Retro-review: New on BluRay as part of The Shout Factory’s The Paul Naschy Collection II; help me out and pick it up on DVD/BluRay here on Amazon!
HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (1973)
aka RUE MORGUE MASSACRES, HUNCHBACK OF THE RUE MORGUE
Directed by Javier Aguirre
Written by Javier Aguirre, Alberto S. Insúa, Paul Naschy
Starring Paul Naschy, Rosanna Yanni, Víctor Barrera, María Elena Arpón, Manuel de Blas, Antonio Pica, Kino Pueyo, Adolfo Thous, Ángel Menéndez, Fernando Sotuela, Sofía Casares, Antonio Mayans, Susan Taff, Blaki, Dani Card, Alberto Dalbés, Maria Perschy
I’m diving into the second Shout Factory Collection of Paul Naschy films. Once again, this is a wonderful showcase of a talent that deserved more recognition. Paul Naschy, former circus strongman turned filmmaker and actor, starred in a ton of genre films ranging from monster mashups to giallo mysteries. I’ll be covering this new collection is going to be a treat. Here goes…
I think a better name for this film should be “Nothing Good For Gotho” as Naschy stars as a hunchback named Gotho who just can’t get a break. Ridiculed by pretty much the entire town, Gotho befriends a young lady on her deathbed at the hospital. Working in the morgue, Gotho delivers bodies from one locale to another and likes to talk with the corpses. Falling head over heels with the sick girl, he is devastated when she dies and vows to find some reason to bring her back. He steals her corpse and takes it to the ruins in a nearby church. At the same time, a doctor is booted from the same hospital for experimental practices. Knowing Gotho has a sweet hideout, the doctor promises him that he can bring his dead love back to life as long as he provides fresh bodies for the doctor’s experiments. But as the bodies pile up and a creature is made, it is apparent that the monster in the closet is not Gotho’s lost love.
Yes, the story is convoluted, but the way it rises and falls is absolutely addictive. Gotho’s plans are, of course, insane, especially since so much stuff happens to the corpse. It’s downright comical what happens to the body of Gotho’s love and while it is horrific for Gotho himself, I couldn’t stop laughing at the way life just seems to punish Gotho and his wounded heart over and over by whittling away the corpse.
“Ohhh, nothing good for Gotho…”
I love the way this story twists and turns and you can’t help but be surprised at the way this film starts out quietly with Gotho shulking his way down the street and ends with an abrupt battle within the catacombs. There is much drama and horror to be experienced in between and Naschy really does a great job as the hunchback who can’t get a break. You feel for him as pretty much everyone (except for a bombshell psychiatrist who looks past his hump and lets him get a hump in on her…) treats him like shit. Naschy doesn’t really wear a lot of makeup for this role—just a hump and a fake scar over his eye, but everyone seems to still think he has the face of a baboon and doesn’t shy away from telling him about it. Naschy brings to life this classic character and while there is no belltower for him to leap around in, his life is just as horrible as Quasimodo’s and the role is just as sympathetic.
“Ohhh, nothing good for Gotho…”
HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE is a schlocky good time. There’s gratuitous gore, low cut blouses, and characters you can really get into. There is an odd feeling of time in this film as some people are dressed in old school Victorian garb, while others are wearing seventies fashions. Still, even the inconsistency in costuming adds to the charm of this one. Naschy once again adds a sympathetic bend to a monstrous character. I’ve saved a lot of the horrors for you to enjoy and I’m sure, if you’re into schlocky horror, you surely will enjoy this one.
Except for Gotho. Nothing good happens for Gotho…
Other films in the Paul Naschy Collection Vol.1!
NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF
HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB
VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES
BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL
Other Paul Naschy Films!
A WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON
If you like the review above, help me out and click on the link to buy it on Amazon here!!!