Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Insights from the Naschy Auction

The above photo shows Paul Naschy in his Madrid apartment, pen in hand, working over (presumably) a film script of his own. Note the Naschy film posters, the cigarillo between his fingers, the fact that he's right-handed ... the small things one notices when studying a photo. The photo is being used as illustrative of an auction being offered by Marc Van De Wiele Auctions of four Naschy scripts, with three of them being in Naschy's own hand.

Like the photo above, auctions can illuminate, and these do.

First, the descriptions from the auction house:

La Bruja y el Inquisidor (release title : La Inquisición)

This is Jacinto Molina's original, entirely handwritten manuscript (297 pages, size : 31,5 x 21,5 cm) of "La Inquisición" (1976), his first film as a director/writer/actor which therefore marked an important turning point in his career. In this movie, which also starred Daniela Giordano, Monica Randall and Juan Luis Galiardo, he played the part of the diabolical Bernard de Fossy, inspired by the infamous Torquemada. In interview, Molina always stated that the Spanish censor forced him to replace Torquemada's name into that of de Fossey.

La Noche del Hombre-Lobo (release title : El Retorno del Hombre-Lobo)

Jacinto Molina's original, entirely handwritten manuscript (184 pages, size : 31,5 x 21,5 cm) of "La Noche del Hombre Lobo", which was released as "El Retorno del Hombre Lobo" in 1981. It was the first of his werewolf films which he directed, opposing the tragical Waldemar Daninsky against Countess Bathory (portrayed by Julia Saly). The picture also starred Narciso Ibanez, Beatriz Ellorrieta and Silvia Aguilar and was awarded several prizes at European film festivals. The stenciled shooting script (129 pages, size : 27,5 x 21,3 cm) with dedication on the cover, is offered together with the original manuscript.

La Tourné del Diablo (release title : El Caminante)

Jacinto Molina's original, entirely handwritten manuscript (217 pages, size : 31,5 x 21,5 cm) of "El Caminante" (1979), a philosophical fantasy tale in which Paul Naschy played the part of the devil opposite such stars as Blanca Estrada, David Rocha and Silvia Aguilar. Probably one of his best pictures as a director, the film was warmly welcomed by the critics but failed to become a major commercial success. Dedications on the title page of the script and signed by Jacinto Molina.

Walpurgis Night (release title: La Noche de Walpurgis)

Jacinto Molina's own personal shooting script of "Walpurgis-Night", directed by Spanish veteran filmmaker Leon Klimovsky which was released as "La Noche de Walpurgis" in 1970. It became an instant hit not only in Spain, but internationally as well. On the cover of his script (79 stenciled pages, size 27,5 x 21 cm), Molina wrote in his handwriting "Waldemar Daninsky - Paul Naschy". The shooting script also includes 12 pages of handwritten phonetical notes that Naschy had to memorize, so as to give the impression that he spoke his lines in English (a language he didn't know at all). The film was indeed set up as an international co-production and was shot in English.

So, of interest is that Naschy wrote his scripts in longhand, something I was aware of but many weren't. Indeed if you watch Naschy at a typewriter in LICANTROPO, you will see, as his forefinger hits this key and that, that he was not that familiar with working with the machine. His scripts in longhand would be typed up by someone else afterward.

Then of interest are the original, working titles of these four films. INQUICISION and EL CAMINANTE were initially LA BRUJA Y EL INQUISIDOR (THE WITCH AND THE INQUISITOR) and LA TOURNE DEL DIABLO (THE DEVIL'S TOUR). The auction description indicates that Naschy's script for LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS carried the title WALPURGIS NIGHT, which would make sense, if true, as this film was particularly crafted for English-speaking audiences. Regarding Naschy's phonetic script for WALPURGIS NIGHT/LA NOCHE DE WALPURGIS (eventual English title: WEREWOLF SHADOW), a couple of sources indicate that he tried to make the attempt, but dropped idea when the execution proved too difficult. LA NOCHE DEL HOMBRE LOBO was released in Spanish as EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO, but the export English title--THE NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF--was a translation of the original Spanish title.

The auction is being held 2pm, October 1st, Dutch time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

HORROR EXPRESS arriving in 2011

It's been one of the most released films from a multitude of pubic domain DVD companies and even received an official release on the Image label in 2000, but HORROR EXPRESS will be making another run, this time from Severin, which promises the addition of tasty special features, as well as an HD presentation on DVD and Blu-Ray. Here's the newly discovered English trailer for the 1972 Spanish-British horror film directed by Eugenio Martin, and starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paul Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky in Jess Franco's COUNT DRACULA

No, of course not, but that didn't stop the artist of this German poster for Jess Franco's COUNT DRACULA film from using an iconic Naschy wolfman image in representing the movie.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Forthcoming from Italy's Granviale Editori is IL CASO JESUS FRANCO, edited by Franco authority Francesco Cesari. As Francesco stated in a recent post on Latarnia:

"On December 2nd 2009, I arranged a short study congress on Jess Franco, here in Venice. The proceedings of that congress became the book, but with some changes and additions. Firstly, there are two forewords by two of the greatest experts in Jess Franco: Robert Monell from USA and Alex Mendibil from Spain, as well as my 'introduction' as editor. Then, there are the essays of the Italian experts - Roberto Curti and Alessio Di Rocco - who couldn't be in Venice the day of the congress. We also preferred to interview Antonio Mayans, instead of asking him [for] an essay, and added a short interview with his daughter Flavia, the protagonist of some 80s JF films.... Everybody wrote in his language. Some essays are in Italian, some others in Spanish. And Robert's foreword is in English.

"Ferran Herranz wrote a kind of 'essay-book' (almost 50 pages) on Jess Franco and Literature. A terrific work, in my view. My Italian friends Roberto and Alessio worked on Jess Franco's (mis)fortune in Italy: the historians, the critics, the newspapers (the book includes an anthology of Italian reviews, from 1963 to 1984), the editions, the censorship (knowing the original documents, Alessio could specify cuts, versions, runtime), an Italian versions filmography based on VISA.

"My essay is in Italian even if the title - Jess the Trickster - is in English. The essay begins with a quotation from a Robert Monell's post on Latarnia forum.

"I also worked to a JF filmography as director. The book is 222 pages (including the images) + 25 pages of index (index of names and index of titles). We did it almost without money and the run is very short."

The cover image is from Franco's INCUBUS.

Below is a copy of the contents (click on photo to see enlarged version):

Friday, September 3, 2010

Iconic Images for Cover Art

During the 1960s and 70s, artists working on cover art for horror comic magazines around the world employed film stills and poster art from horror films, making their job that much more easier. A few Spanish artists emerged who used their own country's fantastique for covers they would do for the domestic DOSSIER NEGRO, and U.S. magazines like VAMPIRELLA, EERIE and PSYCHO.

The artwork above and directly below is from the artist Sanjulian. As you can see, Naschy's mummy (from THE MUMMY'S REVENGE), as well as a rotted member of Amando de Ossorio's "Blind Dead" Templars, appear on the cover of VAMPIRELLA # 38:

Naschy's mummy also makes an appearance on the cover of issue 198 of Spain's DOSSIER NEGRO, with Jack Taylor peering with a lantern into the forbidden tomb, the latter being another image taken from the Naschy film. Sebastia Boada is the artist....

The Blind Dead provided inspiration for this PSYCHO cover:

Sanjulian received two pay checks for the same cover art on different magazines, EERIE and DOSSIER NEGRO. Sanjulian worked into the cover a few iconic horror images, including Naschy's wolfman.