Saturday, April 19, 2008

Off topic and then kind of back on track

DVD set

the amuletIt might surprise some folks to learn that I don’t just watch vampire movies! I recently picked up the special edition DVD set of Mariano Baino’s Dark Waters and felt that I should mention it to you all, simply because this is the way a DVD set should be. The set comes with a moulded tile of the stone amulet featured in the film. There is a lovely booklet with illustrations, storyboards and script excerpts. The film is digitally remastered (and looks gorgeous) and there is a second disc of short films by Baino.

lovely visualsThe film itself is slow paced, perhaps too much for some tastes, and fairly bizarre, that bizarre nature offering a dreamlike feeling that accentuates the slow pace. A Lovecraftian atmosphere runs through the film and you are plunged into a bizarre world populated by creepy nuns. If I had to complain it would be that the effects at the climax of the film leave a little to be desired – a problem with budget undoubtedly.

The title of this article mentions kind of back on track and for that we must go the director’s short flick:

Honourable Mentions: Caruncula

tortured dollsThis was a 20 minute short film by Biano from back in 1990 and the flick itself starts with a series of disturbing images surrounding the mutilation and torture of dolls. The maniac, as he is referred to, is a sadistic/masochistic killer. The attack on dolls showing his twisted nature. He goes a-hunting and gets more than he bargained for.

This comes in the form of a woman who lives with her child and her mother and we see, almost from the beginning that something is not quite right. Her writing and spelling (in respect of a shopping list) are imperfect, her mother uses the oven to store slippers. She goes out to the cinema.

revealing herselfHaving been sexually harassed by an employee at the cinema (who is the maniac's first victim) she finds herself hunted. At first she is the standard horror victim but, once cornered she reveals rows of sharp teeth and proves herself to be the more dangerous creature – something that the maniac obviously recognises and is submissive to.

a bite - apologies for the qualityIs she a vampire? It is difficult to tell. There is certainly a neck bite but there is also a full consumption of the flesh of her victims. She and her mother are both this type of creature and the director’s commentary doesn’t help as she is simply described as not human. The “cula” in the title is an imperfect road-sign and might be referential to the Caruncula lachrymalis, the nodule in the corner of the eye. To be honest she could be one of a variety of monsters – vampire and ghoul are the main two that spring to mind and she might just be a mutant variety. This might have been a ‘Vamp or Not?’ but it was so inconclusive, and genre interesting at the least, that I plumped for the honourable mention instead. The short does not have an imdb page at time of writing.


Derek "Ruthven" Tatum said...

Another good example of how to present a DVD right is Casanegra's "Curse of the Crying Woman." The movie is an enjoyable Hispanic rewrite of Bava's "Black Sunday," but it features one of the best booklets I've seen - exploring La Llorona's (an American spook) folklore origins and career in popular culture.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Now, if there was no better reason to post about this - and I think it deserved a post obviously - it was to attract that comment... Curse f the Dying Women is now on my Amazon wish list!