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PopcornSushi’s Icons of Horror: Paul Naschy

Paul Naschy Producer

With October fast approaching, it’s time to turn our attention to the oncoming winter. October is the month of Halloween and horror film. Popcorn Sushi delves into its dark side and presents an in depth look at the world of horror. First up, we look at the King of Spanish horror film Paul Naschy. Born Jacinto Molina Alvarez in Madrid Spain September  1934. Naschy was a one man army in the horror genre in Franco controlled Spain. Writer, producer, director and star, Naschy’s portrayal of the Wolfman, Count Dracula, and Frankenstein’s monster, earned him the moniker of the Spanish Lon Chaney.

Paul Naschy Werewolf Movies
Paul Naschy Photo Studio

Success Finds Jacinto

The year 1968 would be a pivotal year for Naschy. At the age of 34, he would write a screenplay for a werewolf movie. According to Wikipedia.

“… entitled La Marca del Hombre Lobo (about a Polish werewolf named Waldemar Daninsky) and managed to interest some German producers into financing it. Naschy never intended to play “el Hombre Lobo” (as the doomed lycanthrope came to be called in Spain), he just wound up with the part when the producers couldn’t find a suitable actor.

The werewolf character would be the vehicle which Naschy would ride to worldwide fame.  Franco ruled Spain still. Naschy and his film compatriots were free to make films but were ruled over by censors. It was through joint ventures with Germany and Italy that the Spanish were able  to work freely.  Still, Spanish film makers had to export their films abroad to prevent them from being tampered with. Naschy felt the censors scissors frequently.

Jacinto the Wolfman

As the werewolf character goes, there where 12 total films in all, However, they were not really a series, in the linear sense. According to Wikipedia

“Only eleven of the 12 “Hombre Lobo” films actually exist today. All traces of Las Noches del Hombre Lobo (1968) apparently vanished before the film was ever shown anywhere. It remains a mystery to this day whether or not the film ever really existed in completed form. Naschy said in interviews that he remembered going to Paris for a week to shoot his scenes for the film, but returned to Spain after completing his scenes and never saw any rushes. The French producer of the film, Rene Govar is said to have died in a car accident in Paris a week after the filming was completed. Apparently, no one ever picked up the lab bill that was outstanding.”

Naschy would, of course, do more than just horror films. Later on, he would receive from Spanish king Juan Carlos the Spanish equivalent of a British knighthood. While Paul Naschy would never appear in any Hollywood films, he is still an icon of horror.