Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Farewell to a Bizarro-Worthy Icon: Paul Naschy, Actor/Writer/Director/Horror Legend
The Bizarro-Worthy Freak Flag flies at half-mast tonight, in homage to Spanish terror icon Paul Naschy, who passed away from cancer on Tuesday, December 1.
Naschy fell in love with horror films at an early age and parlayed that passion for the macabre into a career that lasted four decades. He's not a household name here in the US, but in Europe he's (rightfully) acknowledged as an influential and legendary figure, and an honest-to-God horror legend.
Naschy's films were comfort food to me as a kid, when edited versions showed up on late-night TV creature-features. Their odd weld of old-school gothic atmosphere and contemporary carnage--and Naschy's committed performances as melancholy werewolf Valdemar Daninsky--made a strong impression that's lived on to this day. I had the great good fortune of meeting the man just two years ago, and in person he was as gracious (and grateful) a man as ever walked the earth.
I covered Naschy's life and career in greater detail over at Pop Culture Petri Dish for 2007's Horrorpalooza; feel free to peruse the entry if you'd like to know more about this man's work.
Adiós, Maestro de lo Macabro.