Friday, October 07, 2011

Secta Satanica Video Cover Art

Two greats of Mexican cinema (and fantastique)--German "El Vampiro" Robles and Joaquin "Dr. Satan" Cordero--starred in this 1990 horror film, with strong religious overtones, SECTA SATANICA. Above is the box cover for the video release by Million Dollar Video, Spanish language only.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mexican Horror Resin Models

In 2004, resin model sculptor Paul Schiola released two models based on well-known Mexican horror icons--El Baron del Terror (the Brainiac) and the Aztec Mummy. Both were limited editions, and Paul was going to produce more when the powers that be put a damper on the project, unfortunately.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Impressive Italian Posters for the Aztec Mummy Series

They really knew the art of posters in Italy! Below are posters for Mexico's Aztec Mummy trilogy. Very impressive, even if they are not accurate representations of the films. I want all these posters hanging up on my walls! How about you? My favorite has to be the last one presented here. Stunning use of color and lighting effects.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fear Chamber (1968)

The quartet of American/Mexican horror films that Karloff did near the end of his life get little respect, but once studied, they evolve into interesting pieces of cinema, with flashes of brilliance among their middling horror fare. These films still need to be released in respectful and authoritative versions, both the English language versions and Spanish language ones.

Here are some screen captures of the best version of FEAR CHAMBER (LA CAMARA DEL TERROR) that I have yet seen. Taken from a Mexican DVD on the Televisa label.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO Finally Screened!

Friday, July 15th, saw the Mexican premiere of EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO, the uncensored version of SANTO EN EL TESORO DE DRACULA (SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA). The premiere was held at Diana Theater in the University of Guadalajara and showings were slated to continue for several days in another theater. It is assumed that whatever legal difficulties prevented the showing were resolved. (Curiously, though, so far no online reviews of the film have shown up.)

Word is that the Calderon Company, which owns rights to the film, is attempting to secure a deal with an American company to at least present the film on DVD here in the States.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO - Close But No Cigar... Yet!

Who's that masked man? El Santo or a double?

It was supposed to have been screened. EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO. The mythical "nude version" of SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA (SANTO EN EL TESORO DE DRACULA). At a film festival in Guadalajara. Then El Hijo del Santo (Santo's son) stepped in, made legal threats, and a public showing of one of the most sought after Mexican films was cancelled.

The history of EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO is as follows:

When SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA was being filmed, producer Guillermo Calderon Stell suggested to El Santo, who also was producing, that a few nude scenes be filmed for European exhibition. According to El Hijo:

"Guillermo Calderon proposed to El Santo to make--as his first film as a partner--an adult version where they might show naked actresses who participated in the film, including Noelia Noel, with the intention of exhibiting it in Europe, which my father, at that time, strongly objected to, arguing that his films should not have sex or extreme violence, because his films were for the whole family, not for adults....

"My father told his then partner, he had every right to film what he wanted, and even make another movie, but that the name of El Santo and his performance and image could not be used under any circumstances. It was then that, respecting the arguments of my father, Calderon shot some scenes with Aldo Monti (Dracula) and actresses Gina Moret, Jessica Rivano, Sonia Aguilar, among others, who played the female vampires in transparent gauze, exposing the upper part of their bodies, and that was titled EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO...."

Guillermo Calderon Stell shelved the nude version (though it had showings in other parts of the world), and it became if not a "lost film," certainly impossible see in its adult version. Recently, while researching the Calderon filmography for a documentary, Viviana Garcia Besne (Calderon's niece) discovered the film in a warehouse and saw the obvious potential of releasing it.

The current wish from Team Calderon is to reactivate the Calderon Stell film library for international sales, to include this coveted version of SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA. We can only hope that this will happen, as surely enough years have gone by to diminish, if not invalidate, the wish to keep El Santo's image squeaky clean among kids who are not that into El Santo these days, as were earlier generations, and who are much more familiar with nudity and sex than those generations ever were. Just the knowledge that such a version exists, including other El Santo films in nude versions (!), is enough to make this wish rather realistically flimsy. Then, too, the publicity behind a release of this nude variant would do much to put the entire El Santo film catalog front and center on the market.

Let's go for it.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Will Laughlin Joins Vampiros and Monstruos

Carlos Enrique Taboada, Mexico's master of subtle horror.

As the book VAMPIROS AND MONSTRUOS was finally nearing completion, I realized that one significant hole remained, despite my intention of doing a second volume dedicated toward Mexican horror and fantasy cinema that could have taken up that missing element. Upon continual review, I realized that it would be a mistake not to have in the first book an article on one of Mexico's great masters of the macabre and supernatural--Carlos Enrique Taboada.

Enrique Taboada started in the horror and fantasy field as a scriptwriter, working on such films as ORLAK, THE HELL OF FRANKENSTEIN, and the Nostradamus series starring German Robles. As a director he is known for a quartet of films that still impress to this day (two of which were redone for contemporary audiences): HASTA EL VIENTO TIENE MIEDO/EVEN THE WIND IS AFRAID (1968), EL LIBRO DE PIEDRA/THE BOOK OF STONE (1969), MAS NEGRO QUE LA NOCHE/BLACKER THAN THE NIGHT (1975), and VENENO PARA LAS HADAS/POISON FOR THE FAIRIES (1984).

I also realized that the assignment was a difficult one (having dabbled in attempting it myself), as not much is known about Taboada, something that could soon change with the publication of a Mexican book on Enrique Taboada this month. But, if not filled with factual information, an article that addressed his directorial work in the genre was still necessary. I'm delighted to have found an author who is most capable of writing about Enrique Taboada and his quartet of chillers (to include also a fifth film, typically not included in a review of Enrique Taboada's genre work--the 1968 EL VAGABUNDO EN LA LLUVIA/THE DRIFTER IN THE RAIN). And so I welcome Will Laughlin (of to the Vampiros and Monstruos project.