Paul Naschy, one of the greatest Icons of the Horror genre, has died aged 75.
A wrestler before he entered the film industry, Naschy (born Jacinto Molina Alvarez) remained a fighter to the end: he battled cancer for over a year yet he was determined to continue working. The excellent Mark of Naschy website announced in October that he'd recently completed filming a vampire picture, Empusa, described as "a supernatural story of seamen, fishermen, ships, and a seagull who happens to be a vampire/witch woman". Naschy took over the directing of Empusa when frequent collaborator Carlos Aured pulled out, and was working on the post-production sound right up to his death. He said, "I sincerely believe that this is the best script I have written in my career."
The name 'Paul Naschy' will forever be synonymous with a brand of delirious monster-driven horror cinema, and he leaves behind him an enormous legacy, characterized more than anything else by the sheer pleasure of the horror genre. Even at their grisliest, his movies are fun all the way. The name of the game for Naschy was entertainment; his films are lunatic, wayward, sometimes daft as can be, but they always offer the viewer a terrific blast of thrills and amusement. I feel sure that future generations of horror fanatics will continue to regard his work with affection and admiration. It may be the end for Jacinto Molina on this Earth, but Paul Naschy, and his most famous screen creation Waldemar Daninsky, will always stalk the shadows of the silver screen.