Monthly Archives: October 2009

Blind Dead, a Chilean Zombie Flick (Trailer)

Blind Dead

Chile Con Zombie Hunters

Blind Dead (Muerte Ciega, 2009) is an independent horror film from Chile. It is a near-future zombie movie in which a virus spreads and transforms humans into violent and territorial fiends after a mining incident. The area is quarantined and after some time is subject to incursion and investigation by a team of paramilitaries and scientists. As you can expect, there will be blood. The team itself starts to fall apart as the violence and betrayal escalate.

The trailer shows a band of soldiers escorting scientists to ground zero and all hell breaking loose. Looks like an extremely violent film, almost the guerilla-war type. I do like the look of the film- the muted colors look fantastic, especially considering the movie’s low budget of $2,000.

Written and directed by Cristian Toledo and Lucio Rojas, the film gets its inspiration from such genre classics as 28 Days Later, Stalker, Apocalypse Now, Mad Max, and cowboy Westerns.

Muerte Ciega’s official Facebook fan page includes production images. Looks like they had a good time filming! No word yet on when this movie will be available. I will keep you posted.

There’s a trailer with English subtitles but it doesn’t have the same quality of the Spanish trailer below. There is also a 20 minute preview you can check out here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Muerte Ciega – Trailer on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

UPDATE 2/4/10: There is a new trailer with English subtitles, and it looks like their English title has changed to Blind Death. No release date yet, besides the “first semester of the year.”


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Benicio del Toro in The Wolfman (Trailers)

Benicio on a Very Bad Hair Day

Benicio on a Very Bad Hair Day

I am very excited about seeing fellow boricua (and Oscar winner) Benicio del Toro in the upcoming werewolf movie The Wolfman, especially now that the new trailer is out. It looks great! Considering that Anthony Hopkins and genre giant Hugo Weaving are also in the cast, it’s going to be hard to wait until February 2010 for this film. I haven’t seen the 1941 original movie so I hope fans of the first film enjoy it too.

Del Toro has also been in other genre productions, most memorably as Jackie Boy in Sin City .  Hopefully we’ll see him again soon in more sci-fi or fantasy titles.

Here’s the latest trailer:

And the first trailer in case you missed it:

Pictures at the official Universal website are definitely worth a look (click on Images).

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A Latina in Space: Paula Garcés on Defying Gravity

Astronaut Paula multitasks teaching & annoying her coworkers

Astronaut Paula multitasks teaching with annoying her coworkers

Did you get a chance to watch Defying Gravity this summer on ABC? If not, you missed out on a gem cut short before its time. ABC aired eight episodes of this show and hasn’t decided whether or not to air the remaining five. This is a shame, because while this series is definitely sci-fi and us geeks could revel in its space station beauty and solar system CGI, it also has suspense and romance that could appeal to a wider audience. I’m not sure how well publicized this show was, but considering how I am always on the lookout for new sci-fi shows, Defying Gravity caught me off guard and I didn’t hear about it until a few episodes into the first season.

So here’s the story: It is the year 2052, humans have been to Mars, and the next great multinational exploration mission is aboard spaceship Antares. For six years, it will travel around our solar system visiting several planets for research purposes. I like this premise because it seems realistic that humans will be able to space-travel close to Earth this century (here’s hoping). There is a team of eight astronauts that all have well-hidden emotional baggage, so there is drama amongst the crew and the Mission Control staff back on Earth. The mission itself has its own secrets unbeknownst even to most team members.

Paula Garcés, of Colombian heritage, plays Paula Morales, a former schoolteacher from Texas. She is the payload specialist on the Antares. Fluent in English, Spanish and Ameslan, she is also a shuttle pilot and documents the trip for the whole planet. For example, she carries a video camera around and interviews the other astronauts, then relays the videos to school children. Most of the time she speaks in English, but she also speaks in Spanish making me wonder if she’s talking to English-speaking students studying Spanish, Spanish speaking students studying English, or bilingual students. This may or may not be related to the steady growth of Latino minority groups in the United States. Whatever the reason, it is nice to hear Spanish in space. Never mind that Paula tends to annoy the other astronauts with all her questions.

Paula is very religious and isn’t afraid to display her faith to the crew. She consults her bible whenever she gets stressed out. While the character’s faith is possible, I find it hard to believe it is probable that an astronaut at her level can be so religious.  However, I would let this slide if not for Ajay Sharma, a fellow astronaut from India who is also very religious. They both relate their jobs directly to their faith and destiny. While the one black astronaut transcends ethnic stereotypes, Ajay and Paula unfortunately represent the exotic on the show.  The other characters, white and black, are distinguished by their personalities more than by their religion so it is disappointing how Paula and Ajay are introduced.  I am absolutely not saying that I want no religion or heritage on display and everybody should hide their culture. I am saying that cultural idiosyncrasies shouldn’t be as dominant as it is for these two characters. They are definitely not well-rounded roles. On the bright side, I am grateful that Paula is not the ship’s sex bomb. It is a shame we might not get more episodes because I was beginning to see a glimmer of much needed character development for Paula.

The first eight episodes of Defying Gravity are available on iTunes along with a free preview. They are also available on the ABC and CTV websites. CTV is airing the remaining episodes that ABC can’t decide on showing. As is usual in the case of great shows getting the axe, there is a Save Defying Gravity campaign you can join here and here.

UPDATE: Seems like the show was canceled, but if you’d like some resolution, here is an article interviewing its creator James Parriott.


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Santos- Comic Book Comedy (Movie Review)

Santos movie poster

Santos movie poster

Santos is a Spanish and Chilean comedy wrapped in a superhero movie.  Writer/director, Nicolás López, has created a film that satirizes the comic book based genre while simultaneously drawing you into a world that is oddly believable.

In the not-so-distant future, Salvador Santos (Javier Gutiérrez) is about as unlikely a candidate for saving the world as anyone could be.  Nine years earlier his obsession with becoming a successful comic book writer combined with a freak accident caused Salvador to lose everything.  Not only was his warehouse destroyed just days before the release of his first graphic novel, but his childhood sweetheart, Laura Luna (Elsa Pataky), tired of being second to Salvador’s dreams, had left him for his best friend and multimillionaire, Arturo Antares (Leonardo Sbaraglia).  Now, just days before his 33rd birthday, Salvador is a fat, balding man waiting tables dressed as his favorite superhero.  But life is beginning to look up for Salvador.  His old friend Arturo is ready to invest once again in Salvador’s comics and it even seems that the lovely Laura Luna might still have feelings for him.  Unfortunately the reality of his dreams goes even deeper than he ever imagined. Oh, and by the way, it’s also three days before the end of the world.

One fateful night Salvador encounters Anthropomosco (Guillermo Toledo), a character straight out of Salvador’s own comic.  As it turns out, the comic book is simply his subconscious interpretation of the Doubleverse, an alternate universe where superheroes, called Santos, live under the tyranny of the evil hybrid, Nova, who is hell bent on becoming a full Santos by absorbing the powers of other Santos.  An unfortunate side effect of this is that Nova will also destroy the Doubleverse and the Universe if he attempts to return to his own reality.  Salvador discovers that he too is a Santos who has been hidden in the body of a normal human all these years.  It just so happens that his best friend, Arturo, is sharing his body with the evil Nova.

Though plot has been made humorously predictable and the themes of love and tragedy are as basic as they can be, the characters themselves pull the movie up to the level of real people thrown into fantastical situations.  This is especially true with Salvador Santos who is so self-centered and cowardly that he is reluctant to help the people around him, even when they are not in mortal danger.  He seems to have more flaws than a hero from a Greek tragedy yet he is destined to save the universe.  This alone should leave the viewer on the edge of their seat, even through the cornball themes of love and the crude bodily function jokes.

-K. Shanti Fitch

Check out the trailer:

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Oasis Terminal, Colombian Sci-Fi Short

Grocery Shopping

Grocery Shopping

Check out the dystopian short Oasis Terminal by Colombian filmmaker Rubén Fernández.  The story is about a young man that dreams of finding The Oasis, a genetic vault that contains all the necessary biological material to restart the world after war ravages the planet.  There is of course, a real seed vault near the North Pole, and I am surprised there haven’t been more films relating to this genetic holy grail. The plot follows a day in the life of this young man, a soldier of one of the many human factions left on Earth. Watch for the use of “Radioactive Cam” that makes you feel grateful for the air we breathe.

The entire short can be watched here.

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