Sunday, February 25, 2007


Does this look familiar?

If you are a fan of Mexican horror, you should recognize one of the images in the opening credits of El baron del terror (The Brainiac, 1961). The first image, in fact. From Goya's "The Caprichos" etchings and prints. Now, why would the filmmakers opt to use images from Goya's "The Caprichos" to set the tone of El baron del terror?

Think of the irreverent Baron d'Estera, mocking the Catholic inquisitors of New Spain; think of his general disdain for humanity. And then reflect on this, written about "The Caprichos":

"The entire set of some 80 prints cover subjects of prostitution, child sexual abuse, witchcraft, numerous specific superstitions, and satiric critiques of doctors, politicians, and clergy, among others. Nearly half of the imagery concerns itself with witchcraft, often in a mocking tone that shows that Goya's use of this particular subject was meant to have more than just one single understanding for the viewer."

Or this:

"The series known as "Los Caprichos," which, loosely translated, means "the caprices," shows Goya's rancor at the unpredictability of life, combining acerbic commentary on the Spanish aristocracy, the clergy and human nature itself with images of monsters, ghouls and other supernatural figures."

It seems there was a method to the outre madness of those behind the Brainiac!

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