22nd October 2009

The Hanging Woman

posted in `Roids |

As promised, here’s our tribute to David Carradine, the great art of autoerotic asphyxiation, and the Spanish horror classic The Hanging Woman!

Last month, horror icon Paul Naschy (Werewolf’s Shadow) turned 75, and to commemorate the ‘Lon Chaney of Spain’s birthday, Troma has released a special edition DVD of the horror classic The Hanging Woman.  Featuring uncut violence and nudity originally deemed too graphic for American audiences, Troma’s new DVD is the most complete version of The Hanging Woman ever released in the US!

The Hanging Woman DVD comes loaded with special features, including the bonus feature film Sweet Sound of Death, a new interview with horror icon Paul Naschy, an interview with director José Luis Merino, a commentary track by Merino, an interview with Ben Tatar (responsible for English ADR on Spanish films), Paul Naschy 101 featurette, and a photo gallery of vintage lobby cards.

Don’t listen to me, I’m freebasing right now! Here’s what DVD Drive-In, the most important website in the world that’s not DVD Talk, had to say: “Troma could have just slapped THE HANGING WOMAN onto DVD with no extras, but they went all out with the supplements and have delivered!… A no-brainer purchase (retailing for below $10) for any self-respecting horror fan, especially Naschy completists.”

Look who’s here, it’s Paul Naschy! Paul, have you got anything to say about The Hanging Woman?


I was in a very good position, making movies all the time, and José Luis Merino called me to make this movie. I read the script and I didn’t like my character, so I told him I wouldn’t do it, and he told me not to worry. He told me to revise the script and to transform my role and so on, and [as to] that transformation, it is true he told me, “Extend it as much as you want,” and it is also true that I wasn’t able to do much long stuff then because I was making another movie. But I took the script and it was then that the necrophiliac idea came into my head, and the number 13 and so on, because actually [my] character wasn’t a great thing, just a gravedigger put there. They killed him and that was all, and I transformed him into a living dead, and it’s curious that nowadays my Igor character is a kind of myth, but the reality is that I made it for this reason: Merino was very excited to make a movie with me. I believe we already made a Tarzan film. A very weird Tarzan, but it had the then-famous actress, Nadiuska, and, well, I considered it once the role had a little bit of dimensionality.

I did not prepare for the role in an elaborate sense. I wrote an enrichment of the character. Then, instead of making a plain character as he was, who was just a man who buried the dead and then gets killed, I turned him into a perverse character with necrophilia, disquieting, such that finally he even becomes a living dead. And I believe it was very good for the movie because I now constantly see things from the movie, and it’s [me]. Paul Naschy who really does not fool us, who really sustains the movie. So it’s very possible that had I played it the Merino way, we would now have another, [different], story.

I believe that all my characters have a part of myself, my way of thinking. So if Igor has a part of me, there’s also a part in Gotho, in Waldemar Daninsky, in Alarc de Marnac, in Kantanka, in many characters I have played. And, well, this [is] entering into philosophical disquisitions, almost metaphysical. Then, if you analyze my movies, they did it very well in the Cinémathèque Française, you must see that this post-[Spanish] Civil War attitude influences the conception of all the characters you develop during your entire life. [Even] with all their differences. In El Carnaval de las Bestias, it was the Nazi hydra. It was my admiration for Pasolini and Fellini in some stuff, something very weird, almost Valle-Inclán-esque, and this part of my own way of thinking and acting. So, when this happens… Sometimes [it] is not that easy to see those details, those kind of circumstances that cause a filmography to have a certain coherence by itself beside [the context of] the one who built it because, let’s not forget that I am not only an actor, but that I also write the stories and I also direct them much of the time. What happens then?

Even in this case in [The Hanging Woman], where I just rebuilt the character in my way, you see that you also find [certain] connotations because I wrote it. Merino permitted me to add all those things. I believe that Merino, and I am saying this without taking any value away from him, he wasn’t conscious that he was shooting his best movie. I know a big part of Merino’s filmography, and I believe there is no discussion possible: this is his best movie with a clear difference. And it is a movie that, inside the fantastic genre, it is quite important.

Thanks, Paul, that sure was boring. For you, readers, here’s a picture of the beautiful Spanish women from the film The Hanger, which inspired The Hanging Woman.

In addition to The Hanging Woman, you should check out Terror Firmer, which prominently features hermaphrodites with hanging appendages!


Next up: crushed heads and torn limbs. Just another day in the Troma Building!

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