Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Paul Naschy R.I.P.


Sad news -

Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy (1934 – 2009) has died after battling cancer. He was 75.

Some readers might not be familiar with Naschy or his career in fright films. This is taken from his official site:

Often called the Spanish Lon Chaney, Paul Naschy has 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 ten completed films, the last being LICANTROPO in 1996. Some of Naschy's best films, EL CAMINANTE and EL HUERTO DEL FRANCES, remain relatively unknown, even among his international fan base.

Naschy frequently writes the scripts for the films he appears 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 has 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.


His films were always entertaining, scary, and included some really powerful performances. Another legend passes, but leaves the world a wonderful legacy of horror entertainment.

R.I.P.

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