Paul Naschy: the millennium revival

We come to the end of my Paul Naschy marathon by moving into the new millennium for his final decade of horror films before he passed away. In the mid-2000s, Paul tapped into the cheesy direct-to-DVD market with several movies I check out here, plus the erotic horror flick Tomb of the Werewolf, which I’ve already covered in my post about his Wolfman movies.

COUNTESS DRACULA’S ORGY OF BLOOD (2004)

This one is a good companion piece to Tomb of the Werewolf if you like softcore erotic werewolf and vampire movies.

The downsides to Countess could consist of various factors, depending on what you expect to get out of it. Naschy fans will be disappointed because he essentially has nothing more than a cameo. Gay guys will be disappointed because every sex scene is girl-on-girl despite the film being about a male vampire and his sister trying to seduce the same girl. Maybe if he whipped his dick out once in a while he’d stand a chance of coming out victorious. And finally, this has an even cheaper direct-to-DVD feel than Tomb. It’s mostly just characters standing around talking to get the plot across in between lesbian sex scenes, with fake fangs occasionally flashed to remind us this is a vampire film.

We begin in the old days with a woman feeling up her tits in her coffin before the opening credits. That should tell you everything you need to know going into this. And if that didn’t do the trick, the countess pulling out her huge tits and seducing a girl right after the opening credits should clarify things.

The handsome brother of the girl she seduces goes to a priest, played by Naschy, to inform him of the vampire problem. Rather than dub Naschy’s lines in this English film, he speaks Spanish and there are subtitles. So they go down to a cave and battle a few vamps. The special effects of the vamps deteriorating gave me the hope that at least there would be some cool horror silliness in between all the clit licking. Unfortunately, it doesn’t turn out that way.

In the modern day, the countess and her brother return to find the girl they wanted back in the day. The weak writing makes it unclear how this new main girl is the same girl from back then. I think perhaps she’s a lookalike descendant, because her role in the film consists of sitting on her couch looking through an old photo album between the lesbian vampire sex scenes.

There are some goofy and pointless characters, like a Redfield eating bugs and some horny female vamps. The strikingly handsome count (I’d let him be my sugar vampire any day) stays back at home and sends his sister out into the seedy city to find the girl they’ve desired for so long (hint hint: she’s on her couch). There’s lots of lesbian sex, Paul fades in like a Ben Kenobi hologram every once in a while to whisper into the count’s ear, and when the vampire siblings finally locate the woman they love…more lesbian sex. But at least there are also more withering vampire effects.

ROTTWEILER (2004)

Naschy may not appear in this killer cyborg dog film much, but he’s basically the main “villain”. I don’t even know where to begin because there’s so much going on in this mess of a movie that is nonetheless highly watchable.

Prisoners are being transported in the Spain desert. A scorpion comes into play and the prisoners all escape. Our main guy is chained to one other guy, who gets attacked by the cyborg Rottweiler. The main guy gets away and continues being chased through the desert by the Rottweiler.

Throughout the film he has distracting flashbacks of how he landed in prison, and none of it makes sense until the end, when it only kind of make sense (for instance, the hubby and I still had no idea how the dog became a cyborg when all was said and done). The scorpion keeps popping up in scenes, and the hubby and I had no idea what it meant. The dog gets a cool fog machine resurrection scene. The main guy is pursued by the dog while skinny-dipping, so we get a nice sequence of him running around naked, landing this one on my stud stalking page.

He is held at gunpoint by a woman who takes him home, sends her daughter out of the room, and then jumps his bones! The Rottweiler breaks into the house to jump his bones for different reasons and the chase is on again.

There’s a major dance club attack scene, but I could not figure out where it fell in the movie’s jumping timeline or what the significance was of it.

And most importantly, there are some undeniably unintentional moments that just made us laugh out loud (think a big stuffed dog being thrown at people from off screen).

After a few brief appearances in flashbacks throughout the film, Naschy gets his juiciest scene when it comes time for the final confrontation…which turns out feeling and looking like a boss battle in a video game.

A WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON (2005)

This cheap erotic horror comedy basically adapts The Island of Dr. Moreau so that Paul can play his famous werewolf one more time without actually playing the character.

Instead, Paul is Moreau. Having been shamed into hiding by his peers in the science community, he finds an island in the Amazon where he can continue his experiments trying to create a new human/animal hybrid. But his real goal is to find a woman who can save him from his curse. Yep. Moreau is back to being a werewolf that needs the love of a woman to break the curse.

Meanwhile, a group of pretty people comes to the island to party, even bringing along a camera so that we can get a few moments that feel like a found footage film.

There’s also a slapstick scientist and detective team hunting for Moreau, further cheapening the tone of the movie.

However, Paul makes sure that Paul can still get some, for he resurrects an Amazon queen.

There’s even a bizarre musical number in the middle of the film.

This is absolutely bottom of the barrel direct-to-DVD stuff…which would explain why you can only find it crammed into a cheap boxed set of horror flicks that look like they were all sourced from VHS tapes.

THE VALDEMAR LEGACY (2010)

I’m not a fan enough of Lovecraft to know exactly which of his works are integrated into this two-part movie (which runs about 3 hours and 15 minutes long), but I did find it delivers plenty of damn good horror moments, not to mention some hot guys.

A woman who catalogs estates for a living is sent by her hot boss to follow up on a job another employee never finished. She finds out why soon after arriving at the mansion. The pretty dang terrifying scene packs more of a punch than many mainstream Hollywood horror movies do these days.

Then the movie totally shifts gears—and time periods. A detective hired to find out what happened to the now missing female is given a history lesson on the supernatural shit that went on in the house. That story becomes the bulk of the first part of the film.

A handsome man and his wife run a bogus séance business in their house, where Paul Naschy gives an understated performance as a servant.

Just when the couple’s world seems to be falling apart because the business is being exposed as a fraud, real-life occultist Aleister Crowley, who is pretty much the daddy of the devil here on earth (Daddy Warbucks of the devil, more like it), comes to the rescue.

He believes the mansion truly is a place of paranormal power and wants to perform a ritual there. The husband finally agrees, so Crowley brings along some of his real-life friends, including Dracula author Bram Stoker, female serial killer Belle Gunness, and mommy and daddy killer Lizzie Borden!

When their ritual goes horribly wrong Paul is the one who discovers just what has been unleashed from the portal in another kick ass horror scene.

And that ends part 1. Part 2 is where it as all downhill for me, but if you love Lovecraft you might like this part better, because it’s a convoluted mess just like basically every other Lovecraft adaptation I’ve ever seen. For me it just completely fell apart when the current day plot and story of the past merge.

The woman who went missing in the first half seems to keep escaping her abductors, walking around freely, and then getting recaptured. I was confused because I thought we were somehow getting flashbacks to a time before she was abducted considering she never runs to the police.

She eventually finds herself locked up with her hot boss, a coworker, and the detective. They spend the remainder of the film trying to escape, are chased by the creature, become part of an occult ritual, get to meet Cthulhu, who gives the original creature the boot from the story completely and also looks like the cheesy CGI monsters from movies like Van Helsing and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and get to meet the couple with the bogus séance business, who have entered the present day and completely made me lose any understanding I had of the plot from the first half of the movie.

EMPUSA (2010)

This was Paul’s final film, and he directs it, co-wrote it, and stars in it. What I like about it as that Paul is not taking himself seriously, so there’s a humorous tone. On the other hand, it’s poorly paced with a weak script and feels like a very low budget project.

Paul plays a former successful actor who now mostly hangs out on a boat with a friend. He also has an interest in the occult, so when he and his friend find a severed hand on the beach and then bodies start washing up on the shore, he becomes obsessed with the idea that a legendary ancient female vampire called Empusa is responsible.

Way too much of the film features Paul and his buddy just hanging out talking about getting laid and getting old.

At the same time, there’s also a sudden and brief rash of fun and funny onscreen murders that seem to involve young people thinking they’re traveling through a fun house only to be killed by the vampire women in their lair. There’s even a funny gay couple that gets catty about whether or not one of the vampire women is scary or not, landing this film on the does the gay guy die? page. If you ask me, we should have gotten more of this earlier in the film to keep us interested.

I also don’t quite understand the plot. The corpse of one victim starts visiting Paul and tells him he has to cross into another dimension in order to take on the gaggle of female vampires in their lair. So I’m thinking the people actually strolling into their lair on the beach were also crossing into another dimension?

When Paul starts battling the vampire women by tossing knives at them, the low budget visual style of the sequence made me laugh. It feels like a total cheesy direct-to-DVD production.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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