Sunday, 31 January 2010

Muerte de un quinqui

Retrospectively one thing about Paul Naschy's films, regardless of where we situate them generically, whether as horror, giallo- or crime-thriller, is that his presence seems to guarantee the inclusion of particular scenes and ideas that we would not get were someone else cast in the role.

As in Italy circa 1975, crime appears out of control in Spain as well; a guarded attack on the regime?

Scripted by Naschy himself under his real name Jacinto Molina, Muerte de un QuinquiDeath of a Hoodlum – is a case in point.

The heist

Naschy plays a psychopathic robber, Marcos, who guns down two men during a jewellery heist, stamps and kicks his girlfriend into a coma (Seul contre tous, anyone?), and flees from the rest of the gang with the loot which he had been safekeeping until their fence arrived.

As with the limping Peter Dockerman in the Jose Luis Madrid directed Spanish giallo Jack the Ripper of London, Marcos is physical handicapped, wearing a hearing aid as a result of being beaten by his father as a child.

As with Gilles in the Carlos Aured directed Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, he's also psychologically traumatised, being fixated on his mother, who was killed by his father in the same incident, and defending her name against any criticism.


Her traumatic murder

And its consequences

More generally Marcos is one of Naschy's tragic villains / monsters, as much a victim of circumstances and history as anything else. This links him back to the most famous of his characters, the reluctant werewolf Waldemar Daninsky.

Having arrived in the sticks, Marcos gets a job as a handyman on a farm. At this point the similarities with Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll are again foregrounded in that the farm is inhabited by three people, one in a wheelchair. This time, however, it's a husband and wife – he is the one in the chair – and their attractive daughter. The mother and daughter look like sisters and, like the sisters in Aured's film, are soon both romantically involved with Marcos.

In addition to bedding his co-stars, Naschy also strips down to his waist to chop some wood and generally show off his weightlifter's physique, again all as per usual.

Cody Jarrett redux?

Eventually the rest of the gang, headed by Frank Brana, show up, just as the games between Marcos and the family turn deadly serious...

Leon Klimovksy, who also produced, directs with his usual efficiency.

[See also]


Elliot James said...

Never saw this Naschy. I'll have to find it.

The Vicar of VHS said...

You know I'm a huge Naschy fan, and one of the things I love is the way his films seem to establish a cinematic language of symbols and vocabulary that is unique to his work. If you "speak Naschy," then it's immensely enjoyable.

I've got a copy of this film sans subtitles; where did you find the subtitled print, if you don't mind my asking? Email me if it's sensitive info--addy on the site. :)

K H Brown said...

I downloaded the AVI and SRT files from Cinemageddon.

If you're not a member there then I could send you the SRT - if it's the same print then it will synch up okay.

Let me know...

The Vicar of VHS said...

Thanks--I am a member. I'll seek it out!