This week we look at a horror classic whom I was previously only familiar with by name, Jacinto Molina; better known as Paul Naschy. The man who has played the werewolf in twelve films, eclipsing the more famous Lon Chaney Jr (only eleven of the films actually exist). The Vicar of VHS asked me to participate in his Paul Naschy Blogathon going on all this week, so in addition to this entry we shall look at a few of Naschy's films. Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of Naschy's death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 75.
Naschy, according to a pretty loving Wikipedia article, is famous for two characters, primarily; El Hombre Lobo (the wolfman) and Alaric de Marnac, a medieval nobleman and serial killer, purportedly based on the real person of Baron Gilles de Rais, a Breton knight and companion of Joan of Arc. An interesting bit about the wolfman is that the character was always Waldemar Daninsky, yet each film had a new story with a new origin; a new reason for his becoming a werewolf. I like this idea. B movies live on name recognition, and just like Dracula who tends to arrive in different places, and die different deaths, we go to see the films for Dracula. Rarely do we mess with his origin story, but with the werewolf the origin is an important facet. Making a new werewolf movie every time, to me, shows a dedication to the character and a desire to give the audience something new each film.
Now, according to the IMDb, naschy appeared in 99 films as an actor, but also wrote screenplays for 41, and directed 14. Frankly I was surprised while researching this piece that he never worked with fellow Spaniard and prolific horror-monger, Jess Franco. I could find nothing putting the two together, save that they were contemporaries and had difficulties making films in Spain under the fascist Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
For more Paul Naschy goodness, you can check out the group Tumblr, Fuck Yeah Paul Naschy.