Cyber Monday: Project Shadowchaser Trilogy

Frank Zagarino dies hard!

Cinemasochism: Black Mangue (2008)

Braindead zombies from Brazil!

The Gweilo Dojo: Furious (1984)

Simon Rhee's bizarre kung fu epic!

Adrenaline Shot: Fire, Ice and Dynamite (1990)

Willy Bogner and Roger Moore stuntfest!

Sci-Fried Theater: Dead Mountaineer's Hotel (1979)

Surreal Russian neo-noir detective epic!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sci-Fried Theater: CONDOR (1986)

My “A #1” Rule of Movie Making: Everything is cooler if set in the future. I’m not talking about that “thinking man’s science fiction” stuff either.  Not that I think that sort of thing is bad, I mean, CHILDREN OF MEN (2006) was cool and all, but the future? Nah, I ain’t buyin’ it. More like the hyper-present. Nope, in my book the future isn’t just changing out the billboards for giant plasma monitors (psssh, like we’d even have billboards in the future!), for my money the future is neon-lit monorails, cars that drive themselves, computers with toggle-switches and big incandescent bulb-lit plastic buttons, and robots! Robots are totally the future, right? Now if you add in secret agents with blow-dried hair, blazers with the sleeves pushed up to the elbows, and giant, clunky laser weapons, what do you have? You have CONDOR!

Nice cannons on that deck!
Set in the most futuristic date ever, 1999, Los Angeles is now a thriving metropolis that, well, seems exactly the same as it did in 1986, except that it finally got that monorail system that they decided was such a stupid idea back in the ‘70s. This apparently alleviates a lot of the traffic and light traffic in L.A.? Man, that is totally sci-fi!

Ray Wise is Christopher Proctor, one of the top agents for a Los Angeles based FBI/CIA hybrid organization named Condor (nope, that’s not an acronym for anything) who thwarts evil-doers foreign and domestic. Sort of a Department of Homeland Security, except presumably without the civil rights violations. Proctor (who appears to have broken into Don Johnson’s wardrobe trailer) has just returned from an assignment in Singapore where he lost his partner of unspecified sex who was “more than a partner, a whole lot more”. This is of course after he turns down an advance by a busty hottie at the local fast-food outlet Pirate Pete’s, telling her “sorry, you are not my type”. Damn, but she is built! Out of hydraulic piston technology, that is! Perhaps he knew that when he turned her down. The troubling thing about this scene is not that Proctor has no appreciation for the siren’s lure, but that we never see what it is he got from this land-locked ship. Do they serve sustainably farmed fish n' organic, fat-free, low-carb, unfried chips? Or is it rat on a stick? This important detail must have been lost to time constraints, I’m sure of it.

Upon arriving at “the office”, a giant MIB-style mega-emporium of officiousness, Proctor’s boss Cyrus Hampton (Craig Stevens), introduces Proctor to his new secretary. Says Proctor “you sure know how to hire good looking assistants!” Nope, says the boss, it’s your new partner! What?! It’s a girl, partner? Ewwwww! Jeeezus dude, nobody’s asking you to marry her, fer cryin’ out loud. Not only is it bad enough that she’s a she, but after losing an arm-wrestling contest (what, no Indian burns and wedgies?), poor Proctor discovers that she is a girl robot partner! As Cyrus explains it, Lisa (Wendy Kilbourne) is a new type of robot, one that is a “molecular computer” that uses no binary logic, but instead is composed of new-fangled bio chips that emit enzyme producing bacteria that allows her to function as a human instead of being hamstrung by the on/off system of normal computers. Yeah, ok, that’s more of an explanation than I ever got from a Schwarzenegger movie, so I'll go with that.

There’s no time to cause any more gender-biased fuss, Cyrus needs the duo to go after high-tech criminal/terrorist The Black Widow (Carolyn Seymour) who has escaped from a high-tech, robot patrolled prison with the aid of a GHOSTBUSTERS ecto-detector and James Bond’s jetpack from THUNDERBALL. No, seriously. How she got this stuff into the slam is anyone’s guess, but what she’s up to is no mystery. Incarcerated for infiltrating and stealing the Pentagon’s super-secret “Vanguard Code” which gives anyone who possesses it in their memory free access to America’s defense arsenal, Black Widow plans on holding the country hostage for one miiiiiilion dollars! Well, actually she wants 25 million dollars, safe passage out of the US and Agent Proctor delivered alive so she can exact her vengeance for the death of her brother. As a demonstration of her power, she has hacked into the police computer system and has used her knowledge of the Vanguard Code to use the police’s BLUE THUNDER-esque chopper drones to attack an L.A. powerplant. Man, she sure knows how to kick L.A. in the jimmy! The only thing worse would have been the water reservoir, but it would have made for a far less dramatic explosion, I suppose.

Written by veteran Saturday morning cartoon writers Len Janson and Chuck Menville, and directed by Virgil W. Vogel, a veteran of every damn '80s TV show ever (including “Magnum P.I.”, “MacGuyver”, “Hardball” and “Tales of the Gold Monkey”), this movie feels like it should have been an animated feature in the vein of STARCHASER (1985). In spite of an obvious lack of budget, this movie really tries to put as much future craziness up on the screen as possible, throwing wacky futurisms out with abandon and delivering it all at a breakneck speed and a scant 73 minute running time. Add plenty of cheap action (including electric-car chases), lasergun shoot-outs, amazingly campy dialogue and a great cast (including a cigar-chomping Vic Polizos and martial arts wielding James Avery) make this an absolute blast. The only downer is that I would have loved to see what this could have been as a feature film. The mind boggles.

Nice sheets dude. Is that a racecar bed?
Things I learned about the future from watching CONDOR:

– In the future police robots must use wristwatch communicators to make voice calls for back up.
– In the future cars will have on-board dash computers composed of a CRT with toggle switches and big plastic buttons.
– In the future people will drive wood-paneled mini-vans.
– In the future assassins will still wear Gargoyles.
– In the future top government agents will have ID cards made of plain, typewritten paper.
– In the future an appropriate name for a cat will be “Virgil”.
– In the future people use hologram-projectors to watch obese women in plastic Viking outfits sing Wagner.
– In the future government computers render 3D worse than a freakin’ Playstation, but at least have anti-aliasing software.

Friday, December 3, 2010

El Hombre Mofo: Tom & Will's Top 3 Naschy Picks

What better way to bring the Paul Naschy blogathon to a close than by listing some of our favorite Paul Naschy flicks. These are the ones we would recommend to the beginners as the best examples of the man's work, the films that will help you unleash your inner Naschy beast.

Thomas T. Sueyres:

1. THE HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE: This was also my first Naschy movie, but unfortunately the experience was marred by the fact that I rented the butchered RUE MORGUE MASSACRES tape back in the day and walked away wondering what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t until I bought a copy of the widescreen, uncut Japanese release from a dude selling dupes with handwritten labels that I had my Nascepiphany. From Naschy’s pathos laden performance to the jaw-dropping “wtf” moment with what appears to be a monster made of poop, in my humble opinion, you can keep your wolfmen, this is his crowning achievement.

2. NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST: You know I said how you could keep your wolfmen? Ok, so I kinda lied. “Kinda” because this really doesn’t have much werewolf action in it, but it’s a great flick anyway. You have an lycanthropic explorer in the Himalayas encountering a Mongol-esque warrior king with a fatal skin condition who lives in ice caves with hot chicks who wear see-through nighties and there is a Yeti on the loose! WtF?! Find me another movie with anything close to that. See? You got nothing.

3. ULTIMO KAMIKAZE: It’s really tough to pick out three top movies, but I think this one like the neglected NIGHT OF THE EXECUTIONER, does a great job of showing Naschy’s ability to play in solid crime/action roles. The plot is really all about Naschy as an assassin that adopts a variety of disguises (including drag) to kill mobsters, but Naschy throws in subplots about his character’s Nazi past and his penchant for morose art. Honestly this is not just a highly entertaining Naschy flick, but it really is one of the great, under-appreciated ‘70s crime films. I firmly believe that if this had been dubbed and distributed like the Italian crime films, this would have a solid following with obnoxious hipster directors claiming it to be the greatest movie of all time and plagiarizing it for their most recent star-studded “homage”. Come to think of it, maybe it’s better this way.

4. Honorable Mention: BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL: Naschy did a number of “giallo” style films of which I don’t think anyone is going to argue that this isn’t the best. Even so, it’s really a great Spanish thriller that, much like A CANDLE FOR THE DEVIL, have a vibe all their own and really don’t compare to the Italian stuff. Great atmosphere, plot twists, creepy characters and nekkid chicks, this movie really succeeds on all levels. Because of this, it’s even more disappointing when movies such as SEVEN CORPSES FOR SCOTLAND YARD come up short.

William S. Wilson:

When it comes to Paul Naschy viewing, I am a mere neophyte compared to some guys I know.  Of the 99 films he has made, I have seen 21 of them.  Not too shabby, but I still have a ways to go until I obtain the coveted “Naschy Scholar” moniker.  If forced to give up my favorites so far (by nubile vampire wenches, of course), here is what is tops on my list of the ones I’ve seen.

1. THE HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE: Hey, Tom totally copied my no. 1!  Actually, I can't make that claim as he was instrumental in me losing my Paul Naschy virginity to this movie.  I had heard Tom and Naschy Scholar Jon Kitley talk of this Naschy guy for a couple of years.  I finally gave in and asked Tom to hook me up with his best title with this being the one he provided.  I’m not sure why, but I always imagined this Naschy guy was going to be a dull rip-off of the Universal films and I couldn’t be further from the truth.  Another one infected.  This film has it all – horror, gore, nudity, pathos, and a big pile o’ guts blob monster.

2. THE WEREWOLF’S SHADOW (aka THE WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN): At the risk of being called a fanboy by Tom, I’d say this is my favorite of Naschy’s werewolf features.   Again, it is another one of my earlier viewings (and first Waldemar flick), having seen it on a budget DVD label.  The atmosphere is off the charts and I love director Leon Klimovsky’s use of slow-motion.  Plus you have murders, rampant nudity, and a freakin’ werewolf that bites huge chunks out of folks.

3. HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB: Wow, what can I say about this one that hasn’t been said already?  Two amazing performances by Naschy with his severed head Alaric being one of my favorite characters of his.  In addition, you have some great country locations, awesome tombs, séances, black magic, nudity and some of the coolest zombies ever (those white eyes, so creepy!).

Honorable mention:

4. BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL (aka HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN): Okay, Tom is totally copying me this time!  I’ll admit that I also have a real soft spot for Naschy’s thrillers.  Titles like this, A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE and HUMAN BEASTS provide a nice spin on the popular Italian giallo genre.  Naschy stars as a criminal who just happens to fall in with 3 sisters who might be crazier than him.  There are some really effective kill scenes and I think the ending is a great kicker that’ll make you go “Oooooooooh” when you think back to the title.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

El Hombre Mofo: Paul Naschy, Supporting Player

There is no doubt Paul Naschy had an incredible screen presence.  Hell, we wouldn’t have this amazing blogathon going on if he didn’t.  We all know him for his versatile lead performances, so today we’re going to examine a few of his smaller, supporting roles.  No doubt the filmmakers on these projects were well aware of the man’s charisma and reputation.  As a testament to his professionalism, he brought an undeniable quality to every role he took, be it large or small.

THE KILLER IS ONE OF THE THIRTEEN (1973) is a Spanish murder-mystery with some obvious Italian giallo influence right down to the black gloved killer and that “killer” title.  Widow Lisa Mandel (Patty Shepard) has assembled 12 friends of her late husband Carlos on the anniversary of his mysterious plane crash death.  Mrs. Mandel believes that one of the guests drugged him before his flight causing him to fall asleep at the controls and she plans to uncover the culprit over the long weekend at her isolated country home.  This is a pretty routine thriller that is very talk heavy with the first murder not happening until an hour into the picture.  Senor Naschy has a small role as the Mandel’s chauffer.  I firmly believe director Javier Aguirre, who previously directed Naschy in COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE (1972), cast him with the intention of exploiting audiences’ perception of the man as a horror star to offer one of many red herrings.  Naschy gets a “and the special participation” opening credit and has roughly 4 scenes (including a love scene and fight scene).  Unfortunately, poor Paul ends up on the wrong end of a wrench to the skull. 

Nearly three decades later and we have Naschy cast in another small but important role in a Spanish horror-thriller.  SCHOOL KILLER (2001) is your standard horror slasher film with a group of kids heading to an abandoned school to spend the night while looking for some ghost hunting thrills.  The school was the site of a massacre 27 years ago and it was perpetrated by the strictest of security guards (Naschy).  The bulk of Mr. Naschy’s performance is during an extended flashback to the massacre roughly 50 minutes into the film.  Director Carlos Gil obviously had a sense of respect for Naschy and his horror history to cast him in such a pivotal role.  Just a few years shy of 70 when this was made, Naschy gives the role his all, proving he still has the acting chops to be a sinister villain.  Naturally his performance is the highlight of this so-so film. 

ROTTWEILER (2004) appeared a few years later and was one of the few films Naschy made for an American director.  Co-financed by Filmax and filmed in Spain, the film centers on a young prisoner who is forced into a sadistic game of cat-n-mouse across the country with the robotic titular beast.  Behind all of this is slime ball Kufard (Naschy), whose authoritarian demeanor has no qualms separating young lovers so he can get his kicks.  Director Brian Yuzna delivers quite possibly the world’s most convoluted killer cyborg-dog picture, but he gets points for casting Naschy in the juicy supporting role.  Yuzna stated in interviews that he was a fan of the actor’s work, so it is nice to see him get the attention.  Naschy is once again appropriately menacing in his role and, despite having only two scenes, gives the best performance of the film.  Wait, I take that back.  The scared, soon-to-be-rottweiler-lunch rooster in one of the film’s funniest scenes should get that nod.    

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Though it may seem otherwise, we are here to praise Caesar, not to bury him. Even the most cunning of cinematic minds have their off days. Look at Dario Argento’s career post 1987! Goddamn, did he fall down and hit his head, hard, damaging the no-doubt chemically enhanced area of his cerebrum that held his unique talent? Until Argento donates his brain to science, we may never know. Nashy, fortunately, never fell off the same ladder. Just a stepstool.

Arguably, Paul Naschy’s career really didn’t hit its stride until 1972 with COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE and DR. JEKYLL VS. THE WOLFMAN. After making the classic THE MARK OF THE WOLFMAN (1968), Naschy seemed to stumble a bit before getting the mofo mojo back (uuummmm, just what the hell were they smoking when they made ASSIGNMENT TERROR, exactly?). One of those stumblings is a film that had potential but missed the mark in exactly the same way the lead character misses the trapeze, plummeting to a future filled with whiskey and hookers. Damn, if he was American, he could have played the blues for a living!

In the moral void of the early ‘70s Picadilly Circus, an unseen person picks up a hooker, following her back to her room. While climbing the stairs a little girl says hello to the woman. Once in the room, the hooker slowly strips in total silence. One piece of clothing at a time. Suddenly a knife flashes in a gloved hand and we see the knife penetrate flesh. The hooker lies dead, a bloody stain across her torso. As the person leaves the room, slowly walking down the squeaking stairs, the little girl watches the person leave.

Sittin' on a hooker's couch drinkin' Vat 69...
The kind of class usually reserved for

a Billy Dee Williams commercial.
This is going to be great! Hitchcock-esque use of silence, a great bit of suspense focusing on the killer’s feet walking slowly down the squeaking stairs towards the child. Set in a sleazy, dangerous vision of London as nothing but a thriving nest of seedy sex shows, prostitutes who throw themselves at the nearest cripple, booze-filled dives populated by knife-wielding thugs, SEVEN CORPSES sets itself up for success. Then we are introduced to Peter Dockerman, and it’s all down hill from there. Peter is an ex-circus performer who had a career-ending accident (shown as a shot of an empty trapeze and a second shot of Naschy rolling around in tights holding his knee). Now a bitter drunk, living off of his wife’s prostitution money and getting into bar brawls, he has become the police’s prime suspect in a spate of Jack the Ripper slayings.
The next night Peter’s wife is the prostitute killed and the cops are dead sure he is their man. Why? Because “it is our job to suspect everyone!” Commissioner Campbell authoritatively states. Okaaay... so then by that token, it could be a high-ranking police official! I mean, not that anyone would try that old ploy! Ha! Ha. Heh. Oh boy, this is going to be a long ride. The killer taunts the police with letters and body parts and we get more slow, nudity-free, strip-scenes almost fetishisticly followed by a stabbing. We actually get one of these every couple of minutes and at times seems more like a cheesy burlesque than a horror movie. Meanwhile the Commissioner enjoys many leisurely, calm, rational discussions with the local psyche professor about who this killer might be. The commish decides that the killer must be smooth and handsome so as to lure in his victims (dude, they’re fucking prostitutes! I don't know, but I’m pretty sure all you need is cash) the killer could be someone like… like the professor! Ha! Who would think such a thing? Yeah, you know... long ride.

Plenty more attempts at throwing around herrings of a variety of colors is tried here including one where a doped-up college kid stabs his girlfriend who tried to break up with him after the prof had a chat with her. There are no witnesses so the cops hypothesize that maybe the professor did it. The commissioner shoots this idea down because he “would have to be a gymnast” to get to the murder scene unseen! A gymnast you say? The plot thins…

You’d think that alternating between stripping, killing, taunting and hypothesizing, you’d have a pretty entertaining flick. Naschy plays his character with almost pitiable earnestness and there really isn’t much in the way of bright rays shining through the murk that is his life. Director José Luis Madrid, who later went on to direct Naschy in the more successful THE CRIMES OF PETOIT (1973) has all the trappings of a gritty, nasty, sleazy updating of the truly fascinating crimes of Jack the Ripper. One of the big problems is that all known prints of the movie are the “clothed” version which makes the many ridiculously long stripping scenes somewhat anti-climactic. Another is lack of locations. It’s all squalid, empty rooms or pitch black night. The opening scenes that establish the sleazy sex trade locations are long forgotten long before the second reel unwinds.

Even though Madrid is dead on target to receive the pass, he really doesn’t run with the ball, he kind of just stands there and waits for the defensive tackle to sack the living shit out of him. Largely focusing on talking heads making ridiculous hypotheses in small rooms, the film has so few characters in it, it’s pretty easy to figure out that one of the two characters other than Nashy is going to be the killer. The only thing left for Madrid to do is to try to bounce your suspicion back and forth between the two for about an hour plus. It’s really a shame as there is so much potential here. Madrid knows true crime, he knows Hitchcock, he’s got Paul Naschy, but he has no idea how to bring it all together. That said, if anyone finds the longer un-clothed version, I’d be more than happy to let you send me a copy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

El Hombre Mofo: THE CRIMES OF PETIOT (1972)

Welcome to another Video Junkie theme week!  This time we’ve decided to take the easy road and hop onto the Naschy Blogathon bandwagon coordinated by the Vicar of VHS at the great MAD MAD MAD MAD MOVIES blog.  Being huge Naschy fans ourselves, it seems like a perfect fit and we look as forward to writing about the man as much as reading others thoughts.  While best know for his record-setting Waldemar Danisky werewolf series (standing tall at 12 entries; take that THE HOWLING sequels), Naschy was a true cinematic chameleon and hit every genre imaginable. Here at Video Junkie we are looking to highlight his less well-known titles during this week.  And please be forewarned that our reviews will contain SPOILERS.

In terms of productivity, Naschy’s best year was 1972 with the actor completing seven features that year. Take that, Tom Cruise!  He also showed an incredible versatility as he portrayed a suave Dracula (COUNT DRACULA’S GREAT LOVE); a mystic guru (VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES); a lovelorn hunchback (HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE); a royal maniac and his descendant (HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB); and a guy caught up in the good and bad side of criminal situations (THE BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL, THE CRIMES OF PETIOT and RED LIGHT).  In addition to starring, Naschy had a hand in the screenplays of all of these features.

THE CRIMES OF PETIOT (LOS CRIMENES DE PETIOT) is set in Berlin, Germany and opens with a young man procuring the services of a working lady. He takes her to a run down building, but their session is quickly interrupted by a man in a black trench coat, black hat and black hood with only eyeholes.  This mysterious maniac shoots the young man dead and places a skull & bones pin on his corpse.  After a small chase, the killer chloroforms the girl and carries her to his lair.  When the girl awakens, she finds herself chained up and the masked man in front of her. Her abductor plays a strange tape that admonishes one Madeline (not this girl’s name) for her past sins and states he is her executioner coming to get her.  With that, the killer aims his Luger pistol and shoots her dead.  

We then meet our main characters – antique dealer Boris Villowa (Naschy) and his journalist girlfriend Vera (Patricia Loran).  She is covering the series of murders of young couples with the same modus operandi – the young man is always shot once in the head and the girl kidnapped only to be killed at a later unknown location – and Boris takes an interest in her subject.  Together with fellow journalist Heinrich Weiss (Fernando Marin), Vera and Boris theorize on the killer and his/her motives.  When Boris leaves on a business trip, they concoct a plan with other journalist Conrad Freund (Ramon Lillo) to trap the killer in a park by posing as romantic couples.  The idea fails miserably as nearly everyone gets cold-cocked, a female from the group is kidnapped and they arouse the suspicion of Inspector Muller (Vicente Haro).

"Say I look like John Belushi one more time..."
Muller, like all cliché cinematic cops, immediately suspects the killer must be one of these folks and puts everyone under surveillance.  Shortly afterward, the cops receive an audio tape and snuff film of the first murder.  Through background checks, Conrad sets of the biggest red flags as he was a member of the Hitler youth at age 14 and his father was a German SS officer.  The fact that he went missing and the cops found a gun hidden in his fireplace also help point the finger in his direction.  Boris also feels Conrad is the top suspect and dissention begins to form in the group with everyone suspecting everyone else.

Vera and Heinrich search Boris’ private office and find a mysterious key with an address on it.  They head to the isolated location and find Conrad sitting in room with Boris dead on a table, his throat sliced. They try to escape but Heinrich is shot dead as he exits the room. Vera runs about the house to escape Conrad and backtracks to the room he was sitting it.  Strangely, he is still seated in his chair and Boris’ body is gone.  She turns to escape and runs right into Boris. Ah, yes, he was the killer all along and explains his motives in the best SCOOBY DOO ending.  His real name is Macel Decidre Petiot and it seems during World War II that the 9-year-old Marcel saw his family executed by the Nazis in France after his father’s duplicitous lover Madeline turned them in.  Petiot feels he can’t be blamed for his crimes because they made him like this (“crime is like a handful of dust, impossible to contain” he eloquently puts it).  Just in the nick of time, the cops who have been exploring the tunnels under the Petiot house arrive and shoot him dead, giving Vera one hell of a scoop.

In terms of Naschy’s filmography, PETIOT is a minor film and certainly doesn’t rank among his best.  Re-teaming with 7 MURDERS FOR SCOTLAND YARD (1971) director/co-writer Jose Luis Madrid, Naschy finds himself in a film that is big on ideas but poor in terms of execution.  Like the aforementioned SCOTLAND (which was partially shot in London), this does benefit from some location filming. Unfortunately, the location footage (in both films) merely consists of the main principals walking around famous locations in the city, the result of a shoot that probably was a weekend vacation. Madrid also seems incapable of building any suspense.  The killer’s outfit immediately evokes a giallo feel and, most notably, Mario Bava’s BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (1964), but the comparison stops there as Madrid has no intention of being stylish.  Also, it doesn’t help that if one knows Naschy’s stocky frame that the “mysterious” killer’s identity is reveal right away. You couldn’t throw a body double swerve at us, Luis?  The final location, an expansive creepy house, is quite atmospheric but improperly handled as well.  One could drive themselves crazy thinking what Naschy collaborators (and more assured directors) Carlos Aured or Leon Klimovsky could have done with this material.

And it is really a shame because the material is definitely thought-provoking stuff.  Despite being known for his lycanthropic leanings, Naschy focuses on the real “monster in man” here.  A student of the macabre both real and fake, Naschy draws inspiration from not only 20th century Nazis but two real-life serial killers, one contemporary and one preceding.  The “hooded killer preying on couples and leaving his calling card/communications” aspects come directly from The Zodiac Killer, the notorious serial killer who stalked Northern California.  It was a sensational case at the time and there is no doubt Naschy was aware of it.  In addition, Naschy also draws inspiration from 1940s French serial killer Marcel Petiot.  Hell, that is even where he got the character’s name and I’m sure the filmmakers had no qualms cashing in on his exploits.  The real Petiot was a rather sadistic murder-for-profit bastard who would offer escape routes during WWII for a price, only to inject his customers with cyanide after taking their cash.  When discovered, he had 21 bodies laying about his home.  Mixing those two stories results in the psychological portrait on display in THE CRIMES OF PETIOT, which shows that ultimately man is still the scariest monster.  As Boris tells Vera when he is perusing her collection of true crime books, “It looks like you’ve taken your investigation very seriously.”  It looks like you did too, Mr. Naschy.