Tag Archives: spain

Rec 4 – Apocalypse (2015)

 

Day 2 – Rec 4 – Apocalypse

Director: Jaume Balagueró.
Starring. Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzanedo, Hector Colome, Ismael Fritschi. Spain. 1h 35m.

After the bizarre comedy train wreck of Rec 3, it seems we’re back to the original plot and start to get some peculiar answers to this watery isolated thriller. This film is set after the events of Rec 2, Angela has been rescued (again) the army have demolished he tenant building and she’s quarantined on soon to be retired fishing boat while she’s tested for a cure to this viral outbreak.

Continue reading Rec 4 – Apocalypse (2015)

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H6 Diario de un asesino /  Diary of a serial killer  (2005)

aofa31days2016

Day 7 of 31

Director: Martín Garrido BarónStarring: Raquel Arenas Alejo Sauras Antonio Mayans Spain 1h 32m

H6: DIARY OF A SERIAL KILLER, (aka H6: DIARIO DE UN ASESINO), Maria Jose Bausa, Fernando Acaso, 2005. ©Tartan USA
H6: DIARY OF A SERIAL KILLER, (aka H6: DIARIO DE UN ASESINO), Maria Jose Bausa, Fernando Acaso, 2005. ©Tartan USA

The Spanish are brilliant at making some very relaxed and chilled films with equally laid back characters, and what seems to shock more in this film is just how disturbed and playful this serial killer is, for most of the film he’s just mulling around the kitchen in a cardigan making delicious food and then when he gets the urge he’s raping women and chainsawing them into bloody pieces.

Apparently it’s not inspired by any real serial killer but it claims to have inspired various films such as Se7en (1995). So with these bold claims how could I not give this some attention… but I feel the claims are a little ambitious, while watching the film I could easily see a lot of connections to real killers but when you break things down it’s not all that impossible to find such connections when watching a movie about serial killers. Continue reading H6 Diario de un asesino /  Diary of a serial killer  (2005)

Frida (2002)

Frida

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A lavish biopic, half artistic masterpiece half Spanish soap opera, this historical account of the life of Frida Khalo is a stunning as her work. I’m a little bias here as I’ve always studied artist and art literally for my whole life. And i wish there were more artist movies like this when I was school as it would have saved me a lot of reading.

It’s never easy to try and sum up an entire life in one film, it’s hard enough to summarise in it in a book, and there is always more in the book than a movie.. but this film does a great job at detailing a lot of the great features in this unusual diva’s life. Continue reading Frida (2002)

Extinction (2015)

extinction

Director: Miguel Angel Vivas .
Starring: Matthew Fox, Jeffrey Donovan, Quinn McColgan . Spain, France, USA, Hungry. 1h 50m.

I’m at that stage where “infected” movies are actually starting to get on my nerves, especially the ones which just regurgitate the same old boring nonsense again and again, but there is something strangely unique about Extinction in that a fantasy safe zone has been erected around a family and an enemy/friend who has moved in next door but it’s not enough to really save this lengthy film, we dont need heart warming we need heart eating!!

There isn’t a lot of back story as we’re thrust into a dangerous and violent introduction as a bus travelling in the snow is attacked by “mutant/zombie/vampires” Zomutires? and it’s quite a gory beginning to this survival movie, this is brilliant as we are adults and understand he basics, so well done there, but what follows doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense but at times is scary and suspenseful. Continue reading Extinction (2015)

The Enemy (2013)

the enemy japanese film poster

Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Based on: The Double by Jose Saramago
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini. Canada, Spain. 1h 31m.

Every now and again an amazingly bizarre psychological thriller filters through to the big screen. and they usually go unnoticed as they don’t cause a lot of hype with the masses but this surreal doppelganger mystery is filled with some of the most curious and breathtaking cinema that I’ve seen for quite some time.

A man attends an erotic show in an underground club that ends just as a naked woman is on the verge of crushing a live spider under her heels, elsewhere a pregnant woman is sitting at home alone. Continue reading The Enemy (2013)

Halley (2012)

Halley 2012

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I found this movie by total accident, I dunno what drew me to it, the decaying body on the cover or the name!? I love space and shit and what’s not to love about the Halley’s comet!? But what’s the connection!?

Well the film tells the fragile tale about Beto (Alberto Trujilo) a security guard working in a mexico city gym, who’s shy and reserved due to his  body being consumed by a mysterious sickness that seems to isolate him further from humanity. The illness? Well in a similar way to Thanatomorphose (2012) and the cheap rehash Contracted (2013), both dealing with people who are slowly decaying from some unknown disease. The actual contraction isn’t noted in the film, similar to Thanatomorphose (2012) Something just happens, although Beto gets more time to deal with his disease he injects himself with embalming fluids, and is a medical genius, keeping his wounds clean and removing maggots from his flesh. It’s incredibly slow at times, but the interactions between the few people he encounters are brilliant, a morgue assistant, his boss, who treats him to an amazing night out and details the astonishing Halley’s comet to him using a flashlight in a power cut darkened room. In Between these scenes are similar to those long drawn out cuts in Hunger (2008).

This film deal with a unknown and morbid disease and one incredibly lonely person who is coming to terms with his Frankenstein existence.

I really loved the atmosphere of the film, the character was totally isolated and the reflection of that was spot on. There is also a lot to be said about his quiet fragile life verses the lives of all the big healthy bodies in the gym that he looks after.

Not a film that will gain a lot of popularity, mostly due to it not being in English and there are some slow scenes and that seems unpopular with the masses, but an instant favourite for me, with a very loose tie in with Frankenstein, the film is so very graphic in it’s depiction of the rot that you can almost smell it’s acrid bitterness  and despite it being quite uneasy it’s what I love about cinema that causes a reaction in me… i’ll explain in the full review.

10/10

Topos – Moles (2012)

topos

Director: Emiliano Romero
Starring: Lautaro Delgado, Mauricio Dayub, Pompeyo Audivert . Spain. 1h 40m

I wasn’t prepared for this movie, the blurb and cover led me into thinking I was about to watch some kind of contemporary dance interpretation of a class war. The film highlights all of the key points that you’d expect from a futuristic class divide, similar to the one in Demolition Man (1993) but way more artistic but the twisted humor really brings the film into it’s own rites as a beautiful and funny look at how ridiculous we can be in dividing people.

Beginning with a close up of The Mole (Lautaro Delgado) applying heavy and dramatic theatrical makeup, similar to that in Black Swan (2010), in the background a girl bangs a drum and announces that the show is about to start… Cutting back in time, the first introduction goes to the squalid underworld of the moles or rats as they are called frequently throughout the film. El Topo’s father, Kongo is a revolutionary, hell bent on waging war against the world above and is determined that his children follow suit and remain loyal to the cause. In order to escape this fate, El Topo and his nymphomaniac sister kidnap a promising dancer, Amadeo, so El Topo can take his place in a dance academy. The story of El Topo is quite charming, he’s always dreamt of being a dancer and watches and studies the students through the vents and cracks, striving to get out of his world and into theirs, but once he’s in the school he realizes that he’s still an outsider, with poor hygiene and a bad posture but somehow this goes ignored but he enlists some help to perfect his skills and attempts to live his dream.

The world below is almost identical to the vegan sewer dwellers in Delicatessen (1991) the biggest difference is that the community here is much more advanced, with peddlers selling cooked rats and a thriving red light district, the world above is limited to ONLY the dancing school, there really isn’t a lot more to see, but it’s very surreal, the characters seem to have been set loose from the villains department of a scooby doo film, but what really connects both worlds is the dark insipid humor.

topos

It’s obvious that Director, Writer and Producer Emiliano Romero has a air for melodrama and seems to apply it to scenes that don’t require that particular touch. It also struck me as being a little weird to make a movie about dance and not to employ a single dancer. This hasn’t stopped directors in the past, I don’t think that any of the cast of Suspiria (1977) we’re trained, but the dance scenes and the training lead to some very comical and surprisingly fluid scenes.

There are several strong points, the cinematography is actually quite good, the lighting successfully transverses both the over and underworld  giving a studio feel to the upper scenes and an amber  glow in the darkness of the underworld accompanied by pipes, plastic sheets and steampunk machinery it looks impressive, despite most scenes involving El Topo’s sister raping the young dancer that they kidnapped.

Overall a forgettable movie, with some very interesting and memorable characters. El Topo gives his hope that no matter what our situation we can still strive for our dreams, although I don’t know if we’d all have so much luck. There is a stupidly funny work out montage that Rocky would be proud of and a few other movie references that crop up and the silent Topo trips around his new world as a modern day Charlie Chaplin, thoroughly good stuff.

Rating 7/10

R – Lowlife (2012), Window Licker (2014), My Brother Jack (2013)
L – Selected Dancing movies, best workout montages
A – Class wars on film
5S – Mole Films
Vs – Topos Vs El Topo

Intacto  – Intact (2001)

 

Intacto

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This gripping and very surreal drama is thought provoking and entertaining, there have been many books written about luck and how it can be manifested using charms and striking bargains but director/ writer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo had amazing fun playing around the the idea of an underground group who trade in luck.

A casino owner and head of this luck cartel, Samuel Berg (Max von Sydow) is amazingly lucky, not only did he survive a concentration camp but he constantly wins at his favourite game of Russian Roulette. His prized worker is Federico (Eusebio Poncela) a man who has the ability to steal people’s luck and is often dispatched to keep the odds in the favour of the casino. After a disagreement the two fall out and Samuel steals all of Federico’s luck and discards him, Federico then set’s out to find the luckiest man alive, a recent plane crash survivor in order to get enough luck to return and beat Samuel at his favourite game. He and Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia) to have to go through many trials to increase and prove the levels of luck in order to win the right to play the game. Continue reading Intacto  – Intact (2001)

Matadors Mistress (2008)

manolete matadors mistress adrien brody

quickflick-1.jpgI had a lot of hope for this movie, but it seems to be lost in it’s own idea of romance instead of documenting an interesting and varied couple and amazing Spanish sporting champion. The film seems to concentrate on the relationship while only hinting at everything else that is going on in Spain at the time, whimsically flourishing around lavish interiors and beautiful happy occasions while Brody flutters around trying very hard to act like a bullfighter but dear lord he is almost a reincarnation of Manuel Rodriguez Sanchez “Manolete”, honestly the resemblance is astounding. Sadly the film gets everything else so wrong. 


Yes the couple were turbulent but Lupe (Penelope Cruz) was much younger and not a whore in any sense, and her look and persona were totally off, but have you noticed how Hollywood usually does that, like in Monster (2003) Charlize was made to look a lot like Alieen but her partner Selby (Christina Ricci) looked fuck all alike, I guess you get your passport if only the main character looks feasible.

 

manolete

“Like a torrid and bitter soap opera with a dash of wildlife, Matador’s Mistress is enough to spark interest in the history of these characters but is easily forgettable”

Sexuality is everywhere but Lupe is master at seducing the lonely yet popular matador, and everyone else. The seemingly quick romance fires up into something darker and more turbulent, as the matador gears up for another match, will his head be in the right place?

With lots of candid outtakes of either genuine romance or paranoid jealousy the film juggles between many emotions, the characters are strong but inaccurate and so many idiosyncrasies that could have been transferred to the Manolete character were cast aside to make him seem like a contact love sick puppy until the very end, and the end is so very long and drawn out, mostly due to it being in slow mo. Generally a well made film that’s visually titillating, but it misses the point entirely, if it didn’t have real facts behind it it would be a sensible movie.

5/10

full review and post discussion to come…

Slugs (1988)

Slugs (1988)
(Horror, Gore 198) (18) D: Juan Piquer Simón S: Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale.  1h 29m. Spain

Killer slugs on the rampage in a rural community

TAGLINE : No-one is safe!

slugs

I have a strange slug phobia, I’m happy to admit that and this film proves that all my paranoid illusions about slugs are right, they do kill people!! When will you mortals listen to me!!

No really I can’t stand them so this film was a challenge for me. It’s quite comical having an irrational fear over something that  is so pathetically weak but unless I’m armed with salt I’m useless against a slug.

That’s enough about me.. Now for the film.. It’s so terrible it’s good! I really did enjoy it all the way through it has that euro trashy horroresqe nonesense that I adore. The dubbing is terrible the acting sucks, the scenes are unbelievable it’s like watching a school play on crack. BUT it’s so great, the gore is on top form, the characters are epic from the hot shot douchebag and his drunken manbitch, honestly his girlfriend has a mans voice! Maybe they could only afford one voice actor?

I think there was a golden age of horror movies, where it wasn’t the CGI effects that made the film, the hero’s didn’t have to be pumped or have a remarkably high IQ, they were normal people making out in normal places and getting attacked by latex puppet and that’s what I love.

The monsters in this film aren’t prehistoric, mixed with a shark or octopus, they aren’t over size or are from another planet, they are mutant though but they are still likkle slugs! Just toxic waste slugs! I remember the days when toxic waste or radioactivity made all the heroes and villains.

There was a hidden message in this movie, or at least I felt that it tried to demonstrate that drinking was bad, check out for the signs..

So basically this town somewhere in middle America or Spain is over run by mutant flesh eating slugs and only one man and his friends can help. The film mixes all the best of 80’s horror, mutants, gore, head explosions, a bit of nudity, drunk teens, a mayor and greedy hot shot, horny girlfriends. It’s just fun, even if the slug killer didn’t make sense. Come to think of it, none of it made a whole lot of sense but it is fun to watch.

 slugblood

Q: “ You don’t have the authority to declare Happy Birthday!

R: Squirm (1976), Shivers/ They Came from Within (1975) Growth (2010), Slither (2006).

BS: If I had to pick one scene I think it would be the head melting wormy dinner scene, mr scumbag who’s gf sounds like a dude is out having an important “power lunch” and his nose starts to bleed like a bad period into this drink.. then it gets messy.. great cinema!!
T: Banned in Australia???