Embryo

Embryo (Embrión) (2020)

An embryo is the collection of cells making up an organism before it is ready to be born or hatched – and the term is sometimes used, by a metaphorical extension, to refer to a rudimentary or beginning stage. So while the title of Patricio Valladares’ low-budget sci-fi horror might be taken to refer to…

Trauma

Trauma (2017)

Trauma first published by SciFiNow ‘Too Much Films’ is the first production company listed at the beginning of Lucio A. Rojas’ Trauma – and this promised excess comes front-loaded. For the opening sequence shows a bound, bloody woman in a compound for the torture and execution of political prisoners. Her teenaged son Juan is brought…

Wekufe

Wekufe (2016)

Wekufe opens first with a bearded interviewee discussing the corporate exploitation and cultural pauperisation of Chile’s indigenous population. This is followed by text (cited from Alonso de Ovelle, a 17th century Jesuit chronicler of Chile) about ‘wekufe’, or ‘evil’, as a concept introduced to the Mapuche by Spanish Christians. All of which is to say…

Downhill

Downhill (2016)

First published by VODzilla.co “Acid’s beautiful, isn’t it?” These are the first words heard (or misheard) in Downhill, after an aerial reveals woodlands below – and they are followed by images of a distressed woman tied to a makeshift altar and being force-fed a live centipede-like creature by a robed priestess who reassures her, “You…

Crystal

Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus (2013)

Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus first published by Grolsch FilmWorks He may be Chilean, but recently writer/director Sebastián Silva (The Maid) has taken to focusing his attention on looking at his native land from the often uncomprehending gringo point of view. One might (correctly) regard it as a shrewd commercial move to have the likes…

Bring Me The Head of the Machine Gun Woman (2012)

First published by Grolsch FilmWorks These days, going back has once again become passé. Back in 2006, when Ernesto Díaz Espinoza debuted with his Chile-flavoured Eighties action/martial arts throwback Kiltro, its absurdist genre mashup seemed utterly charming, even novel – but now, in the wake of the Tarantino-Rodriguez Grindhouse double-feature (2007), postmodern ‘guilty pleasure’ revivals…

Aftershock

Aftershock (2012)

Aftershock first appeared in Sight & Sound, September 2013 Synopsis: Valparaíso. Affluent Chileans Ariel and Pollo show off ‘the real Chile’ to international guests Gringo, Monica, Irina and Kylie, when a severe earthquake strikes, followed by aftershocks and rape-happy, murderous convicts escaped from the local prison – with a tsunami on its way too. No-one survives. Review:  “You’re…