Saturday, November 15, 2008

Carlos Aured has died

Actually, he died months ago, but this was my write-up from then:

Wed., 6 Feb., 2008

Writer-Director Carlos Aured, one of the pioneers of Spanish horror cinema, died Sunday, from reasons undisclosed in the press.

Aured entered the cinema as an assistant director in the late 1960s, and iummediately gravitated to Spain's blossoming horror genre, only then beginning to emerge from beneath the thumb of fascist-era censorship. As an A.D. on WEREWOLF SHADOW (one of Spain's first horror mega-hits), he first worked with Spanish horror maven Paul Naschy, and, as he stepped up to director, the two would collaborate on a series of films that would continue to run, intermittently, until a few months before the directors' death, producing some of the finest work of either man.

Aured directed such chill-fests (and, often, howl-fests) as VENGENACE OF THE MUMMY, HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, CURSE OF THE DEVIL, and BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL. His screenplays include HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN (one of the greatest movie titles ever) and TRIUMPHS OF A MAN CALLED HORSE. Earlier last year, genre fans were delighted at the news that Aured, who had been essentially retired for some years, had been roped back into a new project by Naschy, SEAGULLS. This was followed by puzzlement when, without any real explanation, Aured left the production, turning over directing reins to Naschy, and, his death falling so close to that decision, one can't help but wonder if some illness that eventually claimed his life may have dictated it. (My Spanish isn't good enough to scan the Spanish press for details).

Aured's work was being introduced to a new generation of fans in the U.S. (and reenjoyed by some of us with a little more grey) via DVD. His BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL is scheduled for a special edition release next month by BCI/Deimos, a company which deserves particular credit for bringing early Spanish horror cinema to the format. Back in November, they'd released a very nice edition of his HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB, one of thie wildest, wackiest horror picture shows I'd seen in ages. Aured had participated in the production of that release, contributing a solid and quite animated (if not so well recorded) audio commentary with star Naschy. He gave the impression of someone who'd really loved his work, and loved talking about it.

And though he's dead, we haven't heard the last from Aured, either. At the same sessions in which that commentary was recorded, he and Naschy also recorded one for that upcoming BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL release. And his last collaboration with Naschy, SEAGULLS, is still on the horizon.

I'd only began to see Aured's movies last year, after having read about them for decades, and I've had a great deal of fun with them, particularly HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB. It's the sort of movie you watch partially in stunned disbelief, partially in utter delight, and conclude with a rip-roaring howl about how, damn it all to hell, they don't make 'em like they used to. They don't make 'em like Carlos did anymore. They don't make 'em like Carlos, either.

Carlos Aured was 71.


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