Paul Naschy – El caminante AKA The Traveller (1979)

On the surface, EL CAMINANTE (THE TRAVELER) can be considered a pitch black comedy much in the tradition of TOM JONES, ribald and humorously wicked, a morality play set against a backdrop of excessive fornication and gluttony. Yet, at the same time, it is an evil rondo of debauchery, cold-blooded murder, robbery and unfettered greed. But, above all, it is an artist’s verbal and visual portrait of the moral and ethical decay undermining the foundation of mankind. On whatever level you chose to accept this movie, you will find situations that may make you laugh, cry or even shout in outrage–and, if you look within yourself deeply enough, you may even glimpse some disturbingly recognizable traits.

Made by Horus Films SA in 1979 and released in April 1980, EL CAMINANTE was written, directed and acted by Paul Naschy and is a reasonably accurate measure of the man’s own driven passion and exuberance for life as well as his disillusionment with same and, frankly, his none too optimistic opinion of humanity in general at that period in time.

Naschy portrays Senor Leonardo, the devil in human form, come to earth to see how mankind has progressed over the centuries. The only condition of his sojourn is that he accept the mantle of mortality. EL CAMINANTE follows Leonardo’s year long journey across the countryside as he visits the seven deadly sins on those who have the unfortunate honor of crossing his path. All of his victims forfeit something for the encounter whether it be wealth, love, manhood, dignity, life or eternal salvation. None are spared as he takes delight in seeing the depths to which an individual will sink. His is a quest to tempt new souls to damnation and all is fair. Ultimately, however, he comes to realize that mankind, on its own accord, has far exceeded his own abilities to corrupt. So much so, that Leonardo, himself, falls victim to his own devices by film’s end.

Naschy has perfectly captured the bewitching lure of the devil. A rakish smile, sweet lies and seductive charm entice women to his bed, among them the mother superior of a convent. When sex is not an option he uses man’s inherent greed to entrap. And when all else fails, he loots his victims of life and worldly goods with cold-blooded efficiency.

The moral, indeed if there is one, seems to be this–the devil’s influence is invasive and until mankind learns not to exult and embrace wealth, power, greed and immorality as positive role models it will never be free of the devil’s influence. EL CAMINANTE benefits from a terrific cast of actors lead by Naschy and also includes Sara Lezana, Irene Gutierrez Caba, Silvia Aguila, David Rocha, Blanca Estrada and Adriana Vega. Alejandro Ulloa, director of photography, creates beautiful images of subtle shadows and naked flesh, using candlelight and subdued lighting to their best effect. Ulloa also worked as DP on MADRID AL DESNUDO, EL CARNAVAL DE LAS BESTIAS, EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE LOBO (my favorite Daninsky film) and LOS CANTABROS.

The musical score by Angel Arteaga, though limited in the number of themes employed, is still one of the best for a Naschy film. Arteaga is a prolific composer who scored or co-scored fifteen of Naschy’s films and Japanese documentaries, among them being, LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO, LA FURIA DEL HOMBRE LOBO, EL RETORNO DE WALPURGIS, EL HUERTO DEL FRANCES, LA BESTIA Y LA ESPADA MAGICA and EL ULTIMO KAMIKAZE. Paul Naschy received the Award of Honor at the 9th Annual Festival of Fantastic Cinema and Science Fiction in Paris for his cultural contribution to film with EL CAMINANTE. That same year Naschy and EL CAMINANTE received a special award from the International Festival of Imaginary Cinema and Science Fiction of Madrid for innovative work within fantastic cinema.

It is easy to understand why Paul Naschy holds this movie in such high regard, as well as EL HUERTO DEL FRANCES. He considers these two films the best of his career. But he, himself, has described EL CAMINANTE as being “the most personal and sensitive” of all his films.

2.74GB | 1h 32m | 960×576 | mkv


About admin

One comment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.