Mangue Negro

by on Mar.10, 2010, under Daily Review

Set in the swamp land of Brazil, a small community struggle to fish and survive. Through pollution or disease, the area becomes infected with a plague which manifests in rotting corpses, bringing the dead back to life. N the chaos, Luis (Walderrama dos Santos) struggles to protect win over the affections of his sweetheart, Raquel (Kika de Oliveira). Meanwhile, Valde (Ricardo Araujo) is a fisherman caught out in the swamp, battling the zombies. His path soon crosses with Luis and Raquel.

Rodrigo Aragao has got a film to be proud of here and has made something very special. This is a brutal movie with some great effects, huge gore content and real humour, the likes not seen since Raimi stole our hearts with Evil Dead. It’s very well shot and shows a real passion for cinema, let alone the genre. There are intimate moments, beautifully filmed, action sequences which are very tense and some very inventive gore scenes. One scene has a zombies jaw bone pulled off.  The Zombies themselves are nasty dirty things, born of the swamp, which really contrasts against some of the comic moments. The balance here is perfect. There is a scene with a zombie being tortured with a hot orange on a fork, only to spend the next ten minutes of the film with the orange/fork combination stuck in his eye. There is an interesting stop frame animation sequence too of a zombie attaching the log cabin. An interesting choice as this is intercut with a full size version of the zombie. The zombie effects are extremely good, but i cannot express how blood filled this film is. Extreme is the understatement.

The film wins over for its great acting, brilliant script and plot which is original; a tough challenge in its chosen genre. Aragao is also a great talent behind the camera. The score is good too. Plenty of violin strings, plucking cello and spooky piano.


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