For me, this is the best film i've seen spanish horror legend Paul Naschy/Jacinto
Molina in. Inquisición could be the
spanish equivalent to The Witchfinder General, the 1968 UK Michael Reeves
horror classic with Vincent Price.
I love the gentle spanish Mr. Horror, El Hombre Lobo, Molina alias Naschy
and his many horror movies, mostly
vampire or Waldemar Daninsky werewolf one's but also in other horror
related films, as another one of my Paul Naschy
favourites, the great spanish Giallo The Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll
(Los Ojos azules de la muñeca rota/House of
Psychotic Women). Yeah, the trashier but also enjoyably sleazy Count
Dracula's Great Love is fine too ....
OK, every film with Paul Naschy in it from the golden spanish 1970's
has been a joy to see admittedly, as Spanish
1970's horror rules, and that's a fact. There was something unique to
the films of this era. As if the oppression from
the fascist regime of Generalissimo Franco triggered the spanish filmmakers
to endeavour to break the violence and sex
barriers till then seen on film, and there's a special spanish atmosphere
to these glorious 1970's films.
I'm eagerly awaiting a great Blu-ray release of the
the spanish giallo above .... please, please!
Well, back to Inquisición, the directorial debut
from Molina/Naschy, ambitious in it's dark and believable tone, you
as if you've been transferred in time to the 16th century plague ridden
french countryside and the small town of Peyriac.
In the beginning of the film we see a nobleman (Paul Naschy) and his
2 travel companions watch a procession of
flaggelants pass by on a mountain road (like something from Ingmar Bergman's
The Seventh Seal).
The region is tormented by the plague and fear is everywhere, and the
nobleman and his companions are no nice men
as they're inquisitors on a mission to eradicate witches and devil worshippers.
Naschy is the feared chief inquisitor Bernard
de Fossey and the town of Peyriac the site of his torture and trials.
Let the torture begin .... yuck, pretty intense stuff
follows (in the style of the infamous Mark of the Devil movies)
But, even a devil, or a serious official of the Inquisition
truly believing in the Devil and witchcraft (it depends how you see
it) as de Fossey can fall in love, and his downfall is about to come
when he falls for the mayor's daughter, the beautiful
Catherine (Daniela Giordano). When her lover is killed, probably on
order by de Fossey, she wants revenge and turns
to witchery, black magic, to Satan to get the powers for her mission
and a hallucinatory scene from the Black Sabbath
follows. Pretty impressive. This film has a great atmosphere, it's dark
and opressively so, a horror-drama with Paul Nashy
delivering some great acting in a somewhat underplayed style and the
ending is gripping.
Inquisición has some nasty torture in it, but there any resemblance
with the sleazy Mark of the Devil films ends as this film is
a serious effort from Molina/Naschy to describe one of the darkest moments
in the history of man, the religious hysteria with
it's inquisition and witchhunt of the 16th and 17th century. This
may well be the best film of Jacinto Molina/Paul Naschy
and with great acting and with truly great cinematography that enhances
anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 with english or spanish audio DD mono with
An introduction from Molina/Naschy for the spanish DVD edition, 8 minutes
in spanish with english subs (El Hombre Lobo
sadly passed away in 2009), Blood and Sand (a 24 minutes documentary
on spanish horror from 1999 by Pete Tombs),
Daniela's Inquisition: a Daniela Giordano interview (14 minutes in italian
with subs) and an audio commentary with Rod
Barnett and Troy Guinn, 2 Paul Naschy experts with a Naschy podcast,
very informative about everyone involved