Leon Klimovsky directed dozens of films of all genres but will forever be remembered for his substantial contributions to Spanish Horror. In collaboration with Paul Naschy he made some of the most successful and effective monster movies to come out of Europe in the 1970's. The horror tales he made without Naschy are often overlooked with THE DRACULA SAGA (1973) being a perfect example. Graced with a literate, intelligent script and the music of Bach, Klimovsky brings all of his impressive skill to making a smart and, in the end, surprising take on classic vampire mythology. This one doesn't end the way you might think it will!
Our latest episode has us finally covering an under seen and not often spoken about horror classic. A BELL FROM HELL (1973) straddles the fence between the worlds of Art-House and Exploitation cinema taking elements from both to create an impressive fusion. It's easy to imagine this film playing to highbrow crowds seeking an intellectual vision of the fate of aristocratic families in rural Spain under the Franco regime. But it's even easier to think of it playing in grindhouse theaters for people looking for cheap horror thrills from a film about a well planned, well deserved revenge. Luckily, these dissimilar audiences get what they want here with enough intelligence and excitement for both types to feel satisfied with this darkly comic tale. It's a creepy tale of hate, greed and lust couched in clearly symbolic terms to make comment on life under a repressive government. It'll keep you guessing right up until the end credits!
Troy and I try not to spoil too much of this one as it is less well known than it should be. (Where is the Blu-Ray of this exceptional work?) Nevertheless, we talk about the obvious symbolic connection between the titular bell and the film's main character as we watch him released from an asylum to return home. His aunt and cousins welcome him back, with reservations, as we watch him begin a series of increasingly cruel practical jokes with a deadly endpoint in mind. We discuss the unfortunate fate of the film's talented director, the exceptional career of the screenwriter and explain that you certainly have seen some of the cast in other places. See if you can spot where I catch myself when delineating the possible symbolic nature of certain characters because I realize I might end up spoiling one of the film's nastier surprises. Sometimes my thoughts race ahead of my best intentions!
We end the show with a voicemail from a British listener which prompts us to talk a bit about Jess Franco films again. It's pretty easy to get us onto that topic, huh? If you have any comments or questions the email address is email@example.com or we can be reached on the show's FaceBook page. Thank you for downloading and listening! Oh -and vote for us in the Rondo Awards! We'd love to win in the category BEST MULTIMEDIA SITE!
The Naschycast returns with our ninth anniversary episode! We dive back into the films of beloved Spanish filmmaker Jess Franco with THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z (1966). This is one of the director's final black & white movies and is considered by many to be his most accomplished work. I'm not sure where I would rank it on Franco's long list of credits but it is certainly a fantastic and beautiful horror film that features several amazing performances. It also has one of the best revenge seeking female mad scientist characters in cinema history. The lovely and deadly Doctor Zimmer is not someone you want to antagonize! Especially not when she can bend to her will the incredible nightclub dancer Nadia (a.k.a. Miss Death) whose long fingernails are laced with poison! And did I mention the murderous, mind-controlled escaped convict willing to strangle anyone blocking the destructive path of this mad woman? Strap in or, more likely, be held down by scary robotic arms for this amazing film!
Troy and I ramble our way through a discussion of this Spanish Horror classic marveling at the clarity and sharpness of the print available on the Kino Blu-Ray. The black & white cinematography of Alejandro Ulloa is remarkable to see in high definition. As fans of his director of photography work for Naschy's lushly colorful EL CAMINATE (1979) and NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (1981) we're amazed by his ingenuity at presenting shades of light and darkness without losing detail. Even if the film was only half as good as it is Ulloa's skill would make this a must-see for curious cinema aficionados.
We pick apart the plot, question the need for certain evil elements and gush about the intelligence of the script. Some time is spent on co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière's amazing career with me delighting in talking about his late 1950's Frankenstein sequel novels. The adult nature of the story is discussed as we make note of possible censored spots in the narrative. The amusing onscreen roles played by Franco and his longtime musical collaborator Daniel White are pointed out so that we can praise their acting talent. And we can't resist taking note of Franco's kitty co-star in one scene and his rather direct directorial touch with this wandering performer. Meow!
Any comments or questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped on the Naschycast Facebook page. We read out a couple of missives in the final few minutes of this episode and they stir some unexpected conversation, as always. Thank you for downloading and listening to the show. We'll be back next month with more Spanish Horror!
In general, our shows focus on the Golden Age period of Spanish horror but the genre continues to flourish in Spain. Throughout the 90's and on up to today there have been some extraordinary horror movies produced in Naschy's home country including some efforts that were actually copied/remade here in the States. One of those genre films that we've been planning to view for a few years now finally gets our attention in this episode.
You would think that a Spanish made werewolf film would be a natural given the Waldemar Daninsky series being such an iconic pert of horror cinema history. But the number of 21st century lycanthrope tales produced there - or, in Europe actually - can be counted on one hand. Luckily LOBOS DE ARGA (2012) found its way through the hell of modern film financing to the big screen. It must have been a hard sell because not only is it a werewolf story but it's also one of the most difficult genre combinations to attempt - a horror/comedy! That doesn't usually go very well. Indeed, the Naschycast's history with Spanish comedy is......... not good. So, what did Troy and I think of this modern monster wolf story that comes spiked with laughs? Listen and we promise not to spoil the film for you. Seriously.
We have a couple of emails that we answer in the final segment of the show including a voicemail from Britain. You can send your comments and questions to email@example.com and we'll spill our guts to you next time out. We can also be reached on the Facebook page where interesting links show up regularly. Thanks for downloading and listening. If you like the show let others know about it!
Sharp-eyed or eared (?) listeners to the Naschycast will recognize THE UNLIVING as an alternate title for a film we've already covered on the show. Troy and I took a look at this Fred Olin Ray joint a few years ago under it's more evocative name TOMB OF THE WEREWOLF and you can still check out episode #30 for our original assessment. This time out we revisit this problematic entry on Paul Naschy's credits at the request of our new guest - David Zuzelco! David is an old friend from the early days of Euro-Trash horror online fandom and someone I should have included in the show much sooner than now. He's a horror comic writer and expert on the trashier side of cinema making him the perfect man to talk about this uncut sex-filled werewolf romp.
The three of us spend a lot of time on this film discussing it's flaws, it's points of interest and David brings some fascinating behind the scenes information to the table. Of course, as you might expect with Euro-Horror fans, we also branch off onto related subjects with a lengthy musing on Jess Franco and the more obscure films of Amando De Ossorio. David and I reminisce a bit about our first podcast experience together on Horror Rise From Spain and his upcoming work in horror comics. Troy and I wrap the show with a brief email from Our Man In The Field before we let you go. He sends us a Powerwolf link!
If you have any comments or questions the address is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can join us on the Facebook page. Thanks for downloading and listening!
While most films made in Spain during The Golden Age of Spanish Horror could be seen as comments about the repressive fascist government of that countrY, few films so blatantly addressed the clash of conservative ideas with modernity as A CANDLE FOR THE DEVIL. Set in a small country town outside of Madrid, the film casts two middle aged spinsters as hypocritical defenders of the old ways. These sisters make their living running an inn that seems to mostly attract young, sexually liberated women. When an accidental death is interpreted to have been divinely intended, the ladies dispose of the body and pretend nothing happened. Their rationalization is that if God wishes them punished, it is his will. But crime often has unexpected consequences so soon the duo's lies are piling up as well as more young corpses. Is there any horrible act for which these two deluded women can't find a religious justification? Time and the symbolic secrets in the cellar will eventually tell all.
The Golden Age of Spanish Horror is renowned for it's variations on classic monster movie tropes but there are other less well remembered sub-genres that got attention as well. Although this film could be easily seen as a proto-slasher it also fits nicely into the short lived Psycho-Biddy or Hag Horror genre best exemplified by WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1962). We discuss this film's connections to that long dead type of scary movie noting the specific Catholic tone imparted by the influence of the Spanish government. This was director Eugenio Martín's second horror film after the exceptionally fun HORROR EXPRESS (1972) showing that he had the touch necessary for the genre. His marriage to Lone Fleming also explains her very sexy presence here. The entire very talented cast comes under discussion as we marvel at the female performances and wonder at Vic Winner's inability to survive a Spanish horror film.
We can be reached at email@example.com where we'll be happy to hear from you. Send along any comments, suggestions or questions and we'll try to answer them next month. If you subscribe to the show in iTunes we'd be thrilled if you could rate & review us there. it helps other people discover what we're doing. Thank you for downloading and listening!
I thought it might be fun to make a list of favorite non-Naschy Spanish Horror films and also get Troy to make one of his own so we could argue the various qualities of the films we love. Then I realized how much fun it might be to get others to play along! So, Cort Psyops joins us again this time out to indulge in one of fandom's great games - the making and comparing of lists of favorites!
No conversation about shared passions can go on for too long before people are arguing their favorites and explaining the reasons for rating one beloved thing over another. It is in these discussions that fans come to know each other. The communal exploration of Spanish Horror is something that we've tried to foster with the Naschycast and shows like this might be one of the best ways to bring more people to the party. I know we had a blast trying to name our three favorite of this very thin slice of the genre! Of course, only one of us was able stick the limit of three so the conversation ranges across the decades with many extra titles getting honorable mentions. And the sidetracks are numerous! Be warned - we digress from the topic more than once. We just hope that our ramblings are amusing enough keep your entertained.
One note - when Troy and I return near the end to talk about the Lists left on the Naschycast Facebook page there is a strange crackling on the audio that I could not remove. It only lasts for the first few minutes but it is distracting. Sorry! Technical difficulties are sometimes unavoidable (and mysterious).
If you've never heard Cort's excellent podcast Cinema Psyops you are cheating yourself out of a damned good time. Head on over there and give that show a listen. If you have any comments about this episode or just want to give us your list of favorite non-Naschy Spanish Horror films the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd be glad to hear from you. The music this time comes from Jonathan Coulton, Piero Piccioni and The Decemberists.
Sorry for the break! We're back with a Mini-Episode - we'll not call it a .5 episode, I guess. This time out we bring a new voice to the show. Author Troy Howarth has just published a new book about Jacinto Molina entitled Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy. He debuted this look at the career of our favorite Hombre Lobo at this year's Monster Bash in Pittsburgh, PA. I took the opportunity to sit down and ask Mr. Howarth about the book, his first encounter with these films and even his three favorite Naschy movies. We even make time to badmouth cover artist Mark Maddox just because we can!
So check out this brief conversation focused on a few aspects of Naschy's career and then pick up a copy of Troy's book and let us know what you think. With a little luck this will be the start of a wave of books published on the subject to match the flood of Blu-Rays we've been seeing lately. I could do with an entire shelf in my house dedicated to just this field of study! There are links to the book below.
We'll be back very soon with the next Beyond Naschy episode. If you have any comments the email address is email@example.com - we'd love to hear from you.
This month marks the 8th anniversary of the Naschycast! To celebrate we tackle a Paul Naschy film that neither of us have ever seen before. Many things have made SECQUESTRO a difficult film to view, not the least of which is that there has never been an English language version available. Luckily, just a few months ago, some clever, talented people translated the Spanish dialog and created subtitles for fans curious to see this hard to find mid-70's effort. So - is it any good? Listen in! We go through the entire film.
This turns out to be one of Naschy's many crime films, very much in the vein of HUMAN BEASTS, DEATH OF A PRESIDENT or THE SNIPER but, this time, focused on non-professional criminals. The story is a combination of the 'ripped-from-the-headlines' idea about a kidnapping for profit and Naschy's go-to vision of himself as a cursed man trying to just survive in a world in which circumstances are always against him. The film reunites him with director Leon Klimovsky and a few actors that would play roles in important future films. Pretty kidnap victim María José Cantudo was last seen in the Naschy-Verse having her heart cut out in HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB and would later star in THE FRENCHMAN'S GARDEN. Tony Isbert would return to the screen for Naschy in INQUISITION and DEATH OF A PRESIDENT.
We discuss the surprising strong score with Troy finding similarities to a certain hit song from the 1970's, but we'll let you decide if some thievery was going on. We question the realism of junkie shakes, the choice to make the most sadistic character gay, the wisdom of letting Naschy near your wife and the dangers of the Stockholm Syndrome. Also, I can't help but make note of the fine hairpiece(s) our star utilizes at this point in his career. we close out the show with a couple of emails and if you have any questions we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the FaceBook page. Thanks for listening!
The new year starts with a shiny new episode of Beyond Naschy! Finally returning to the cinema of Amando De Ossorio the NaschyCast dives into the waters of the North Sea and are surprised to find that the Blind Dead lurk there waiting for fresh victims. The third of this classic Spanish Horror series is called THE GHOST GALLEON or HORROR OF THE ZOMBIES or THE CURSED SHIP but under any title it is a problematic film. Seeking to add new ideas to his signature creation Ossorio puts his Undead Knight Templar on an 18th century galleon that seems adrift in both the oceans and time itself. Only occasionally visible in our world this ship encounters unlucky sailors or tourists and, in this case, it happens to bump into a pair of bikini clad young ladies looking to set a ridiculous publicity stunt in motion. As you might expect, things do not go well for them or their intended rescuers. The satanic living dead rarely seem to take pity on people no matter how cute they may be.
Troy and I deep dive into this one with the hopes of changing our original poor impressions of it. Do we come to love this film now or has age still not scraped the barnacles off this dark hulk? Listen in and see! We talk about the film's rushed production and it's multiple titles while also letting listeners chime in with their thoughts as well. We discuss the possible symbolism present in the movie and spend some time picking over the film's troubling attitude toward women. The wacky professor character shows us how to be a very strange fellow but somehow also the most useful member of the crew. Who knew that a flaming crucifix would help hold off the Blind Dead? The show can be reached by email at email@example.com or on the FaceBook page. We plan to ask for more input in the future over on FB so join us there for more information. Thank you for downloading and listening!