Thursday, November 26, 2020

Dead Man Tells His Own Tale – review

Director: Fabián Forte

Release date: 2016

Contains spoilers

If it looks like a vampire, and it acts like a vampire, is it a vampire? In this case I’ll say yes even though the film makes a distinction between the creatures and vampires (but also has the attempted use of stakes as they act just like vampires). In this case the creatures are actually Baobhan Sith (also termed in film as bloodsucking fairies from Scottish Mythology and ‘the White Women of the Scottish Highlands’), which feels a somewhat weird choice for an Argentinean film.


Some choice descriptors from Bane suggests they are, “a type of REVENANT vampiric fay…” that will “lure young men, particularly shepherds who are up in the highlands, to a secluded place and offer to dance with them... …until the man is exhausted, then it will attack, draining him of his blood.” They can shift into the form of a crow.

in the morgue

So, in this we see a body in the morgue. The narration we hear is from the dead man who says he is Angel Barrios (Diego Gentile), when we see his neck it is clearly messed up. After the credits we go back in time and see a little girl, Antonella (Fiorela Duranda), who runs upstairs as we see a shuffling, groaning figure come towards the house. She hides in a closet. The figure paints black under his eyes and ‘gets’ her – It is Angel and Antonella is his daughter. His wife, Lucila (Mariana Anghileri), is working and so he bathes and feeds Antonella. It seems like marital bliss.

Damián Dreizik as Eddie

However, when they talk later, we hear her talking about fulfilling his fantasies by him pointing out a woman and her seducing her – and his negative reaction fuelled by the idea that it might lead to a tryst with another man and his jealousy. He is an advert director and gets a call from his business partner Eddie (Damián Dreizik). Eddie has lined up a casting couch for him but, with Lucila in the room he responds about editing and makes an excuse to go out. It turns out that Angel is a serial cheater.

woman in the bar

The film builds this world of casting couches and misogyny and then we see Eddie sneak an amulet into Angel's jacket. Almost straight afterwards his car breaks down outside a bar. Inside is a beautiful woman, so he goes in and tries to seduce her. The bar is playing the rushes of his advert (which shouldn't be public), the women in the bar whispering Macha (as in the Irish Goddess). He awakens still sat in the car and the bar is shut. At home he finds the amulet in his pocket. He wakes in bed to see a crow perched on the bedstead and goes downstairs… the amulet is glowing green…


Suddenly he is in a therapist’s office (who is the woman from the bar). She tells him that he has been hypnotised and that he should tell her about the dream. He sees two women flanking her but she says that he is hallucinating them and they can’t hurt him. He says he is scared of their fangs and, as they come close, they rip at his neck with talons and start to feed. The therapist puts out her hand and it has his blood on it and her long tongue flicks out and licks it. The next morning his body is found in a ditch by police and taken to the morgue as a John Doe – where he awakens.

zombie-like men

So, he is dead but not dead, as is Eddie. He can no longer use misogynistic language and Eddie says they get in your head – indeed they will put the enslaved men into trances and draw them to a place to dig a giant hole (to free the goddess). He can’t stomach cooked food any longer (though he can eat raw meat and drink blood) and sunlight is painfully bright. But he, and the other men he meets, are rather zombie like. They decide to try and use stakes against the Baobhan Sith, tipped with iron presumably due to their fae nature – though a suicidal man (zombie) tries one on himself and it fails to kill him. The Fae are looking to resurrect the goddess and bring about a worldwide matriarchy.


This was great fun. It felt a little like Witching and Bitching (2013) in tone – though the story was different. The anti-misogynistic aspect was perhaps a tad lost by the fact that the fae are portrayed as monsters and the men/zombies as victims – and the fact that Angel was drawn to be likable despite the fact that he was a serial cheat and exploitative. The vampire fae looked good but were, I would say, under-used in the film. Nevertheless, worth a look. 6 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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