschy is fully composed of win and awesome here, and his raw talent is in full effect. Bow before him, mortals! HE'LL SEE YOU BITCHES IN CHAINS!
2. Naschy as the Werewolf (Night of the Werewolf, 1981)
V: Of course we could have picked any number of werewolf shots from the Daninsky saga, as the make-up changed (sometimes drastically) from flick to flick, but I believe this is my favorite example of the werewolf look on Naschy. A little bit Oliver Reed in Curse of the Werewolf, but still all Jacinto. The fiery cataclysm behind him helps.
D: Some really great makeup effects here. I love the teeth, too. I'm guessing at least 50% of that hair is actually Naschy's.
V: His virility is such, he can just tense up and "take a beard." Too bad they didn't do a time-lapse "Naschy grows his own make-up" shot in any of the flicks! Staying absolutely still for the 2 hours it would have taken him to grow a full beard would have been difficult, but Naschy is nothing if not dedicated.
D: Be still, my leaping codpiece!
1. Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky (Night of the Werewolf, 1981)
V: I hesitated to have the top two from the same movie, but really, Duke, we had no choice.
D: No choice had we, I agree. I am simply agog.
V: I just really can't speak in the presence of this photo. I'm awash in a sea of awesome.
D: The piercing gaze. The long, untamed hair. The weighty heft of the weapon of war he's wielding. There's just so much to love.
V: I think I need a Moment.
D: Yes, I'll be right back... Readers, talk amongst yourselves. Here, I'll give you a topic: The Holy Roman Empire was neither "Holy" nor "Roman". Discuss.
Well, that about wraps up Naschy Week 2009. Hope you all enjoyed it, and keep coming back for more Madness!