×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Modern Spanish Horror Pioneer Narciso ‘Chicho’ Ibáñez Serrador Dies at 83

Spanish cinema has lost an understated giant with Friday’s passing of genre film and TV pioneer Narciso “Chicho” Ibañez Serrador, dead at the age of 83.

Although he only filmed two features, both stand out as milestones in the country’s early genre cannon, 1970’s “La Residencia” (“The House That Screamed”) and 1976’s “¿Quién puede matar a un niño?” (“Who Can Kill a Child?”).

The films anticipated Spain’s surge in upscale genre auteur, and helped evolve the medium from quickly produced hack-and-slash fare intended to make a quick buck at the box office, to films with aesthetics, psychology and humanistic narratives that stood and stand out in international cinema.

In Spain he is equally well-regarded for his work in TV with programs such as “Un, dos, tres… responda otra vez,” in its time the biggest game show in Spain, and the legendary horror series “Historias para no dormir” (Literally, “Stories to Keep You Awake”).

In February of this year the Spanish Academy presented Ibáñez with an honorary Goya Award for lifetime achievement. The award was presented by Alejandro Amenábar (“The Others”), J.A. Bayona (“The Orphanage”), Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (“[REC]”), Rodrigo Cortés (“Buried”), Alex de la Iglesia (“The Day of the Beast,” another milestone in Spanish genre), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (“28 Weeks Later”) and Nacho Vigalondo (“Colossal”) – one indication of the ample influence Ibañez has had on one of Europe’s most-talented genre generations.

Many of the group shared condolences across social media on Friday, including Bayona who tweeted a link to a story in Spanish newspaper El País and accompanying video of a meeting he and Ibañez shared ahead of this year’s Goyas in which the publication labels the two as the grandfather and grandson of Spanish horror.

He also penned a brief statement: “A capital figure of our cinema has gone. Master and teacher, he filmed a pair of masterpieces and we caught his love for the great classics of terror. RIP Narciso Ibáñez Serrador. Thanks for the laughter, the scares, the tears and the lessons in cinema.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • San-Sebastian

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

  • MARIANA-RONDÓN-MARITÉ-UGÁS

    FiGa Snags 'Contactado,' By The Team Behind San Sebastian Winner 'Pelo Malo' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to “Contactado,” the upcoming feature by Sudaca Films’ Marité Ugás and Mariana Rondón, the duo behind San Sebastian 2013 Golden Shell winner, “Pelo Malo.” The Sudaca partners are attending San Sebastian to pitch Rondón-helmed project “Zafari” at the 8th Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum. Directed by [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' Lifts Above Competition at International Box Office With $26 Million

    Though “Ad Astra” was overthrown by the Crawley family at the domestic box office, Brad Pitt’s astronaut drama reigned supreme at the international box office. Directed by James Gray, “Ad Astra” launched overseas with $26 million from 44 foreign markets. The $80 million sci-fi epic debuted in North America with $19.2 million, bringing global box [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    Toronto's Biggest Deal Goes to HBO: A Sign of the Future? (Column)

    When it comes to how we’ll be watching movies — or, at least, watching serious dramas for adults — in the future, here are two stark and timely contradictory facts: 1. Last week, as the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, a deal that had been in the rumor stage for a while [...]

  • 'Talking About Trees' Helmer Suhaib Gasmelbari

    'Talking About Trees' Director Suhaib Gasmelbari Receives Variety MENA Award

    Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose Sudanese documentary “Talking About Trees” premiered in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, received the Variety Middle East and North Africa Region Talent Award Saturday at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt from festival director Intishal Al Timimi. Variety critic Jay Weissberg, who selected the honoree, said that it is not usual that [...]

  • Josefina-Molina

    Josefina Molina: Still Battling After All These Years

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — She isn’t done yet. The battling character of Josefina Molina, winner of Spain’s 2019 National Cinematography Prize, was glimpsed in her acceptance speech at the San Sebastian Festival on Saturday. She used part to thank those who had given crucial help, such as, among women, editors Nieves Martin (1981’s “Función de Noche,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content