"Colmillos, el hombre lobo" is a surprisingly fun and enjoyable Mexican monster romp.
Plagued by strange nightmares, Cristobal, (Miguel Angel Rodriquez) allows it to interfere with his horse-track job for Roman, (Jose Elias Moreno) and while making up the time, is attacked by Tara, (Julieta Rosen) a weird woman who gives him a strange statue. Noticing it's full of precious stones, he sells so he can quit his job and gain the love of Susana, (Olivia Collins) a socialite who frequents the racing track where he works but is unable to do so. Still troubled by the nightmares, a series of vicious animal attacks in the community confirms his fears that he has been cursed with the mark of the werewolf even though no one else believes him. As the attacks continue, he finally comes to believe that he has been cursed to become a werewolf and those around him try to stop it before more in the area are slaughtered.
The Good News: This was actually surprisingly good with a lot of good things about it. One of the best features is the fact that it manages to incorporate the past traditions of the werewolf with a welcome infusion of Gothic trappings to be atmospheric while still keeping with tradition. This is nicely realized in the opening nightmare, where the night-time setting, the journey through the underground caves through POV and the unknown panting in the background and the disorienting design of the caves makes for a rather inspired intro before the attack happens, which provides a nice jump. This is continued nicely with the first sequence of him being afflicted with the curse, the night-time stable encounter. From being drawn into the wilderness by the mysterious woman in white, the eerie blue light being emitted in the distance, and the slow stalking around the area into the woods by himself while the animals are seeing visibly protesting the actions all are classic Gothic trappings being reworked here, and along with the dissent into the caves and the confrontation there, with the statue being found and the skeleton right there for a great jump all coming before the attack, and the scene is both hauntingly beautiful and unnervingly chilling, another classic Gothic exercise being put to good use in the modern times. There's even a good old-fashioned forbidden-romance angle thrown in that is put to good use, using it to build up to the finale that plays homage to the past traditions that are quite obviously worked out in advance but still playing true to the traditions of what's come before. The modern influences here come from the rather fun, brutal and enjoyable attack scenes, which are part of the film's best scenes. The first attack of the dog-walker is quite chilling, due to the atmospheric set-up and grisly action that follows within, and the second encounter is just as good with its taking place in a barn, allowing for the film to take some liberties with almost slasher-film like stalking moments within, like the knocked-over hay-bales, the unseen charging and the final attack making it quite enjoyable, as well as the second part where it continues on outside to grab the second victim. The best stuff, though, is the last half as it's filled with some great encounters with the hunters being stalked among the woods, the creature going into the house to continue the assault within, and the group tracking it back into the woods, complete with a lot of action, suspense and gore in the kills. Those have some good parts too, as they're vicious scratches and maulings, showing the victims getting really cut up and bloody. The last plus is the werewolf's look, which is pretty cool and unique in the genre, and the transformation is effective. These are its good parts.
The Bad News: There wasn't a whole lot here that didn't work. The biggest flaw to overcome is the absolutely inane editing during the attacks, which aren't all that great. Rather than giving good, clear shots of what's going on, it tends to either rattle the camera back-and-forth so that the entire set-piece is so blurred it becomes a guess as to what's happening or the scenes are spliced together so rapidly that it's essentially being assaulted by thirty different cuts during a five-second sequence, almost negating the entire experience to the point of being unable to detect what's going on. That these rapid-fire edits only occur during the scenes of the werewolf's attacks are where it becomes even more of a hassle, as there's very little opportunity to see what's happening during the best part of the film and that's really the reason to see this one, making it stand-out even more. Also problematic is the film's rather cheesy-looking effects for the werewolf, which are really quite goofy and not really that realistic. While it looks good and unique, the fact that there's no way to get around the fact that the creature still looks a little silly, and the transformations to get there, can't be avoided. The last flaw to this one is the rather long portion of set-up it has within the racetrack and finally getting him to leave. It spends a little longer amount of time than it really should due to the fact that he's already left there, yet it still has a series of scenes afterward of them wandering around, which just eats up time it could've put to better use. Otherwise, these here are the film's flaws.
The Final Verdict: Without much in the way of flaws and really packed with some good stuff, this here is a much more enjoyable effort than expected and gets a lot of stuff right. Highly recommended to fans of the creative side, the more Gothic-tinged horror or a Mexican horror fan, while those who aren't should heed caution.
Rated UR/R: Graphic Violence, Nudity, a mild sex scene and some Language
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this