Friday, December 4, 2009

Editorial December 09 e-issue #6

R.I.P. Paul Naschy September 6, 1934, Madrid – November 30, 2009, Madrid
written by Nickolas Cook

Paul Naschy (aka Jacinto Molina), best known for his 12 films in which he starred as the cursed werewolf nobleman, Waldemar Daninsky, has died today. At age 75 he has lost his battle with Pancreatic cancer.
Molina began as a bodybuilder, but segued into filmmaking during the burgeoning Spanish cinema movement. Because of his rugged dark looks, he naturally found his way into cheap horror movies, but soon found that his fans wanted more. During his career, he played all the great horror characters, including his own version of the vampire, the mummy, the mad scientist and evil sorceror, and was often referred to as 'the Spanish Lon Chaney'.

His career in filmmaking began in the 60s and spanned across the decades to his last film in 2004, ROTTWEILER.
I know his movies weren't everyone's cup of tea, but, to me, he was the epitome of DYI horror acting.
He brought empathy and menace to his over 30 films, many of which he wrote, produced and/or directed.
Some will call his work cheesy, badly dubbed Eurotrash horror.
And they're right.
But they were unlike any other cheesy, badly dubbed Eurotrash horror. They're the kind of movies you can have a good time watching, but still walk away with something if you've the mind to do so.

My favorite Naschy film will always be HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB.
It's surreal, gory, bleak, full of gorgeous Euro hotties and just plain great horror filmmaking.

His movies got me through some rough times many years ago (hell, I even devoted a good part of my upcoming novel, PAINT IT BLACK, to praising his work). With his passing, an era of horror has come to an end.
It's tough to find adequete words to define what his work meant to me, but at the very least, his work ethic has been the bar for my own personal and professional goals for years. I think when you lose someone who has been a distant icon for so long, it tends to not feel real for some time. I never met the man, but always felt I knew what he was about through his movies. And if you've never seen one of his films, it won't make much sense, I'm afraid. The best and only way to get the sense of what I mean is to sit down and watch one of the many films he made his own.
Here's a list of all of them:
Paul Naschy Filmography
Rest In Peace, El Hombre Lobo.

--Nickolas Cook