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The Website Dedicated to Paul Naschy

actor - writer - director - producer

La marca del hombre lobo/The Mark of the Wolfman/Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (1968)

ABOUT PAUL NASCHY

Often called the Spanish Lon Chaney, Paul Naschy (born Jacinto Molina Alvarez in 1934) had a long and enduring career in cinema since first appearing as an extra in Nicolas Ray's KING OF KINGS (1960). His work in the fantastique genre began in 1968 with LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO (American title: FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR), a film he not only starred in, but scripted. Thereafter, Naschy portrayed several classic monsters of the screen--Count Dracula, Mr. Hyde, a mummy, a hunchback--as well as a host of villains real and imagined. His most popular characterization is the wolfman Waldemar Daninsky. The Daninsky series comprises eleven completed films. Some of Naschy's best films, EL CAMINANTE and EL HUERTO DEL FRANCES, remain relatively unknown, even among his international fan base.

Naschy frequently wrote the scripts for the films he appeared in, and with INQUISITION, made in 1976, he added directing to his impressive curriculum vitale. Later on, when the Spanish film industry was abandoning the fantastique genre, Naschy became a producer, hoping to keep the genre alive and viable. During this period, he branched out to make documentaries for Japanese television. As a result of his Japanese contacts, Naschy helmed several films that were the first Spanish-Japanese co-productions, including the epic wolfman film LA BESTIA Y LA ESPADA MAJICA.

In 1997, Naschy finally penned an honest, heartfelt and richly poetic autobiography, MEMORIAS DE UN HOMBRE LOBO (American edition, 2000: MEMOIRS OF A WOLFMAN).

Paul Naschy received numerous awards for his dedication and work in cinema. In 2000, Fangoria Magazine entered Naschy into its "Hall of Fame," an honor that is based on votes received from horror fans worldwide. After decades of denying the value of its native son, Spain finally acknowledged Naschy in 2001 with its most prestigious award, the Gold Medal in Fine Arts.

On November 30, 2009, Paul Naschy passed away from cancer, still enthused with projects he was working on or planning.

This website is a resource for the appreciation and study of Paul Naschy's work, and a homage to this remarkable, yet compellingly down-to-earth man.

THE MARK OF NASCHY site also continues its mission to spread the good word about Naschy and to assist Naschy projects worldwide. Thus far, we have helped with the DVD releases of Naschy films in Germany, England and America, and have played a central role in getting Naschy's autobiography published in the United States. We have helped magazines, conventions and film festivals regarding contacts and material, and facilitated Naschy's involvement with Hollywood productions.

 

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Join the Naschy talk!
THE PAUL NASCHY FORUM

at the Latarnia Message Boards

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IMAGES OF NASCHY

El gran amor de Conde Dracula/Dracula's Great Love (1972)

La orgia de los muertes/The Hanging Woman (1973)

LATEST NEWS

12/6/14

REVIEW OF SUBKULTUR'S DER WERWOLF

DER WERWOLF, the German version of EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO/NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF, is the second release from Germany's Subkultur Entertainment in its Naschy series, "Legacy of a Wolfman," but it presents the first Naschy film in the series as the initial release was the Angel Agudo documentary on Naschy, THE MAN WHO SAW FRANKENSTEIN CRY. When completed, the series will fit nicely into a fold-out box and present some of Naschy's best films, though none that haven't yet seen a digital release somewhere in the world. As these are German releases, in the Pal format, Americans will have to not only have a region free DVD or Blu-Ray player, but also pay for an import anywhere from 40 to 50 dollars per release, costing close to half a thousand dollars when all the releases for the box set are done. This hefty financial outlay from fans worldwide is certainly matched by a hefty financial risk from Subkultur, particularly when the costs demanded by rights owners of Naschy's films remain relatively high. When finished, "Legacy of a Wolfman" will rival the American BCI Naschy series and Spain's VellaVision Naschy releases as an important testament to the range and talents of Paul Naschy, Spain's unique horror man.

Language options for this combo DVD/Blu-Ray release are in German and Spanish (no English dubbing or subtitling, but future releases promise different options if contractually possible). The picture is sharper than the BCI Blu-Ray and many scenes "pop" with color and vibrancy. The extra sharpness has the effect, however, of eliciting more grain than would otherwise be evident, though I was only sporadically made aware of its presence and certainly not particularly bothered by it.

A special problem is evident, however, in the culminating battle scenes between Naschy and two vampire women. Depending on one's settings, a few moments are so dark as to be almost unseen. This isn't just a problem with the Subkultur presentation. The BCI DVD contained the same problems, while the older Spanish Tri-Pictures DVD had these moments almost in black-and-white.

After studying the BCI and Tri-Pictures DVD releases of this film, I've come to the conclusion that these visual quirks are inherent to the film, perhaps caused by insufficient lighting. The BCI Blu-Ray (not the DVD) does offer up these darker scenes with more visibility, but it's clear that a problem exists in the film element, at least the one readily available for transfers. (I saw a print of THE CRAVING, the American titled version of EL RETORNO, during the summer and wasn't aware of any such issue, but I wasn't looking for it, either.)

The extras on DER WERWOLF are nicely presented, but, aside from a "retro" German version of the film, they have already been seen on the BCI release. That retro version, btw, is just simply the film without an HD upgrade, a fairly useless extra, unless I'm missing something.

Unfortunately, Subkultur's release is marred by a booklet insert written by Carlos Aguilar, a writer with a long list of credits in Spain, but otherwise almost completely unknown to the international public. The choice of Aguilar is befuddling as Aguilar has gone on record as proclaiming "the irrefutable reality that Naschy's filmography is very bad." His opinion of Naschy, the person, is not much better.

In the booklet Aguilar slams Naschy for a gigantic ego, and mockingly chides Naschy for wearing a hairpiece in EL RETORNO and making his character in films "very attractive" to women. He even accuses the actor of adultery!

Of course, a writer, if he adheres to a standard of professionalism, can stifle his obsessive hatred of his subject and get to the meat of the matter, writing about the making of the movie and its filmmakers in a honest yet respectful manner, but Aguilar drops any pretense at professionalism and let's his disdain for Naschy loose with frequency. For sure, as he was placing his malicious comments, he gloated and smiled over the fact that Naschy fans, whom he especially despises, would be put off and angered by the text.

One can certainly look at a human being from various perspectives. In Naschy's case his ego (yes, he had one, as most everyone, including, Aguilar, does) was a stringent necessity because he was his own promoter, his own mover-and-shaker, the man who wrote the scripts, starred in the films, and later, produced and directed them. Many talented and ambitious people are hampered from even trying to display their talent because of fear of rejection and ridicule. To overcome the natural tendency of doubt and fear, ego enters into the game as a layer of protection, as a way of moving forward instead of remaining at standstill. Had Naschy not had a strong ego, he would never have succeeded in making a single film.

Aguilar's unsympathetic--and dare I say, inhumane--take on Naschy ignores the reasons a self-motivated creator would need to psychologically buttress himself with ego. He ignores, or isn't aware of, the doubts and depressions Naschy had as he was striving for artistic expression and battling to get many of his films made. He ignores or isn't aware of the tears Naschy wept when a couple of his films were sabotaged by inartful directors. Instead, Aguilar superficially and maliciously aims barbs at Naschy's "ego", culminating in the astounding parenthetical insertion at the end of one paragraph: "Naschy's irrational narcissism could well be the subject of a thesis"!

More discomforting are the charges of plagiarism leveled at Naschy by Aguilar. Aguilar states that the mask adhered to Daninsky's face in the pre-credit sequence plagiarizes BLACK SUNDAY and the resurrection of Countress Bathory through the dripping blood of a human sacrifice plagiarizes DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS. I'm using the word "plagiarizes" as intended by Aguilar, not such more accurate expressions as "influenced by," "suggested by," "in honor of," etc. Plagiarizes. Steals from. Even though, if you juxtapose those scenes with the Bava and Hammer film, they are not duplicates, and in the Countess Bathory sequence, the supposed plagiarization far surpasses its original influence, at least in my opinion. In the "mask" case, the mask is not BLACK SUNDAY's "Mask of Satan" with its inward-facing spikes, but the "Mask of Ignominy", with no spikes, that clamps around the head. (Naschy was a passionate researcher in the weird and horrorific and would frequently use historical fact to inform his films.)

In many countries, a charge of plagiarism would be legally actionable, but Naschy, being dead, can't sue, and it would be too much of a burden, financially and time-wise, for anyone in his family to do so, if they could manage to do so in another country.

Carlos Aguilar, this supposed respected writer, gets his facts wrong, too.

He states that LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO premiered in Spain in 1969 at the Bulevar theater in Madrid, when, if we go by the official Spanish Ministry of Culture, it actually premiered in 1968 in Valencia, in Barcelona in 1969, and only in Madrid at the Bulevar in 1970. He informs us that as the wolfman, Naschy always wore a blue shirt! (Though this error could be--I don't know how--a fault of the translation.) Aguilar makes a point of stressing that Morricone's harmonica theme in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST was used in EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO, when it wasn't. (Of course, Aguilar considers this another case of plagiarism.) He claims that EL RETORNO is Naschy's swansong, completely forgetting, or purposefully omitting, that Naschy made worthy films after EL RETORNO, to include THE BEAST AND THE MAGIC SWORD, HOWL OF THE DEVIL (on which Aguilar worked as a press agent) and ROJO SANGRE.

Aguilar's non-judgmental opinions even puzzle, particularly when Aguilar makes the point that the film has the look of a Hammer film from the 1960s, when nothing about it, from the camera movements and filters to the sets has the look of a Hammer film.

As justice would have it, the German translation of Aguilar's text is grammatically awkward, if not awful, and presents the writer in an unfavorable light as much as his nasty text does. Good, I say. Couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow.

This leads me to discuss why Subkultur would accept such a disparaging and legally problematic text, one that insults the very subject of a box set supposedly crafted in his honor and meant for his fans? Subkultur head honcho Tino briefly answered this on a German forum, claiming, rather disingenuously, that he didn't want all the booklets to have a laudatory fannish aspect. Since then there's been silence from him as the brouhaha over the booklet increased and increased. Six weeks ago, Tino promised to send Aguilar's original text to Sergio Molina, Naschy's son, but has yet to do so, no doubt due to understandable embarrassment.

Any sensible person in Tino's place would have shown Aguilar the door and thrown his hateful and faulty text after him, but Tino, perhaps because he didn't have a quick back-up or, more likely, felt Aguilar was more important than his self-promotions would lead others to believe, kept the insulting and libelous text, so that it now is tagged with one of Naschy most important and splendid films in this otherwise fine release.

It is strongly assumed that future booklets in the series will not have a similar problem. And, yes, at least the film and Naschy's accomplishment survive. And, yes, that is paramount.

-- Mirek

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9/5/14

BORN SEPTEMBER 6, 1934

Born September 6, 1934: Spain's legendary man of horror, actor, writer, producer, director--Paul Naschy. Once in a while, Naschy would send me copies of photos, writing on the side or on the back what the photo was about. This one he tagged as his first publicity photograph from 1967. He is always missed.

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Previous News

October 2013

Major Classic Spanish Horror Film Festival in New York City to feature three Naschy films in 35mm!!!

Anthology Film Archives will be presenting The Golden Age of Spanish Horror Cinema, from October 30 to November 10. On the schedule are showings of:

THE WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS)

COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE (EL GRAN AMOR DEL CONDE DRACULA)

THE CRAVING (EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO)

ALL IN 35mm!!!

This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Naschy fans in the area (and even beyond) to see these classic Naschy films on the big screen in 35mm.

Go here for a complete schedule.

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2/9/13

BMW (BoPaul Media Worldwide) is now the representative of the Victory Films catalog of high-definition Naschy films. The list includes those films which were released by BCI several years ago (NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF, HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, HUMAN BEASTS, etc), as well as holdings that didn't get to see any hi-def or blu-ray U.S. release: A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE, COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE, THE WEREWOLF AND THE YETI, HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE, THE DEVIL'S POSSESSED. BMW also has secured several films in the Jose Frade Productions catalog, one of which is Naschy's DR. JEKYLL AND THE WOLFMAN. Contact info can be found on the BMW website. Obviously, it would be fantastic to see these Naschy films released in blu-ray editions (only NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF and VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES attained that honor when BCI was releasing the Victory catalog), as well as high definition DVD versions of releases either out of print or never released in authoritative versions from original elements. According to a BMW press release, HUMAN BEASTS and HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE have already been sold to Medallion Media in Japan for hi-def releases in that country.

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12/8/12

O APOSTOLO was released, finally, in Spain in November. The stop-motion animated feature marks the last movie work of Naschy, who supplied the voice for the "archpriest" before he passed away in 2009. The poster above contains the image of Naschy's character.

Below, Paul's son Sergio holds a figurine of the character at the premiere of the film.

Foreign animated features have difficulty in getting distribution in the United States, but should the film receive awards (and, in particular, an Academy Award or nomination), we may very well see it on our shores, at least in art houses.

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OLDER NEWS

Thorsten Benzel's updated MUCHAS GRACIAS SENOR LOBO, greatly expanded with many new graphics and in FULL COLOR is available now! This stunning book is a must have for all Naschy fans, Spanish horror fans and horror film fans in general! Order here.

 

Just as Naschy is pumping up and working hard in the above clip, we too are working hard on this site, using Naschy Power as inspiration. We hope to complete this project in the near future.

Contact info: Mirek Lipinski at eurosin@aol.com