Latin Horror Film Picks: Halloween 2010

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Vampyres (1974): Orgies! Lesbian vampires! Insatiable thirsts for blood! Spanish director José Ramón Larraz directs this recently recognized cult classic that follows the tale of two beautiful (in a ‘70s Playboy way) vampires Fran and Miriam who roam the English countryside, luring men to their castle to suck them… of their blood. Featuring the kind of skin you’d see on a late-night Skinemax flick, the highlight of the film has to be sequence where the two vampire nymphettes, having recently turned a pasty Englishman pastier by draining his blood, head off to the shower to join each other in a bit of bathtub lovin’. Great flick for those who like some T&A with their B&G (blood and guts). (Available on Netflix streaming.)

Vampiros en la Habana (1987): Another cult classic, Vampiros is part Fritz The CatMafalda and Buena Vista Social Club. This animated political satire follows Count Dracula’s scientist son, Bernhardt, as strives to turn vampires into sun-dwellers using his “Vampisol” serum. After his first attempt fails, he gets booted from a European vampire consortium and flees with his nephew Pepito to Cuba. Pepito, unknowingly a bloodsucker himself, is Bernhardt’s guinea pig, and the results have caught the eye of a group of vamps from Chicago, including vampire mobster Johnny Terrori. It’s a really good flick, especially if you’re not into hot lesbian orgies or gore and doubly great if you have any of the aforementioned strange candies. (Available on Netflix streaming.)

Cronos (1993)/The Devil’s Backbone (2001): Guillermo De Toro’s ascent into Hollywood mainstream director all begins here. While these two films differ in terms of subject matter, they both draw from the same well as Del Toro’s later works—history, insects and Ron Perlman. These are technically horror films, but Del Toro is more interested in investigating the horror than just showing it. In both Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone, greed is the root of all evil, whether it’s immortality at whatever the cost or more earthly riches that eventually will bring you down. While thrills and chills line both movies, what makes them so great is making the viewer such an integral part of the experience. (The Devil’s Backbone is available on Netflix streaming.)

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