This anthology of movies from 5 Latino filmmakers sadly doesn’t stay as much as the promise of devilish short-form horror that its title foreshadows.
The better of the bunch is “The Hammer of Zanzibar,” a darkish comedy from Alejandro Brugues (“Juan of the Dead”) a few man (Jonah Ray Rodrigues) who makes use of an outsized phallus to battle an evil entity who’s killing off his buddies. Written by Lino Okay. Villa, it’s an enjoyably sophomoric romp that’s additionally playfully queer, because of a nutty detour involving a personality named Popo.
I loved the exploitation sensibilities behind Gigi Saul Guerrero’s grotesque folks fairy story “Nahuales,” cinematically the anthology’s most daring movie. And the framing story, Mike Mendez’s “The Traveler,” will get a lift from Efren Ramirez’s ice-cold efficiency because the title spirit. But the slapstick comedy in “El Vampiro,” from Eduardo Sanchez, the co-director of “The Blair Witch Project,” is cold.
The downside is that the movies, that are in Spanish and English, depend on typical horror film stuff — a haunted home, indignant ghosts, form shifters, tableaus of corpses — to raise scripts which can be throughout the board mediocre. The result’s eye-popping however half-formed, extra sketches than totally thought-about brief takes. It’s a shock contemplating that the filmmakers mined Latin folkloric traditions from Argentina, Cuba and Mexico for materials. More Latino horror is welcome, however higher if it pushes boundaries, not walks them.
In the phrases of my Colombian grandmother, who launched me to Universal’s horror film monsters once I was a child: Qué lástima.
Rated R for buckets of blood and miles of manslaughter. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes. In theaters.
Source web site: www.nytimes.com