Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NaschyCast #28 - LICANTROPO (1996)

In this episode we creep very carefully into the 1990s, cross our fingers and hope for the best. LICANTROPO is the only Waldemar Daninsky film produced in that fetid decade and since it is Naschy scripted it has to be covered by your intrepid podcasters. We've heard numerous poor critiques of the film over the years so, although we were quite leery, I think you'll find that there are things that make the film worth seeking out. Without giving too much away I'll just say that the film certainly is an artifact of its times.

We take this opportunity to discuss the qualities that make a 1990s film different from a 1980s film and come to the conclusion that it mainly consists of nudity or the lack thereof. This is a sad thing and casts a pall over the decade (and this film, to a degree) but we can all be happy that we lived through those dark days and naked flesh has returned to the big screen! Now bring on the Naked Female Werewolves! Of course, any Daninsky movie offers the chance to observe how Naschy has decided to recast the pieces, alter the playing field and push the lycanthrope myths into new, hairy shapes. Here he makes some fascinating choices and although the film steps on some of them they still add some fresh color to the long line of werewolf cinema lore. I really need to do some research to see if the 'Vile Odor' thing is lifted from legend or a Naschy original.

After last episode's short Mail-Bag section we have a bumper crop of correspondence this time! Two separate letters from our British buddy Mark and a couple of notes from brand new writers give us a lot to mull over. That we continue to get new information about Naschy from new folks is a source of great joy for both of us. We created this show to bring more attention to Paul Naschy and his body of work and its starting to feel like we are really having some effect. That is a wonderful thing and we want to thank everyone that listens to us babble on. We hope you keep enjoying what we do and that we can encourage others to see more of Senor Molina's movies. They are well worth watching!

Please drop us a line at naschycast@, like us over on the Facebook page and rate us in the iTunes store. Let us know what is on your mind.

Monday, May 28, 2012

THE VIKINGS (1958) images

I got into a discussion this past weekend with William Stout about several movies and was disheartened to learn we disagree about this great movie. The last time he watched it was in preparation to work on the CONAN sequel back the early 1980s and he found it to be a terrible movie. He said that he had loved the film as a kid but as an adult it was just awful. I cannot disagree more! I love THE VIKINGS more each time I watch it and I may well upgrade to Blu-Ray if given the opportunity. Its a big, bold comic book of a film and I find it incredibly entertaining. Sorry, Mr. Stout! We agree about MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, though. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Last night I caught up with a film I had the DVR grab from TCM a few weeks ago. HAVANA WIDOWS made me press 'record' because of the presence of its two main stars- Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell. Either of these ladies on their own is good enough reason to see a movie but them together just screamed YES. Miss Blondell is the better remembered of the pair having made nearly fifty movies in the 1930s of just about every type. I have only recently seen her star turns in PUBLIC ENEMY (1931) and GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 so I come late to the party but I'm definitely a fan.

Miss Farrell I've been a fan of since 2001 when I saw a 16mm print of her performance in the title role of SMART BLONDE (1937). This was the first of the Torchy Blane movies and it is fantastic. Farrell went on to play the part in six more films and I have loved every one I've seen. If you're a fan of fast, funny and clever mystery tales centered around wise-cracking reporters you would do well to check the series out.

As for HAVANA WIDOWS its a fast, fun comedy that has our two leads running off to Cuba to try to find a quick buck by luring a wealthy married man into a compromising situation. Quaint to think what could be accomplished with a Breach of Promise lawsuit back in the day, huh? The movie is pretty fun and clocking in only a little over an hour it doesn't wear out its welcome either. The oddest thing is that the onscreen plot description displayed by the cable company appears to have been written by someone who never saw the movie! It mentions a 'man of the clothe' that spoils the girl's attempts to gain their fortune but there isn't any such character in the film at all. Strange!

Oh! And this is a Pre-Code film so the ladies all seem to have never met a bra salesman in their lives! And the dancing outfits the chorus girls wear are more than a bit risqué as well. Va-va-va-voom! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Naschy Trailers

I'm deep into prep for the next NaschyCast and my mind went to the often effective trailers for his movies. Someone should put together a collection of previews for all of his movies - I know I'd like to have it in my collection!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Movies I can not wait to see!

It was good that on the day I read the depressing news that incompetent hack Eli Roth will be directing another horror film I also saw the posters for these two movies. I really cannot wait to see these movies. My excitement  grows each day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Behind the Scenes footage of THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN (1970)

This is a vintage behind the scenes short made during filming of the often derided seventh Frankenstein film made by Hammer Studios. I have come to like the film but I had to overcome my aversion to the humor of the script and the fact that Peter Cushing isn't playing the part of Baron Frankenstein. This is a nice peek behind the greasepaint that shows Mr. Cushing gracefully handing the role over to the very able Ralph Bates.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What I Read in April

I was all over the place with my reading last month and I intended it that way. I felt the need to jar myself from a straightforward path of simply picking up next thing in front of me so I forced my hand further into the stacks- so to speak. Actually some of these things were read on the Kindle so in those cases I was paging past the first screen of offerings. Its all the same in the end! I jumped from a great 1950's crime novel that would have made a fine noir-ish film to a fun, short bit of horror-fantasy about a murderous leprechaun. If there was just some way to merge those two dissimilar tales into a single movie I'd could be very happy. Then I read a trashy post-apocalyptic novel but it wasn't quite as trashy or as over the top as I was hoping for. I wasn't unhappy I read it but I was hoping for a more visceral story.

The two comic trade paperbacks I read were both interesting, especially the Simonson Fantastic Four stuff. I will seek out more of his run on that book in the future. And I was thrilled to finally read Moorcock's John Carter riff. I really enjoyed it. It brought back the thrill of reading the ERB novels for the first time when I was a kid. Great stuff! 

HOME IS THE SAILOR by Day Keene (great crime tale from 1952 -A Hard Case Crime novel)
A GRAVE ST. PATRICK'S DAY by Nic Brown (fun terror tale)
THE COMING OF THE RATS by George H. Smith (OK trashy post-apocalyptic tale written in the early 1960s)
FANTASTIC FOUR Visionaries Vol. 1 by Walt Simonson (cosmic tales with many guest stars)
CITY OF THE BEAST by Michael Moorcock (excellent homage to ERB's Martian tales)
PSI FORCE Classic Vol. 1 - (the first nine issues of this long defunct New Universe comic- it wasn't very good until the ninth issue, sadly)
GIANT KILLER EELS by Stuart Neild (not very good monster tale in the Guy N. Smith vein) 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ClayCat's THE THING (1982)

John Carpenter's classic version of THE THING rendered in Claymation!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

NaschyCast #27 - NAKED MADRID (1979)

If you can visualize a movie made by Paul Naschy that brings to mind the classics of Robert Altman and involves a sad sack Spanish version of Woody Allen then you have a start in imagining NAKED MADRID (1979). Those images will only give you a sliver of the whole picture but it does serve to warn you that this is not your usual Naschy film. In fact, I can't think of another film in his long list of credits that resembles this odd but interesting effort. Adapted from a novel it tells the contemporary story of a large cast of characters of both the wealthy and working class in post-Franco Spain. They are mostly scheming, lying scumbags just trying to get whatever it is they need or want but that doesn't mean they aren't entertaining to watch.

Naschy casts himself in a fairly sympathetic role as a put upon chauffer trying to create a new socialist political party but getting sidetracked by an adulterous affair. His performance is strong but the entire cast is very good even though each character has very little screen time. A number of Naschy's stock company of actors and behind the camera collaborators are present as well as one uncredited cameo that is as surprising as it is welcome. And the word naked in the title should be taken quite literally as this movie sports more bare flesh than any other Naschy directed tale we've seen so far! You have been warned!

The mailbag section of this show is pretty sparse but we have our first 'voice-mail' contribution from our friend in Madrid! That's right- we have a brief visit from Elena the host of Horror Rises From Spain and she explains a few pronunciations to us silly Americans. If you’d like to get in on this segment please write us at and we’ll dig into your questions next time. And if you subscribe to the show through iTunes please consider leaving us a review there or you drop us a comment on the Naschycast Facebook page. Thanks to everyone for the love and encouragement. And once again we have to thank our amazing art director Jeff Nelson. He works beyond the call of duty for us and always gives us a distinctive piece of art to accompany the show. 

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Behind the Scenes with the Monsters

Its a lot of fun to see these folks resting between takes even if I can only imagine the size of the cigar Godzilla is smoking as he gets his motivation explained to him. The Big G always brings his A game even when he feels the script is only a C.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

What I Watched In April

I got out to the theater a few times in April and really had a blast. Well- except for succumbing to my intense curiosity, ignoring the bad reviews and paying my two bucks to see GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGENACE. What the Hell was I thinking? I was thinking that there was no way the guys behind the CRANK films could make a film so terrible that it wouldn't be at least entertaining on a trashy level. No way. Damn, but I was wrong. This is the dullest piece of crap I've suffered through theatrically in years. Nothing in the film works from the lame apocalyptic story through the crappy characters and even the stupid visuals. There are no- I repeat-NO good ideas in this film. I should not be bored when a guy with a flaming skull is killing people on a giant screen in front of me. Even just typing that I out I can't understand how the filmmakers accomplished this feat. Equal parts tiresome and stupid this is a film that should be skipped by even the most curious. Please learn from my mistake.

THE HUNGER GAMES was a pretty good film but nothing I haven't seen before and often better. I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic tales and the world of this story is well presented in a believable fashion even if I'd have liked more attention paid to certain ideas that are too quickly rushed by. I've heard some people complaining that the film wastes too much of the running time setting things up. They seem to want to get to the action portion of the tale as soon as possible with little regard for anything else. I find that strange since I found the set up to be far more compelling than the various fights in the third act for several reasons. First, the film sloppily makes Katniss the obvious winner before things even begin by showing her archery skills but no one else's abilities. This drains any real tension from the action because it is clear she will win. There should have been some attempt at misdirection to give us the idea that she might not come out on top or might even be wounded in some horrible way so that some suspense could be generated. As it stands the outcome is a given, more or less, with only the thrill of the 'how' to keep us interested. Unfortunately the director seems to have listened to a group of idiots because the actions scenes are often edited as if an epileptic got drunk and spasmed on the footage during working hours. Once again people- if I can't tell what is happening then what is the point of the scene? Hold the camera steady and have the actors do things in front of it. Then edit the shots together so that we can follow the movements and events as the characters struggle with each other. Simple, no?

In better news, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is a fantastic exercise in horror filmmaking that plays with, subverts and twists expectations so deftly that I often found myself slack-jawed with amazement. I think I smiled more while watching this film than I have in a long time. Made by lovers of the genre who use their understanding of its tropes to give you exactly what you want and expect without insulting your intelligence, this is the kind of movie fans hope for but rarely get. Joss Whedon and his collaborators should be praised for getting this extremely fun film made and (finally) out into theaters. If more horror cinema was as funny, smart, exciting and aware as this fans would have much less to bitch about. Go out and see it as soon as possible and don't give away its surprises. Let your friends discover the shocks for themselves. 

FANFARE FOR A DEATH SCENE (1964)- 4 (padded TV pilot from the makers of the Outer Limits)
THE BLOOD ROSE (1969)- 6  (languidly paced but interesting French horror film)
GHOST RIDER:SPIRIT OF VENGENCE (2012)- 2 (hyper-stylized mess)
SEDDOK, L'EREDE DI SATANA (1960) - 7 (full length cut of ATOM AGE VAMPIRE proves to be very good)
HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS (1970)- 6 (overly compacted retelling of the TV series is still entertaining)
CUT-THROATS NINE (1972) - 8 (rewatch)
HUMONGOUS (1982)- 5 (well directed but only OK stalking monster film)
BEYOND ATLANTIS (1973)- 4 (Corman produced/Eddie Romero directed island adventure)
THE HUNGER GAMES (2012) - 7 (shaky-cam damns its action scenes)
THE MAZE (1953)- 6 (fun Old Dark House mystery) (rewatch)
RAMMBOCK: BERLIN UNDEAD (2010)- 6 (short German zombie film)
CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)- 9 (a blast of dark, creepy fun)
NAKED MADRID (1979)- 5
ALIEN TORNADO (2012) - 3 (awful SyFy movie)
GOR (1987)- 2 (terrible barbarian film adapted from the John Norman novels)
A LOTUS FOR MISS QUON (1967)- 5 (muddled drama set in Southeast Asia

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

GrindHouse Trailer - JAWS & STAR WARS!

I have no idea how I have managed to never see this brilliant combination of the GrindHouse aesthetic and two of the biggest box office hits of all time, but in case you haven't checked this out either -click below and marvel. Major kudos go out to creator Stephen Krstulich for the craft shown in this mash-up.