Friday, June 21, 2019

Bloody Vacation at Beautiful Lake.

Before you weirdly ask“is this a slasher?”, yes this this is a slasher movie. “How sharp is the weapon? What kind of weapon is it?”, the weapon is a hatchet and it is sharp enough to chop up innocent 80’s Mexican youngsters. Now shut up and read my review below so you can have the rest of your questions answered. Also please no "sube la pelicula completa porfavor" comments before the killer comes after you under my order. Thank you.

Vacaciones Sangrientas plays out very simply like any other slasher movie from the 80’s. A group of young adults head out to the woods for a nice little vacation at “Beautiful Lake” where they’ll drink booze, dance to some corny music, drink Diet Coca-Cola and make out and all while a psychopathic old dude called by the media “El Hombre Del Hacha” (The Hatchet Man) watches them from a distance waiting for the chance to kill them all with his precious hatchet!

Vacaciones Sangrientas has been on my radar for quite a while and have longed to watch it and even to know something about the movie since there’s not any info on the movie anywhere other than an IMDb page! At last though, I finally acquired a copy from Mexico and now I can say that I've seen the movie, share my thoughts & finally shed some light to this movie that has been hiding in the dark for too damn long! Let it be known now finally.

The movie feels very amateurish at times as if it were someone’s first movie made. It’s also low-budget of course and shot on tape. Vacaciones was directed by the famous Aldo Monti. While he’s mostly known as an actor, he did however direct a few cool movies before & after this one. I’m convinced he only co-directed and producer Jorge A. Cano handled the other half of the movie since this is his first credited feature. Mr. Cano definitely had to have had more Input than just a producer. He went on to become a director after this movie as well, so Vacaciones was definitely his first try at directing a movie and not just handling the production. It’s as if Aldo Monti was teaching Jorge Cano how to make a movie basically.

When I say Vacaciones feels amateurish, it’s because the movie plays out so simple & short and was also shot on video, meaning there was not a lot of money put into the movie. We meet all the characters right away (whom don’t stand out much), we get a little familiar with the setting entitled “Beautiful Lake” (according to actor Francisco Lopez, he told me it was filmed in San Isidro & Chula Vista) and we really aren’t introduced to the killer at all, his motives for killing are not known. He’s just fucking crazy I guess. That’s it. He does however smoke a lot of cigarettes & laughs very quietly. The second half the movie, the part that Aldo Monti must of had Input of; has some pretty interesting shots of the killer staring at his victims from a distance. One shot that stood out for me was when the killer is staring away at a male victim from the side-view mirror of a van. It was shot nicely and definitely built up well. There’s also a shot of the killer staring at a girl drinking a Diet Coca-Cola from outside the kitchen window and his eyes are zoomed in closely to really get the feeling that this guy is definitely fucking crazy. It kind of reminded of the crazy scenes of Lina Santos in Seduccion Sangrienta (another Aldo Monti movie, ahem).

With a title like Vacaciones Sangrientas and a really awesome tagline saying “Careful! The killer is on the loose & could catch you at any moment” you’ll assume the movie will feature lots of brutal killing & buckets of fake blood splattering all over, but with like most SOV slashers (even the ones everyone get a huge hard-on over), that’s hardly the case with Vacaciones. The fantastic cover art butters you up to expect that kind of stuff for sure, but the movie is pretty tame on all those aspects. Still, I can’t knock the movie down completely because it is still pretty fun and the killer—as vague as he is—still delivers some crazy little fun moments & at least there’s one hatchet to the head moment.

It took a long while to finally watch Vacaciones Sangrientas and was it worth the wait & patience & hopefulness? I suppose so. I did enjoy the movie for what it was and I liked the simplicity of it & dark wooded setting it has. While none of the characters did nothing for me to care for them, I did however like the killer. Not very much is known about him, but I liked that. He’s just this mysterious psychopath on the loose wanting to kill people with his hatchet. A hatchet that he cleans up after murdering.

The movie won’t wow you like the fantastic cover art does, but still, Vacaciones Sangrientas is a movie that should definitely be sought out by SOV horror/slasher enthusiasts. It is part of this genre and why it’s so damn obscure is beyond me. It belongs in the books, the lists and the collections. It is also part of Mexican horror cinema after all, despite its obscureness.