Paul Naschy has always been something of a large figure among horror fans and cult cinema enthusiasts everywhere, and Shout Factory is up to the task in reward their devotion with a collection that will peak interests. Still making an argument for why it’s one of the best horror movie distributors out there, Scream Factory unleashes a five disc collection that compiles some of Naschy’s most notable films, complete and uncut. There’s even an optional English dub for the films, or their truer Spanish language tracks with the subtitles.
“Horror Rises from the Tomb (El Espanto Surge de la Tumba)” is a 1975 fantasy horror film telling the story of a warlock and witch, both of whom are executed in the middle ages. When they return from the grave in modern times, they begin to terrorize and murder a group of vacationers. The movie is your basic atmospheric horror stalk and slash, and cheesy but it works as an introduction. “Vengeance of the Zombies (La Rebelión de las Muertas)” from 1975 centers on a random series of murders being committed in London by a pack of voodoo zombies led by an enigmatic hooded figure; the only person that may hold the answer to the murders is a Hare Krishna.
It’s a goofy entry in the set and I warn that an actual chicken is killed on film. “Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (Los Ojos Azules de la Muñeca Rota)” from 1976 is about a drifter, played by Naschy, who works for a house hold filled with sisters, one of whom is in a wheelchair. When he begins having an affair with them, people begin dying, and he has to find out who is committing the crimes. Working as a giallo for the most part, “Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll” is messy and narratively confused, but it’s moody enough to warrant a watch. “Human Beasts (El Carnaval de las Bestias)” from 1980 is a meshing of many genres and plot elements, working as a heist flick, a ghost movie, and garners a lot of flashbacks, exposition, sex, cannibalism and anything else you can imagine.
It’s nonsense, even with the surprise ending. It at least garners some interesting staged movie murders. Finally, there’s “Night of the Werewolf (El Retorno del Hombre Lobo),” which is also the ninth movie in the “Hombre Lobo” movie series. It’s the story of Waldemar Daninsky, a werewolf executed in the middle ages, alongside vampire Elisabeth Bathory and her coven. When he’s he rises from his tomb after being unearthed, he sets out to murder the newly risen Countess and her new coven. With some neat atmosphere, fine sets, and good visuals, it’s the highlight of the set. The first in, I imagine, a series of collections from Shout on Paul Naschy is a nice introduction and 101 course with some of his films in a massive career. Aspiring horror and cult buffs anxious to dig deep in to the horror cult cinema world would be wise to check this out.
On the “Horror Rises from the Tomb” disc, there’s an audio commentary with Naschycast podcast hosts Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn. There are alternate sequences from the Spanish theatrical showing, trailers for the films both in Spanish and English, an alternate silent ending, and an animated still gallery. For “Vengeance of the Zombies,” there’s a set of opening and closing Spanish credits, alternate clothing sequences, Spanish and English theatrical trailers, and an animated still gallery.
For “Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll,” there’s an audio commentary with the Naschycast podcast hosts, a set of opening and closing Spanish credits, alternate clothing sequences, Spanish and English theatrical trailers, and an animated still gallery. “Human Beasts” garners the Spanish theatrical trailer and an animated still gallery. “Night of the Werewolf” features yet another audio commentary with the podcast hosts from “Naschycast,” two deleted scenes, opening and closing spanish credits, both the Spanish and English theatrical trailers, and an animated still gallery. Sadly missing are the introductions from Naschy.