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(1979)

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Naschy's Best Film
Michael_Elliott21 July 2018
El caminante (1979)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Tomas (David Rocha) is a young man who is befriended by Leonardo (Paul Naschy) who promises him a great adventure, which will lead to wealth. What Tomas doesn't realize is that Leonardo is actually the Devil who has come to Earth to see what man is like.

EL CAMINANTE, also known as THE DEVIL INCARNATE, is considered by many to be Paul Naschy's masterpiece. Naschy will always be remembered for the various horror films that he appeared in but we all know his most famous character was playing the werewolf in a string of movies that made him a horror legend. EL CAMINANTE is a lesser known picture and that's a real shame because it's a perfectly entertaining black comedy that really has a lot going for it.

When this film was originally announced I wasn't familiar with it but after some research it became clear that many considered it Naschy's best. Usually this type of hype ends up in disappointment but that actually wasn't the case here because I thought the film was extremely good and I'd agree that it was the best film from Naschy. Not only is it the best screenplay I've seen from him but I'd also argue that his direction was spot-on throughout and even his performance was quite great.

Basically what happens is that we see the Devil character going from one scene to the next where he encounters a wide range of people and all of them fall for the temptation that he offers them. This leads to some extremely funny scenes and I must admit that I was shocked to see how well Naschy handled the comic timing. Not only in his performance but the way, as a director, he builds up the scenes and the laughs. I thought Naschy was superb in the role of the Devil and he really fit the part perfectly and delivered.

The film offers up plenty of sex, violence and nudity so fans of EuroSleaze will be really happy. That's especially true in regards to the nudity as there are a large number of beautiful ladies who strip down. EL CAMINANTE is certainly a highly entertaining film that mixes laughs with a bunch of sleaze and in the end the picture really delivered the goods.
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6/10
Bawdy Historical Hokum
Theo Robertson5 May 2015
Another review of a Paul Naschy film from me and this time it's a tongue in cheek bawdy historical black comedy where Naschy plays the devil in human form , calls himself Leonardo , takes a young man called Tomas under his wing and shows how humanity can be easily taken in they give way to the sins of lust and greed

That's basically it story wise but to be fair it is relatively amusing and Naschy appears to be having a lot of fun in a type of role I rarely see him in which probably explains why I think it's one of his better performances from an actor who isn't really in danger of being Oscar nominated . That said EL CAMINANTE is very one note and episodic . Leonardo and Tomas arrive at someones dwellings , Leonardo rogers the mistress of the house to within an inch of her life and then it's back to the beaten track for a couple of minutes before arriving at another dwelling to do a bit more rogering . Keep repeating again until the end credits come up . There's not really much more to the plot than that and any subtext there is is all too obvious - don't give in to temptation . There's also a rather haphazard element to the editing which gives the impression some of the film has ended up on the cutting room floor when it shouldn't have but like I said things happen that are relatively amusing in a relatively amusing film
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7/10
THE TRAVELER (Jacinto Molina, 1979) ***
Bunuel19761 February 2011
Paul Naschy's third historical outing proved to be not just the best of the loose trilogy but perhaps his finest work ever, a feat rewarded with a couple of nods at Fantasy Film Festivals. Interestingly, it presents yet another facet to the question of Evil which is so often treated in films boasting a medieval setting: indeed, in THE DEVIL'S POSSESSED (1974), he had been a Satanist; in INQUISITION (1976), an oppressor and – eventually – victim of Devil worship; whereas, here, he is the personification of all that is unholy, since he plays Lucifer himself in human form (his face occasionally taking a red sheen for maximum impact)!

Naschy's script, too, is undoubtedly his most fascinating – as its episodic structure intelligently takes a logical progression. The Devil (disguised as a wanderer) meets with a man who directs him to a nearby house for shelter, but proceeds to kill him instead. Then, he meets a younger man being tormented by his blind master, whom he helps and takes under his wing. Going to the indicated premises, he seduces the crippled woman while her husband is away at work but subsequently denounces, and brands (which scene even became the film's poster), as a whore and robs of her savings. Later on, he goes to another family, where he purports to save a dying girl's life – the price being to share her mother's bed (even getting her pregnant, with the begotten child's fate left hanging in the balance by the film's conclusion and the woman herself a suicide!).

Our 'heroes' next hit upon a caravan – where Naschy plays the idiot to distract the noble couple at its head, while his companion cleverly gets rid of their entourage (by promising gold but leading them into a deadly trap). On to a convent (to which he and his ally turn up dressed in the habits of two friars they had come across and assaulted) where, naturally, superstition and repressed sexuality are rampant – thus easy prey to The Devil's wiles. Here, however, he had counted without the nuns' lusty gardener who gives him a piece of his mind on sensing the threat to his 'territory'! They wake up in a whorehouse, where the two obviously find themselves at home – but this time their ties are irrevocably severed (though not before the young man is allowed glimpses into mankind's less-than-encouraging future via newsreel footage of WWII, the Holocaust and the Atom Bomb!), when Naschy sells his partner to a gay nobleman!!

The boy takes revenge by having the lackeys of his new master (thanks to whom he is finally on his way to Court, and to where he had previously hoped Naschy would lead him) crucify his former companion/tutor – leading to a brief but striking moment where The Devil asks a stone figure of the martyred Christ how could he have given his life for such an ungrateful species as the human race! The film ends with a reversal of its opening sequence: Naschy helping out an apparently weary traveler and being turned upon yet again…only he now opts to show off his omnipotence, and merely – jeeringly – laughs in the face of man's selfishness and greed.

While fully displaying the inherent appeals of this type of film, namely cinematography (by "Euro-Cult" stalwart Alejandro Ulloa, with especially nice candle-lit interiors), production design, costumes and music, the tone here is curiously – yet endearingly – bawdy (with the star himself participating in nude scenes and sarcastically exclaiming "Vade retro, Satanas!" while bedding the convent's Mother Superior). This was actually the style adopted by countless erotic comedies of the "Decameron" variety that emanated from Italy earlier in the decade; a speeded-up orgy, then, clearly bears the influence of Stanley Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971).

Incidentally, I had recently come up with a premise in which the coming of the Anti-Christ is treated in Bunuelian, i.e. agnostic, terms – and I knew Naschy's effort would be among those I was required to watch for inspiration! In conclusion, in view of the recent discussion I had with Michael Elliott about the star's work, I ended up acquiring the intriguing sci-fi piece THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK (1976), which I will be checking out presently...
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8/10
Devilish performance by Paul Naschy.
HumanoidOfFlesh19 February 2015
Paul Naschy plays The Devil in human form,who walks among morally corrupt mankind.He destroys lives of all people with whom he met.Naschy uses temptation and mischief to achieve as much sexual pleasure and money as he can.His loyal acolyte is named Tomas."El Caminante" was written and directed by Paul Naschy himself.The film plays more like black comedy and morality tale than horror movie.It's loaded with sleazy nudity and moral decay.Lying,cheating,stealing and manipulating.Everything is permitted to obtain money and sexual pleasure.There is truly disturbing footage from Second World War when Tomas has a vision of the future.The acting of Pauly Naschy is excellent and the film is rich in atmosphere.8 amoral vices out of 10.
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9/10
Great entry point for non Naschy fans
christopher-underwood22 August 2013
I'm not a massive Paul Naschy fan, he is enthusiastic and has produced numerous and fairly varied films, always on the edge but equally always with limited budgets which sometimes shows more than one would wish. But here's a surprise, one I'd never even heard of and its great! Bawdy, blasphemous, cynical and funny, it is also very well constructed, with decent dialogue and persuasive performances. Basically, our director plays the lead (of course) and represents the devil on earth giving himself a break from his normal duties and getting his hands dirty closer to the action, as you might say. Some scenes are more cruel than others but none of it is very nice, as you might expect, if the very devil himself, is leading the way. Lots of deceived ladies and robbed dignitaries and much fun along the way. Naschy has a glint in his eye throughout and when the most terrible (or best) bits are about to unfold, his face glows devil red. Really! Great entry point for non Naschy fans, an absolute must for existing fans and generally good, bad taste fun for all.
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7/10
It's like I am being possessed by the Devil!
lastliberal-853-25370822 December 2013
No werewolves this time as Paul Naschy writes, directs, and stars in a film about the Devil.

It seems that the Devil (Naschy) is traveling the world on a sort of holiday to take stock of how mankind is doing. A tale of debauchery and gluttony, he discovers the seven deadly sins are alive and well.

Silvia Aguilar and Adriana Vega both star in this film. They have long resumes of nudity in film, and they do not disappoint here. Of course, there are lesser stars appearing nude also.

In the end, the Devil finds that men are as bad if not worse than he is. He robs, and fornicates, and cheats his way, but he is robbed and cheated and left for dead himself.
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9/10
El Caminante' is arguably one of the more diabolically intriguing occult offerings from Spain's most quixotic genre filmmaker!
Weirdling_Wolf21 June 2021
'El Caminante is grimly set in doomy medieval times, and the sublimely talented writer/director Paul Naschy appears to be having a devilish good time playing a tantalizingly mysterious, itinerant traveller Leonardo (Paul Naschy) a darkly enigmatic, murderously philosophical rogue, which, unsurprisingly appears tailor-made for someone with Naschy's innate, almost preternatural talent for creating fascinating, larger-than-life villains, and an unusually mercurial talent for monstrously malevolent monster making!

After a while observing this perverse pilgrim's progress, it soon becomes increasingly obvious that Leonardo is a far from righteous individual, his motivations being entirely mercenary, if not somewhat satanic in nature! With his young eager-to-please acolyte in tow, this frequently fornicating, exquisitely eerie epicurean finally finds himself stripped of all his nefariously acquired wealth and is taken into a lusty bordello wherein his seemingly limitless propensity for evil percolates to ever more profane levels of ignominy and foul licentiousness, finally culminating in a grisly, theologically intriguing, blood n' thunder climax that certainly gives the viewer much more to ponder on than the lurid narrative might have initially suggested! 'El Caminante' is arguably one of the more diabolically intriguing occult offerings from Spain's most quixotic genre filmmaker, and is demonstratively a must-own title for all Naschy fans!
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6/10
El caminante
RaulFerreiraZem24 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best bad films i've seen in a while. Without any cohesive plot at all, the film instead shows us a sequence of strangely compelling anectodes about this drifter who we end up discovering is nothing less than the devil himself. With morals that can be traced right back to Marquis de Sade Naschy's character cheats and murders his way to wealthyness and then loses it all and then wins it all back because he is the devil anyway so he always wins(?) it doesn't really make that much sense and i don't think it's supposed to anyway. While i did have a lot of fun watching it, the film has its flaws, mainly because it is absolutely ugly; Every color seems muddy and blurry , the costumes are really cheap and so are the indoors locations. Not only that but the dialogue is frequently unintentionally funny and the acting is mostly pretty bad. So to sum up, El caminante is not a very good film but it's super fun so who cares?
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9/10
CROWNING TOWARDS SIN
liodavix17 February 2019
The walker is undoubtedly a very peculiar and personal film within the filmography of Paul Naschy, Jacinto Molina, as here appears accredited.

And personal because the already mythical actor reflects his obsessions and personal tastes for marginal characters, fantastic elements, metaphysical reflections and eroticism.

Set like another of his best Inquisition films, in the Spanish Golden Age, Naschy shows us the adventures of a despicable and rude vagabond, a traveler whose lack of scruples make him a true devil on earth. Said demon in turn will take a young apprentice who will be responsible for transmitting all their malevolent wisdom while walking the roads of the Castilian lands leaving its sad and sinister wake.

The film has a magnificent rhythm accompanied by a very accurate photograph of Ulloa. Naschy manages to transmit all the force and evil energy that distills his character through the entire film with a more than acceptable performance.

There are also plenty of nudes and risqué scenes so typical of this director, although it must be understood that in that Spain just outside the dictatorship there was a great demand from the public to enjoy female nudes.

It is a deep, unhealthy, coarse and reflective film about human nature, how men create their own hell in paradise and how man and the devil walk together on earth in a circle of endless sin.

Highly recommended
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