Thursday, March 22, 2018

Massacre In The Woods.

1 minute into the movie and 3 men already get their necks slit by an escaped psycho. Oh, how cruel life can be.

Manuel (Julio Bracho) and his friends head out to his father’s cabin for the weekend to celebrate his birthday. As Manuel & friends settle in the cabin, he remembers his father being completely awful to him, his mom & his sister. Despite the awful memories, Manuel tries to enjoy his birthday weekend, but then he gets a really bad temper when he remembers of those old times, so that of course causes a ruckus. The local forest ranger (Miguel Angel Rodriguez) finds an abandoned car near Manuel’s cabin and inside the car is the razor that the escaped psycho from the opening scene had used. Clearly the maniac is on the loose in the woods and not far from the young people! You know what that means!

It’s been a while since I’ve watched a Mexican slasher and does Masacre En El Bosque (aka "Massacre In The Woods") deliver the expectations? It pretty much does. It’s simple and gets to the point. A lot of character development too surprisingly. Clearly the filmmakers were taking this movie serious and actually went through with what the movie is supposed to be about. It’s not exactly a scary movie, but the movie does build up plenty of suspense & mystery.

While we’re aware a psycho is on the loose, there is however something much more going on in those damn woods. We meet an unseen & tattered woman in the beginning of the movie being abused and fed like an animal by an unseen person. It’s a bizarre scene for sure and quite intriguing and clearly this is leading up to something great. The kills in the movie were surprisingly decent & quite brutal since we get to see people’s necks slit, an axe to the head, someone beaten hard with shovels and of course some knife stabs to the face. Blood splattering happens of course. Quite a lot of blood too I must say.

The more I think about Masacre En El Bosque, the more I really like it. It's a nice little slasher gem that doesn’t bore and it is entertaining from beginning to end. Interesting characters, interesting plot and great setting. A must watch for slasher fans.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Weird, huh?

The Twilight Zone will forever be an iconic show. The show told so many stories of weirdness, horror & mystery that are unforgettable. Its also inspired so many tv shows & movies to do the same as well. Like for example, take Rene Cardona III's Historias Espeluznantes (aka "Terrifying Stories") aka El Beso De La Muerte (aka "The Kiss of Death"). The movie felt like 3 Twilight Zone episodes remade for the Mexican home video market!

The first story is extremely short. Less than 20 minutes. A great short nonetheless.

Jorge Reynoso plays a business dude coming home from a private jet. Fancy, huh? When he arrives home, everything starts to get super weird. The tv goes static and shuts on & off and doors open by itself. Another strange occurrence is Jorge Reynoso drinking a Diet Coke. Diet Coke? Seriously? Jorge Reynoso then steps outside and tries to say hello to a neighbor. The neighbor hears nothing as if he were ignoring him. Jorge Reynoso tries to hit a young guy talking to his neighbor but the punch goes through his body! Nothing happens. It’s like our friend Jorge Reynoso is non-existing. A blank. Naturally, there’s a twist to the end and one that could be predicted right away. Obvious, huh? 

2nd story is my favorite because it’s sorta similar to one of my many favorite Twilight Zone episodes. A blind girl (Edna Bolkan) is coming home after recovering from an accident that killed her beloved father. When she’s home, she receives eerie phone calls saying “it is I...”. The girl is constantly getting the phone calls and more strange occurrences happen in the house. Won’t spoil what happens to the girl in the end, but let’s just say those phone calls she was receiving were coming from a familiar lake with phone lines hitting the water. Crazy, huh? 

Last story involves an actress who ends up believing a role she was playing in a movie was actually her real life! She actually thought she was married to a lame husband and has 2 sons! Not a famous actress! Whaaaat??? Anyway, so she ends up in a mental asylum, there’s colorful patients there who freak her out, a male nurse tries to assault her, gets electric shock treatment, and then finds a book that apparently explains how she can go back to the “real” life she thought she had. Weird, huh?

Rene Cardona III would write and direct such a weird flick and it’s quite decent too. It was entertaining despite the predictable and familiar stories. What bothered me however was how the second story was just dubbed over with none of the actors’ voices whatsoever. Edna Bolkan sounds like a 16 year old girl. Funny, huh? Cheap too.

El Beso De La Muerte seems to be unlisted on IMDb. Could this be another strange occurrence happening? Is the 4th, final story of this anthology actually me not being able to find this movie’s IMDb page/any info online when all along it’s actually there but I just don’t see it because perhaps the movie doesn’t even exist at all? Who am I then? Where am I? What year are we in? Do people really drink Diet Coke? Life is fucking weird, man. Life is a fucking mystery and so is this god damn movie and it’s lack of information on the World Wide Web. Another mystery is the back cover of this VHS telling us there’s only 2 tales of terror and one of them is supposedly about diabolical creatures out for human blood. Was this filmed? Or was it a lie written by the distributors of this bizarre tape to make the movie sound more interesting? We will probably never know.... Weird, huh?

With all its mystery, cheapness; El Beso De La Muerte is 80 minutes of weird & mysterious entertainment. A Mexican Twilight Zone gone cheap. Give a watch sometime. If it even exists.