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Archive for June 22nd, 2010

Alucarda

by on Jun.22, 2010, under Daily Review

Mexican filmmaker Juan López Moctezuma directs this dramatic visionary version of the Carmilla story, using all the arty tricks he picked up from working as Producer on Joderowsky’s El Topo. A fast moving exploitive festival of devil worship, naked sacrifice and blood shed.

The Carmilla role is this time filled with Justine (Susana Kamini) who arrives at a convent.  She makes a bond with (Tina Romero), and soon, after frolicking in the woods, and a strange encounter with some weirdo gypsy types, they discover a burial chamber of a sister who had taken her own life, condemned. A pact in blood and the possession of a spirit, and soon we have the Devil himself corrupting the girls in a crazy scene, but one of ultimate experience. I’ve never seen anything like it. From here on in, the convent is in trouble as Alucarda creates despair and chaos.

Juan López Moctezuma does a great job here with dramatic performances from his cast. The film feels more like a stage production with brilliant dialogue, brilliantly executed by Romero, Dave Silva (The Father) and Kamini. Scenes of possession and exorcism are stunning and truly realistic.

Set design is also bloody amazing. The main church has a thousand crucifixes carved from a cave wall which looks amazing. The village scenes are beautiful looking, I’m not sure if it’s a real place or a sound stage, but even so, it’s magical looking.

This kind of film can so easily be made on a low budget, or an excuse for naked nuns, but here we have a terrifying, visually stunning film, which will probably surprise most viewers. Amazing shocking moments with a finale which will truly stick in your mind, Alucarda using all the powers of Hell to destroy the convent, burning nuns, monks and effigies. Romero’s performance is something else.

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