Wow was Mexico Barbaro interesting. I must admit that I had my doubts about this one with the recent rash of anthology films coming out and most of the trying to pack way too many stories into their runtime. I was relieved that that issue didn’t happen with this one, and that should calm your first fear that this is just another anthology slapped together to provide a vehicle for a bunch of short movies that shouldn’t be in the same movie. Dark Sky has a history of putting out quality material and finding unique Horror that can appeal to both the mainstream fan and the more experienced Horror nut.
Mexico Barbaro is fresh. It focuses in on Mexican dark fantasy and legend for its source material for short, horrific tales. Now the quality varies in terms of storyline between each. Some are better and really grabbed my attention and some played out like the short story equivalent of slow burn walk through the desert, but each one had the same quality. Each one looked similar providing a feel of continuity. This continuity is often lacking in modern anthologies, no wrap story or completely different shooting styles, flavors or subject matter. Mexico Barbaro may not have a solid wrap story (and believe me I though of a couple that would work), but it gels well across all the tales.
There’s seduction and sexuality mixed with perverse sexuality that borders on completely disgusting in the Stuart Gordon’s Society sense of the word “disgusting”. There’s a feel of supernatural undertones in some stories while others are in your face. In short, this movie flows nicely providing a varied experience between stories that keeps you feeling fresh for the runtime.
If it wasn’t for some pretty terrible CG in the scene featured on the cover (the Day of the Dead makeup is phenomenal) I would have been all in. Still, this in and of itself does not destroy the movie, but it detracts from a visually stunning segment that really didn’t need digital blood to make it great. Of course there is another story that feels as though it is mimicking the shunting from Society in it’s strange, ectoplasmic grotesqueness. Absolutely practically effected and completely icky. There’s balance.
You can pick up Mexico Barbaro now. It has subtitles, a great cover and some really unique stories.
From Dark Sky:
Eight Mexican directors unite to create tales of the most brutally terrifying Mexican traditions and legends to vividly shocking life. MEXICO BARBARO presents haunting stories that have been woven into the fabric of a nation’s culture, some passed down through the centuries and some new, but all equally frightening. Stories of boogeymen, trolls, ghosts, monsters, Aztec sacrifices and of course the Day of the Dead all come together in urban and rural settings to create an anthology that is as original as it is familiar and as important as it is horrifying.
The directors represented in this anthology film are Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are, The ABCs of Death), Isaac Ezban (upcoming Fantastic Fest award winner The Incident), Laurette Flores, Ulises Guzmán, Edgar Nito, sound designer Lex Ortega (Here Comes the Devil, Frankenstein’s Army), Gigi Saul Guerrero (El Gigante, Choose Your Victim), and Rue Morgue Mexico coordinator Aaron Soto.
The eight short films, all presented uncut and uncensored, present a range of themes and styles – but all are nerve-shattering examples of Mexico’s vital and world-renowned horror film industry. There’s a modern take on Hitchcock’s Rear Window, a tale set in a strip club on the Day of the Dead, a rash of corpse stealing, ancient savage Mexican traditions, and decomposing dolls, among other gleefully grisly goings-on.