Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Spanish Horror legend Paul Naschy passed away this morning due to cancer at the age of 75.
Often called the Spanish Lon Chaney, Naschy 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 wrote the scripts for the films he appeared in, and with INQUISITION, made in 1976, he began directing asa well. 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).
In his life, Naschy received numerous awards for his dedication and work in cinema. In 2000, Fangoria Magazine entered Naschy into its "Hall of Fame," an honor 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.
"The way you walked was thorny, through no fault of your own, but as the rain enters the soil, the river enters the sea, so tears run to a predestined end. Your suffering is over, my son. Now you will find peace."
WildClaw salutes you, Señor Naschy. Thank you for the screams.