Chile

review aftershock

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you’ll walk into a movie with negative preconceptions instead of an open mind. It happens to the best of us, and while I can honestly say it’s an extreme rarity for me personally I’m still more than a little ashamed on the occasions where it happens. The most recent example, and probably the first since the Robin Williams/John Travolta travesty Old Dogs, is a new disaster thriller co-written/produced by and starring Eli Roth. His films have never done much for me, his acting even in small roles seemed on par with Quentin Tarantino’s and to make matters worse I’d heard few positive things about the movie. In fact, the most common term used to describe it was “rapey.” So yeah, my expectations were fairly low. But then something wonderful happened. I was happily proven wrong.

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Unless you happen to be from Chile, you might not have ever heard of director Nicolas Lopez. But chances are you soon will. After creating the top grossing Chilean films in both 2010 and 2011 with Que Pena Tu Vida and Que Pena Tu Boda, the director is next moving on to helm Aftershock, the newest film from Eli Roth. This one is a disaster movie that Roth and Lopez wrote together, and that Roth will be starring in. Apparently the idea for the film came to Lopez after his country was hit with a pretty bad earthquake back in 2010, but it’s got some of Roth’s horror sensibility in there as well. The story is largely about dangerous patients that escape an insane asylum after the quake. If horror fans have any sort of issue with getting some Lopez mixed in with their Roth, then maybe this awesome quote from the director will assuage your fears: “I was a fan of Cabin Fever and Hostel, and I love that we’re mixing our sensibility. People will be shocked when they see this movie. It’s nothing that you could expect. I want this to be my Robocop.” Anybody who doesn’t think their career is complete until they’ve made their Robocop is okay with me. Roth thinks he’s pretty okay too. When talking about his collaborator he said, “He has the incredible combination of commercial sensibility with an artistic eye, and what he has done here in Chile with their film industry […]

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Foreign Objects

Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week looking for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent… this week we’re spending some time with the South American working class. Racquel (Catalina Saavedra) works as a live-in maid for a well to do family, and her duties run the gamut of cooking, cleaning, and child care. She’s introduced hiding in the kitchen as the family tries in vain to cajole her into the dining room to celebrate her own 41st birthday. She’s been a maid to this same family for twenty three years, she’s suffering from migraines and fainting spells, she’s been butting heads with the oldest daughter, and her face is stuck in a permanent grimace. Racquel is one tired and frustrated Chilean.

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After earning its slot in Round Two by defeating Amor y Frijoles in the first match, Mandrill now finds its super spy in the fight of his life against heavy favorite Pan’s Labyrinth. Spain was favored going in, and then delivered a 95-5 crushing victory against Switzerland. There are more than a few Mandrill fans out there, but will they be enough to see the movie go on to the next round of contests?

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In another fantastic match up, the foothold of Honduran cinema as it enters the modern era goes up against the ass-kickery of Mandrill. Amor y Frijoles is a slice of life (and beans), and the Chilean challenger is a 1960s-style send up of the contract killer. Two completely different genres from two countries separated by a continent. Will voters be hungry for love or hungry for a beat down?

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ff-mandrill

With as lightening-fast as Marko Zaror is, we were incredibly lucky to catch him on camera for an exclusive Fantastic Fest interview. We assume the master martial artist and Mandrill director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza were lured in by the promise of free booze and shag carpet on the walls.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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