In 1535, an alchemist builds an extraordinary mechanism encapsulated into a small golden device. The invention, designed to convey eternal life to its owner, survives its maker until 1997, when it shows up with an antiques dealer. Fascinated with the strange device, Gris (Luppi) doesn't note that there's more than one person looking for it. The promise of eternal life has become an obsession for old and sick Mr. De la Guardia (Brook). He and his nephew (Perlman) will do anything to get the Chronos Invention. Written by
Maximiliano Maza <email@example.com>
In an interview included on the Criterion edition of this movie, Ron Perlman talks about how Angel was meant to speak Spanish fluently. Ron Perlman tried this, but Guillermo Del Toro found his reading to be completely unusable. So, the character was changed to an expatriated American who so hates being in Mexico, that what little Spanish he speaks is deliberately spoken poorly. See more »
When Jesús searches for Aurora after she has taken the Cronos, as he walks through two doors, he stops. Behind him, reflected in the glass of the door, is crew and equipment. See more »
[over the opening sequence]
In 1536, fleeing from the Inquisition, the alchemist Uberto Fulcanelli disembarked in Veracruz, Mexico. Appointed official watchmaker to the Viceroy, Fulcanelli was determined to perfect an invention which would provide him with the key to eternal life. He was to name it... the Cronos device. 400 years later, one night in 1937, part of the vault in a building collapsed. Among the victims was a man of strange skin, the color of marble in moonlight. His chest mortally ...
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Dedicated to the memory of Josefina Camberos See more »
I can't think of many 90's films that will be remembered as classics of the horror genre, this film is an exception.
When you think of Mexican horror, you no doubt think of the El Santo Vs. the Aztec Mummy type films made in the 60s, don't get me wrong, I like them too. In interviews, director Guillermo Del Toro has said that his influences come more from American and British horror (such as the classic Universal and Hammer horror films) than from Mexico's horror tradition. Still, the film does have a distinctly Mexican sensibility, especially with it's abundance of Catholic imagery.
First time director Del Toro, cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (who would go on to do great work for Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, among oth ers), and production designer Tolita Figuero create a very unique, interesting look for the film.
All of the actors are great, especially veteran Argentinian actor Federico Luppi, who plays the main character Jesus Gris, and Luis Bunuel's favorite Mexican actor Claudio Brook, who plays Dieter De La Guardia. What really makes the film for me is it's quirky sense of humor and odd characterizations, I found scenes toward the middle of the film to be hilarious. The effective, subtle, score by Javier Alvarez also adds to the mood of the film.
The film also manages to be a very different kind of vampire story than usual, It makes me think a little bit of the "Wurdulak" segment of the great Mario Bava's film Black Sabbath. Vampire films of late have become very tiresome, it's nice to see someone take a different approach.
I think Guillermo Del Toro is a talent to watch for.
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