Dogs are a man’s best friend and we’ve known this all our lives because most of us grew up with pet dogs & the mass media of yesteryear (and to this day as well) had often portrayed dogs as the superior choice of pet & often portrayed as the main protagonist in many children’s entertainment programs. In the attention-seeking digital world we live in today, we always see people posting their beloved pet dogs. The cute ones & even the ugly ones. Dogs are sacred to this world, but they can also be quite the vicious creatures and perhaps something not from this world awaiting to cause chaos to the Earth. Yes, I’m being dramatic right now, but this is to hype up La Perra ("The Dog")—a movie about a not so ordinary dog that’s probably from Hell or some shit.
Little miss “Ixchel” is an adoring mixed American Akita dog belonging to a man named Diego (Rafael Baledon) who lives a quiet ranch life alongside his wife Graciela (Lorena Alvarez). Graciela has grown tiresome of the constant attention Ixchel gets from Diego to the point where she’s even envious of it, but Diego however assures that he only loves her very much and simply only cares for Ixchel as a pet. It also seems that Ixchel acts up with Graciela whenever Diego isn’t around and that really makes Graciela both angry & terrified. Normally, the ranch town that Diego & Graciela live in is fairly quiet, but lately there’s been a lot of cops roaming around because of a series of murders being committed in & outside of the town. Ixchel tends to wander off the ranch and on several occasions she arrives back home drenched up in blood. This of course concerns Graciela & a certain police officer who’s been around the area—surely it’s all just a coincidence? One day, Graciela gets fed up with Diego’s constant attention-giving to Ixchel and decides to leave him for good. Graciela then heads off, but ends up stranded outside of town and tries to find salvation in some cave and there she just happens to meet the murderer of the town. Although, it is not who we expect it to be. It’s someone or something far more sinister than we could’ve imagined..
La Perra is a movie I knew about only because it’s in director Christian Gonzalez’s filmography and it’s part of the few titles of his that are hard to find. I eventually acquired a copy of it & I went in with small expectations for it and what a surprise it turned out to be because it truly exceeded my expectations. La Perra is an unusual movie in terms of storytelling & mood and all this is what makes it very special. The relationship between Diego & Graciela is the main focus of the movie and sometimes we see them on good terms, but most of the time Graciela is constantly nagging and mostly because of Ixchel. Ixchel—named after the Aztec goddess—is presumably an innocent, ordinary pet dog through out this ordeal, but she’s no ordinary dog for sure and it’s quite obvious when we see her wandering out and later it becomes clear she’s the reason why several people are getting killed. The superstition angle of the movie is extremely vague, but its vagueness is what makes it so damn intriguing. The cherry on top of this sundae of oddity.
As much as I would love to speak of the superstitions of La Perra, I will do no such thing because I feel it’s worth going in on as a surprise. You just have to see it for yourself. La Perra builds up to something truly fucking weird, but also truly fucking amazing as well. Only the twisted mind of Rafael Baledon and the unique/wild direction of Christian Gonzalez could conceive such a movie like this.
La Perra is an intriguing, superstitious tale about a dog that you won’t see anywhere else. It’s never been emulated by anyone else & nowhere else to be found. I love it.