TV Party Tonight! #41

TV Party Tonight! #41

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Paul Naschy Collection II [Blu-ray]

My discovery of Paul Naschy and his movies has certainly been a cinematic highlight this year. Having known nothing of the man 6 months ago, I now have grown to appreciate his horror movies and his style and can see just how unique and fun they are. So these collections are truly a treat for Naschy and horror fans. And trust me, these movies are not easy to find. Go looking for them online and see where that gets you. The success of the first Shout Factory Paul Naschy collection was such a success that we are now being graced with the second collection. The second of many more I hope…

This second collection of Naschy movies is as delightful and strikingly similar to the first. Here we have a werewolf movie, a demon possession movie, a Middle Ages movie, a murder mystery and an oddball. And even though there are some powerhouses here (and Exorcism is a much better movie than the audio commentary track will admit), it’s Hunchback of the Morgue that has completely stolen the show here. All of Naschy’s movies here have the trademark twists and turns (you could almost say that they’re several movies in one), but Hunchback of the Morgue is teeming with ideas and is probably one of the best movies Naschy has done. Just put it on and let your jaw drop. The characters just keep growing and the plot changes to levels we do not expect and even though it seems like it would be a mess of a movie, it works perfectly into a very fun experience. And if that rat scene doesn’t make your eyes pop, I don’t know what will.

Like we said, Shout has done us a favor by offering these releases in 1080p blu-ray form. The visuals are sharp and bright even though you can still see imperfections on the screen. Also, the Werewolf and the Yeti is not in widescreen for some reason. Of course this is due to the limitations when receiving the source material from Spain, and until a meticulous restoration process is done (which is doubtful), these collections are doing a phenomenal job of keeping Naschy’s work alive and introducing them to a new audience. A great box set.

What we learn from the special features:

  • Naschy apparently hated a lot of the directors he worked with.
  • Due to the Franco dictatorship, clothed and nude versions of the films were released, and since the movies had to take place in countries other than Spain, Naschy always tries to be super obvious about where the movies take place. Exorcism is in England, The Devil’s Possessed is in France, and the Hunchback in the Morgue is in Germany.
  • Hunchback in the Morgue was actually shot in the mountains of Catalan. Those are very German looking towns.
  • A Dragonfly for Each Corpse has Naschy finally not wearing a wig, which I should say, he actually looks good in in his other movies.
  • Exorcism was written before the Exorcist movie came out, which means Naschy was probably influenced by the book. Its release was delayed so as not to seem like a desperate attempt to cash in on the Exorcist’s popularity.
  • Those rats in the Hunchback in the Morgue were actually scheduled to be killed by a professional ratter. I don’t know if that makes it easier to watch in any way.

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