The Paul Naschy Collection II

Paul Naschy was known as the “Spanish Lon Chaney.” In his long, eclectic career, Naschy excelled playing monsters, murderers and other freaks, sometimes buried under make-up, sometimes just sporting a glorious mustache.

The good folks at Shout! Factory/Scream Factory have put together a brand-new collection of some of Naschy’s films, following their initial Paul Naschy Collection. The Paul Naschy Collection II assembles five glorious, gory films from Naschy’s career, all of them memorable, all of them kind of odd.

Hunchback of the Morgue is sort of like a retelling of Frankenstein from the point of view of the infamous hunchback assistant Igor (who, of course, never appeared in the original Frankenstein novel, but was rather an invention of Universal Studios). Naschy plays the hunchback Gotho, who lusts for a sickly young woman who is kind to him. When the woman dies, Gotho goes off the deep-end, murdering a pair of thieving morgue attendants and stealing the dead woman’s body in the process. From there, he hooks up with a mad scientist who just happens to have a big pit of acid in the floor of his secret laboratory. The pit of acid ends up being featured so much it might as well have received top-billing alongside Naschy.

The Devil’s Possessed recalls some of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films, particularly Masque of the Red Death. Naschy plays a corrupt barron who uses witchcraft to keep his subjects in line. Eventually, some of those oppressed subjects band together to stop him. Along the way, the film turns into Robin Hood with witchcraft. It’s wild, and lurid, and very entertaining. And you better believe Naschy ends up with an eye-patch at one point.

A Dragonfly for Each Corpse is inspired by the giallo films of Italy – think Deep Red or Four Flies on Grey Velvet. An unseen killer stalks the streets, leaving gold ornamental dragonflies on each of his victims. The only person who can stop him is Naschy, playing a cigar-chomping cop. Sadly, this is the dullest film of the set, but it’s still worth seeing for its time-capsule-like presentation of the era it was made.

Exorcism was heavily-inspired by the hugely-popular The Exorcist, and while this film borrows the same premise – a young girl begins spewing foul language when possessed – it goes off in its own direction. It’s not as cerebral or visceral as The Exorcist, but it still packs a punch, particularly in the makeup the girl begins to wear when she becomes more and more possessed. The makeup in question was likely a low-budget affair, yet still manages to be effective.

The Werewolf and the Yeti wastes no time: its opening scene involves mountain climbers ruthlessly attacked by a yeti. From there, things get even more ridiculous, as Naschy finds himself turned into a werewolf. Do the Werewolf and the Yeti end up having a big, furry showdown? You’ll have to see for yourself.

Overall, this is a wonderful set, charming in its idiosyncrasies. From the cheap-yet-memorable looking monsters, to the bright-red blood, the films of The Paul Naschy Collection II make for great viewing.

Special Features to Note:

Sadly, there are not many special features included with this group of films, save for trailers and still galleries. But perhaps the argument could be made that the films themselves are enough. We’re talking five movies here – do you really need more than that?

Still, there are a few gems, particularly the special feature on Exorcism that includes “Alternate ‘Clothed’ Versions Of The Nude Scenes For The Original Spanish Release.” While four of the five films are subtitled, The Werewolf and the Yeti gives you the option of a dubbed-version, in case you’re one of those folks who doesn’t enjoy subtitles.

Special Features Include:

HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (EL JOROBADO DE LA MORGUE)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Rod Barnett And Troy Guinn Of The Podcast,  NaschyCast
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • Still Gallery

THE DEVIL’S POSSESSED (EL MARISCAL DEL INFIERNO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)

THE WEREWOLF AND THE YETI (LA MALDICIÓN DE LA BESTIA)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Still Gallery

EXORCISM (EXORCISMO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Alternate “Clothed” Versions Of The Nude Scenes For The Original Spanish Release
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • English Credit Sequence
  • Still Gallery

A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE (UNA LIBÉLULA PARA CADA MUERTO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Still Gallery

Kedi

Oh, how I love this movie. At first glance, Ceyda Torun‘s Kedi looks like a feature-length version of cute cat videos you might watch on YouTube. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a unique, lovely little movie that contains multitudes, overflowing with empathy and compassion. Kedi follows several stray cats that wander freely through the streets of Istanbul, and the compassionate humans who care for them. There’s a social pact between the cats and humans – they accept one another freely, and they each come and go as they please.

I don’t want to get into a long rant about how miserable the last year has seemed overall, but let’s just say 2017 hasn’t been the best it can be. Kedi certainly won’t change that – the world is going to be the same after you get done watching it. But it will soften the blow. Even if you’re not a cat person – as I’m definitely not – it’s impossible to not be charmed by this film. And that’s not to say it’s harmless fluff, either. There’s a melancholy lurking beneath it all, mingled with a hopefulness. One individual talks about how he had suffered a nervous breakdown, but spending time seeking out and feeding stray cats has helped nurse him back to some semblance of sanity. “They make you fall in love again,” he says, It may sound silly, but it’s not. It’s achingly lovely. I don’t want to sound like I’m over-selling Kedi here, but if you find yourself having a particularly miserable day, I advise you to pop this film into your Blu-ray player and let it soothe you, for just a little while. You won’t regret it.

Special Features of Note: 

We get deleted scenes, we get a fairly interesting Making Of feature that highlights how Ceyda Torun got up close and personal with the cats, we even get a few deleted or extended scenes. But the best feature of all, hands down, is a commentary track featuring the cats in the film. “How the hell can cats do a commentary?” you may ask, as you frown and cross your arms and remain skeptical to this whole endeavor. Trust me, it works, and it’s wonderful. I can’t recommend this movie enough – one of the best of the year, hands-down. You’re going to want to own this.

Special Features Include:

  • Audio Commentary with the Director/Producer Ceyda Torun, Cinematographer/Producer Charlie Wuppermann, and Editor Mo Stoebe
  • Audio Commentary with the cats
  • Making of KEDI
  • Deleted scenes
  • Extended & outtake scenes
  • Theatrical trailer

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