Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rojo Sangre (2004)

Rojo Sangre is both a tribute to his career as a sharp satire over how easy media forget. Actors are like vampires, they need blood to survive, and blood in this case is the love from the audience, the film crew and director. Paul Naschy had his ups and downs but worked steadily over the years, where he could find money or interest. From big budgets in Japan to shot-on-video crap-fests in Amsterdam. But at least he worked and worked and that passion, that energy, gave him a stamp of approval in the horror community. He was proud over his work, had a great ego and knew how to get in bed the most beautiful women.

In Rojo Sangre he is Pablo Thevenet, an ex movie-star, now an old man trying to find jobs with humiliating himself in the hands of arrogant newcomers and a cold-hearted agent. One day he’s offered a job in a sex club, nothing graphic – just stand outside the door doing famous characters from history. 10000 euro per week! He can’t say no even if he feels humiliated and hates the job. Soon he finds himself in more and more violent situations, killing of people in the movie- and entertainment-business, often dressed like his characters. He’s becoming a killer, a killer of bad entertainment! But every job has plus and minuses, and this has a couple of VERY devilish minuses…

Written by Naschy, this is in a way the most daring and emotional “personal” and self-reflecting movie you will see. Much like Targets and Madhouse, this is a movie about the final days, or at least the golden years of a genre actor who just works because he must survive and seeks that extra boost to finally find inspiration again. Naschy has a sharp pen and the scathing criticism towards the celebrity culture, the obsession of youth and the shallow entertainment news is of course even more up-to-date now then it was in 2004.

Finally we can also see Naschy has “himself”, playing a character that’s not a monster under make-up or silly dialogue. This is him, doing a magnificent performance has a very vulnerable and frustrated man. The first scene when he’s doing an audition for a small movie part is painful to see. We sense that this is something that actually could have happen during the years when Naschy was a nobody, before he found his way back to the fans and audience.

Like the character of Thevenet the story and visuals get more and more abstract along the way, until we’re not sure what is fantasy and what is reality. Our hero finally gets his best actor prize in the end, and in real life he got the Time-Machine Honorary Award at the Sitges festival for his life-time achievement in movies.

Rojo Sangre is a fantastic final, big role for Naschy and he will live long after many other so called movie stars has left us.

Long Live Naschy!


Jesper said...

Sounds really good! What other Naschy can you recommend? Haven't seen that many yet and when I was about to there where just too many and I didn't know where to start!

Ninja Dixon said...

Jesper, you have a lot to enjoy!

My favorites - which don't guarantee you're gonna like them, are these: