Sunday, September 23, 2007

Silence from Mexican Horror DVD Land

Nada (that's Spanish for "nothing") from my request three weeks ago to Rebel Crew Films for an interview with someone, anyone, who can shed light on the company's past and current Mexican horror offerings. Neither has anyone heard anything recent from CasaNegra, despite a claim from Michael Liuzza that the company is not kaput. With rumors rampant that CasaNegra is no more and a request by Liuzza to spread the word that the company is alive, wouldn't it be wise for someone at CasaNegra to update its website or My Space presence? But mystery is good for the soul. It keeps us on our toes and keeps us guessing.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Backstreet DVD Companies of Mexican Horror

What do I mean by "backstreet"? Well, these are small companies and distributors of "urban," latino, children, animation and other lower budget films whose websites (if they have them) frequently do not give up-to-date information about all their product. Their Mexican holdings have been apparently acquired through package deals with other companies, and it's dubious that the original rights holders in Mexico, if they exist, are aware of the DVD production of their films in the United States. Still, as far as is known, everything is perfectly legal, despite the fact that it's hard, if not impossible, to contact a higher up in such a company who will answer questions about the company's Mexican releases. It's almost as if these companies wish to remain underground, being content to distribute their product to several online retailers and big city neighborhood stores that cater to Hispanic customers.

Today, I came across in a DVD store on West 14th Street in Manhattan two Mexican horror DVDs from a company called Phoenix Entertainment Group, distributed by Allumination FilmWorks. Each was priced at $4.99. (That's another thing about these mysterious releases--they tend to be cheaply priced.) The films were La bruja (1954) and La Llorona (1959), two classics from Mexico's golden age of horror. The front and back covers look almost identical to the previous releases of these films from Ground Zero, which had made a deal with the Agrasanchez Group over two years ago for a sizable group of Mexican horror and lucha-libre films. (Phoenix's CEO is Anthony Perez, who used to run--surprise, surprise--Ground Zero. From the ashes of Ground Zero comes Phoenix rising?)

According to a press release on their site, Allumination will be distributing Phoenix product, though so far, in the Mexican horror department, only La bruja and La Llorona are mentioned.

While we wait for an American DVD company to release Mexican horror with English subtitles, we have to do with these non-subtitled releases, which generally have a pleasing picture quality. If you can't find them at your big city neighborhood store, you can probably get them for a cheap price on eBay. Just make sure they are the original DVDs, and not DVD-R copies.