Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Remembering Naschy - The Duke Looks Back

Greetings friends!  It is I, the Duke of DVD, once more bringing you the good word.  Today, I wish to draw your attention to the date.  Yes, indeed, it is November 30th, 2010, and that means a full year has gone by since Jacinto Molina, aka Paul Naschy, aka the Lon Chaney of Spain passed through the veil into the spaces beyond time, where his spirit, free of its earthly shackles, will roam forever more.  If you will bear with me, dearest readers, I will talk about the man who inspired both the Vicar and I to continually slave away, talking endlessly about the movies we love.

Made of Awesome

As most readers know via our Manifesto, the Vicar and I cherish movies that try their hardest, even though in the general public’s eye they seem to fail.  Paul is considered a success in Spain, sure, but he never grew to any wide public acclaim with the rest of the world.  This is a vast shame, and so we must take it upon our shoulders, this heavy burden, to spread the word far and wide, a very simple message:  Paul Naschy’s movies kick large amounts of ass!  Not only does his flair and charisma as an actor waft off the screen in huge waves of awesome, but his skills as a writer and director are equally impressive.

Nothing whitens like Milk-Bone
For me personally, it is the complete exuberance with which he attacks his roles.  Be it a hunchback working in a morgue, or a stately man-of-arms, sitting astride a destrier, his emotive qualities are unmatched.  In no other way is this the case than with the reoccurring role that Paul is most known for:  Waldemar Daninsky.  Each a self-contained Wolfman story, they always seem to bring out the best in Paul.

Obviously, putting together any sort of ranking or Top 10 list of my favorite Naschy movies would be a herculean effort that I would probably fail at, given how I love them all. Instead, I'll list a few of my favorites, and my reasons why:

El Caminante - To me, Paul's crown jewel, his opus. The obvious fun he's having during the movie is written all over his face. Paul considers this movie his personal favorite, and I can see why.

The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Women - My first exposure to Naschy, and friends it is a beaut! Monster movie magic is what you have here, from stunning make-up to leap attacks. I love everything about this movie, and will never stop re-watching it.

The Hunchback of the Morgue - How can you possibly have a "favorite Naschy movies" list without including this one? It has hunchback sex, a hunchback fighting rats, and Paul showing off some stellar acting chops.

So, one year after his death, we at Mad Mad Mad Mad Movie Reviews salute him once again, raising a glass of 50-year-old port into the air with one hand, whilst we pour out a 40oz on the curbside down the street from the Vicar’s marble monstrosity of a house with the other.

Paul Naschy    Sept. 6, 1934 - Nov. 30, 2009

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