Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy by Troy Howarth
Trade Paperback – WK Books – 2018 – 336 pages
Paul Naschy, a.k.a. Jacinto Molina, is renowned as Spain’s number one icon of the horror genre. His love of the macabre began in childhood and it would remain engraved in his DNA until his dying day. His is a strange story: a champion weightlifter and body builder, he started acting almost as a lark, when all he really wanted to do was write. Despite the apathy and incredulity of most of his colleagues, he forged ahead and helped to create the Spanish horror film. A period of success was followed by soul-crushing disappointment, depression and ill health-but his champion spirit ensured that he would make his comeback. Before passing on in 2009, he found himself feted and lionized by fans and followers all over the world, thus validating his decision to take the road less traveled. Troy Howarth, the author of such acclaimed books as Real Depravities: The Films of Klaus Kinski and the Rondo Award-nominated So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films, charts the course of Naschy’s career from uncredited bit player to beloved icon of the horror genre. All of Naschy’s films are covered, with particular emphasis on the films he wrote (and sometimes directed) in addition to appearing in as an actor. Those who chiefly know of Naschy for his long-running series of films devoted to his character Waldemar Daninsky, the nobleman-turned-werewolf, may be in for a surprise as the full sweep of his career encompassed everything from social drama to out-and-out farce, as well. All of the highs and the lows of his prolific and unique career as a writer, a director, a producer and an actor are present and accounted for, providing a comprehensive overview of a man for whom the cinema was part of his very being. Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy pays homage to Naschy the artist while also providing some personal glimpses into the man behind the makeup. On top of that, there are plenty of stills, posters, behind-the-scenes and candid shots, many donated by Naschy’s family. Naschy’s sons, Bruno and Sergio Molina, have also contributed memories about their father and his career, and there are further testimonials from people who’ve already fallen under the spell of Paul Naschy. You can also read the great man’s thoughts about his legacy in the cinema, thanks to an interview which has never before been published-until now.
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