Mexico Maleficarum: Program Devoted to Mexican Horror Cinema at The Academy Museum Next Month
If you're in the Los Angeles area and feel you are due for a extensive lesson on the history of Mexican horror cinema then you need to get to Mexico Maleficarum: Resurrecting 20th Century Mexican Horror Cinema at the Academy Museum next month.
All during the month of October a selection of screenings and bouble bills of some of the best horror films from Mexico. For the unlearned the most noteble inclusions in the program include Guillermo Del Toro's Cronos and Alejandro Jorodowski's Santa Sangre. The rest of the program is a deep dive into Mexican horror past.
I really wish I lived in Los Angeles and could attend this series. But then I'd have to live in Los Angeles (ducks for cover). Find out more information about all the films included in this program and for ticket information right here.
This program was curated by our friend at Morbido Film Festival, Abraham Castillo Flores.
Mexico Maleficarum: Resurrecting 20th Century Mexican Horror CinemaA ceremony is about to begin. Bells are tolling. Candles are lit. "Maleficarum" is the Latin word for witchcraft, which tragically became entangled with religious prosecution and abuse. This series reclaims the word back from the fanatics to use its might to resurrect and protect the psychotronic spirit that blossomed within Mexican horror cinema during its evolution in the latter part of the 20th century.These films have historically been considered outcasts. While audiences enjoyed these delirious tales and box offices gorged on the receipts, the majority of film historians and critics openly denounced the recycled plot lines, genre mashups, and financial straightjackets under which they had to operate. Meanwhile, a peculiar flavor of cinema developed, one wearing a luchador mask, suspending vampire bats with clearly visible nylon thread, and lavishly displaying outlandish facial makeup that ventured beyond the absurd. In this cinematic ecosystem, bizarre filmic flora bloomed into a mystical space within the Mexican cinematic consciousness which revels in unhinged entertainment value, imagination that defies limitations, operatic emotions, a recurrent fear of the feminine, and a constant acknowledgement of the occult.Through the decades, many of these films have enjoyed cruel cycles of euphoric popularity on television, followed by long, quiet hibernation. The time has come to liberate monsters, lusty vampires, witches, deranged scientists, doll people, ghosts, and an Aztec living head from their extended slumber.Hear these sisters and brothers of the night awake. Their existence honors the sheer bravado and passion of the actors and filmmakers who created them. We salute all the institutions, media companies, festivals, historians, and devoted fans, from Mexico and abroad, who have protected the legacy of these films against oblivion. Still today some jewels remain inaccessible, while others are scattered into a limbo of unsupervised transfers and neglect. Join us in a ritual ceremony of resurrection, from the unlit corners of vaults and archives to the mythical canvas of the museum’s screen, where these films will once again face the light beam of the projector and deliver their Mexquisite dark gospel into your souls.Films in this series contain graphic content; viewer discretion is strongly advised.Please note: La cabeza viviente (The Living Head) is no longer screening as part of this series. We apologize for this inconvenience.Programmed and notes by Abraham Castillo Flores, Guest Programmer