FILM REVIEW: LUCIFERINA

Admittedly, possession films aren’t really my thing. They tend to be VERY similar to one another and unless there’s something new to the story, you’re pretty much not going to top THE EXORCIST in my opinion. Personally, I’m more of a blood & gore connoisseur. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m happy to report that LUCIFERINA is something a little different, and they don’t shy away from the viscera once the movie hits full stride. Allow me to elaborate…

LUCIFERINA is the story of a nun-in-training named Natalia, or Nati (Sofia Del Tuffo). Nati spends her days at a home for teens recovering from drug abuse. She seems very quiet and reserved, but she isn’t your average young woman. Nati has the ability to see people’s auras, sometimes they glow like sunlight while other times they’re black and cloudy. You can probably guess that the black and cloudy auras belong to some pretty unsavory characters. Nati is going about her day like any other, when one of the senior nuns tells her that her parents have been in an accident. Aside from the fact that her mother was killed in this accident, there aren’t any other details to be told. Nati doesn’t seem thrilled to be heading home, but it’s clear she has to.

Upon arriving home, Nati is greeted by her goth sister Angela (Malena Sanchez) and Angela’s human-garbage boyfriend Mauro (Francisco Donovan). Nati intrigues Mauro, specifically her virginity. He makes a few crude comments, and Nati proceeds up the stairs to see her bed-ridden father. He’s bandaged and bloodied and he hasn’t spoken a word since the accident. The room he’s confined to is littered with her mother’s artwork. Her mother’s artwork seems to have a central theme…Every painting is of the triangular uterus variety. The paintings are dark and grim. They seem to get more and more vicious as Nati looks around the room. In fact, more than one of the paintings seem to have been etched in actual human blood. LUCIFERINA is very much a feminine horror film, in terms of themes and imagery. This is just one of many times the audience will be confronted with difficult images like these.

After some brief exposition exposing Angela to be an adopted drug addict, and Mauro to be a near-rapist biker scumbag, we then get to the heart of the story. Angela and some friends are seeking out a shaman deep in the jungle to give them a ayahuasca ritual. It’s a powerful hallucinogenic experience said to cleanse the soul…or in this case…maybe release the evil within. Nati is coerced into joining her sister and the group, but it’s clear that she’s a little curious herself. Nothing has seemed quite right since she’s been home. Everyone acts very strange around Nati, and it seems that the others may need her, and her purity to successfully complete the ritual. Or are these people just some dark vessel to get Nati into the jungle?

Once the gang reaches this deserted church-like structure deep in the jungle, Nati begins to have daydreams of an evil presence. I couldn’t help but compare that presence to Samara Morgan from THE RING, as it appears to be a woman in white with long black hair obscuring her face. Nati ignores these premonitions and they get into the ritual. The drug is dispersed, and it’s time to let the madness begin. Every member of the group begins to writhe and sweat in agony as the drugs take hold. Each person goes on his or her own little vision quest, but Nati’s journey seems very specific. Like, being born in the middle of a satanic ritual specific. It’s gory and pretty fucked up, and that’s just the hallucinations talking. When Nati awakens, she’s thrust into a pretty much full blown EVIL DEAD scenario complete with her newfound friends missing limbs and eyeballs. It seems that maybe not everyone in the group is who they say they are.

As I stated in the intro, I’m typically not wild about possession films but this one was different. I’ve also come to appreciate that the distributor, Artsploitation Films, hasn’t really steered me wrong yet. I like my horror edgy, and LUCIFERINA is definitely that. Not just in terms of gore or sexuality, but in exploring some larger themes about the corruption of family and innocence.

The film is Argentinian, so the sexuality and gore are on full display. Such as showing a masturbating nun in full display before the 15-minute mark. The film is very transgressive in its themes and uses female sexuality as both a source of shame as well as a weapon. It’s almost refreshing in a way to see a repressed female character lash out and use her beauty and sexuality as an instrument of liberation, or even destruction. Especially when the majority of the male characters around her are so reprehensible.

LUCIFERINA isn’t without its flaws, but it does a fairly decent job of steering the viewer away from nitpicking, and more towards the larger thematic elements within. It actually felt like two movies to me, with a clear dividing line at the moment of the shamanic ritual. The film is very heavy on the symbolism (literally), which some viewers may find a little too on the nose. I wasn’t particularly bothered by it, but it was noticeable. The film also shows three specific symbols during both the opening and closing credits, which leads me to believe that LUCIFERINA might be a part of a potential trilogy. It seemed to me like there were some bigger ideas that may become clear if that’s the case. If not, I can only judge what I was presented with and LUCIFERINA is a solid entry into the possession genre, even if it is a little misguided at times.

LUCIFERINA  is available on Blu-ray today and on VOD  on December 4th.

LUCIFERINA is a solid entry into the possession genre, even if it is a little misguided at times.

2 ½  Tombstones out of 5 …

We Totally Missed This ‘Evil Dead’ Necronomicon Easter Egg in Rick’s Final Episode of “The Walking Dead”

Whenever Greg Nicotero directs an episode of “The Walking Dead” you can expect him to pay tribute to a favorite horror film, which usually comes in the form of a zombie made to look like an iconic horror movie zombie from the past. But last Sunday night’s ‘What Comes After,’ aka Rick’s final episode, featured a cameo from a familiar location and prop.

As pointed out by Halloween Love, Rick makes a pit stop at a dilapidated cabin while he’s bleeding out and barely clinging on to life, where he has a delusion of a reunion with fallen friend Shane Walsh. The cabin, as you probably noticed, looked a whole lot like the iconic cabin from The Evil Dead, but you maybe didn’t notice the Necronomicon inside!

(Honestly, we missed it entirely. And we thank HL for the heads up.)

Not only is there a deer head on the wall of the cabin, but at one point, Nicotero makes sure to show that the Book of the Dead is lying on the floor, right next to a handgun.

It’s interesting to note that Greg Nicotero actually worked on Evil Dead 2 early in his career, on the makeup effects crew. A fun little nod to his own past, via “The Walking Dead”!

Was 2013’s ‘Evil Dead’ a Sequel or a Remake? Director Fede Alvarez Finally Settles the Beef!

Anyone who knows me knows that I normally shun remakes, as do most loyal horror fans. That’s why friends of mine are so surprised when I say how much I adore Fede Alvarez’s 2013 Evil Dead. “But…you hate remakes almost as much as you hate “found footage” movies”, they say; well the fact is that I’ve always contended, as have other wise fans, that Fede’s film was not a remake but a sequel; Ash’s rusted out Delta 88 is sitting in front of the cabin, for god’s sake!

Still, there are those that would argue that the film was meant as a straight remake and to them I say, told ya so! Last night, well most of us deadites were snoozing, a fan tweeted Fede Alvarez with this exact question and the director responded, “It continues the first one. The coincidences on events between the first film and mine are not coincidences, but more like dark fate created by the evil book. (Ash car is still there rusting away)”.

Well, there you have it fiends. It would seem that 5 years after the bloody film’s release, it has been confirmed that Evil Dead is in fact a sequel to the original film. Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Alvarez.

 

Stay gory my friends.

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Director Fede Alvarez Just Gave an Interesting Response When Asked if His ‘Evil Dead’ is a Remake

For years, horror fans have debated whether Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II is technically a sequel or actually a remake – for what it’s worth, Bruce Campbell himself recently called it a “requel,” while we’d simply call it, well, a clear cut sequel – and interestingly enough, fans have also spent several years now debating the very same thing about Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead.

Is the 2013 version of Evil Dead (which finally now has its Unrated Cut available on Blu-ray!) truly a remake of Sam Raimi’s original, or is it a sequel that takes place in a world where the events of the previous films did indeed happen? As many have pointed out, Ash’s iconic Oldsmobile does appear as an Easter egg in the movie, suggesting it’s not quite a remake.

Alvarez himself just provided a pretty interesting answer to this question on Twitter.

He tweeted, when asked if his Evil Dead is a remake or set within the same continuity as the original Sam Raimi films, “It continues the first one. The coincidences on events between the first film and mine are not coincidences, but more like dark fate created by the evil book. (Ash car is still there rusting away).”

So there you have it. Whatever you want to call it, Evil Dead ’13 is one hell of a horror flick!

Glad there was no 1 or 2 because THREE is the ‘CAMP DEATH’ for You

Do filmmakers really set out to make a bad film? What constitutes a bad film? Perhaps in making a bad film, there is genuine time, value and workmanship put into…

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‘Army of Darkness’ and ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’ Crossover in New Comic Series

Evil Dead

Ash faces off with an assortment of notorious horror icons in his “comic-verses”. He’s fought against Freddy and Jason, and the entire Marvel’s Zombies universe, but he has yet to confront his rival of the accolade “king”: Elvis Presley. In a stellar crossover brought to us by Dynamite comics and publisher IDW, Evil Dead/Army of […]

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Fede Alvarez Has Script for the ‘Don’t Breathe’ Sequel

Before directing The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Fede Alvarez put his stamp on the Evil Dead remake and also helmed the ridiculously suspenseful Don’t Breathe, two films that both warrant a sequel.

While out promoting The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Alvarez was asked about long-gestured sequels to both films and got right down to the nitty-gritty. While Evil Dead could happen in the future, right now he prefers to get a Don’t Breathe sequel off the ground and even revealed that there’s a completed screenplay. Unfortunately, he may not direct.

“It doesn’t mean that we won’t make them. And that I make them might not be that I’m directing, but I might be producing,” he told Movieweb. “They’re just ideas right now. Nothing to announce officially. We do have a script for Don’t Breathe 2. That’s the only difference. We don’t have a script for Evil Dead 2. But we do have a script for Don’t Breathe 2 that we wrote. Once I’m done with [The Girl in the Spider’s Web] we’re gonna start thinking of ways to bring that story to the screen. Me directing or me producing. It really depends on the time that we’ll have. I’m particularly excited about that because it’s a really different sequel, when it comes to sequels. It’s a very different approach and I’m excited about that.”

In Don’t Breathe, a trio of thieves breaks into the house of a blind man who isn’t as helpless as he seems. Alvarez reteamed with Evil Dead star Jane Levy on the film, which left the door open for a sequel.

UnBoxing the First Loot Fright

Subscriptions boxes have become a big part of the nerd community as a by product of the internet age, but you already know this. Boxes have been around for some time and while there have been a few made specifically for horror fans, they have come with mixed results. So it was only a matter […]

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Six Times “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Paid Tribute to Classic Horror Films, Including ‘Elm Street’!

If it wasn’t already clear based on The CW’s “Riverdale,” Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is a big time horror movie fan, and there’s no shortage of that horror love in his new series for Netflix, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The series is practically steeped in love for the horror genre, with movie posters, homages and even classic clips on full display throughout.

The characters, for example, are seen watching films like Night of the Living Dead and Carnival of Souls, and they at one point have a discussion about the deeper meaning of David Cronenberg’s The Fly; they weigh in on the “fast vs. slow zombies” debate at another. Posters for films such as The Fearless Vampire Killers and Freaks serve as set decorations.

“Chilling Adventures” is also loaded with horror Easter eggs and more interesting tributes to classic films, and we wanted to shine the spotlight on six of them for you today!


1) A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

There are a couple moments through the first season of “Chilling Adventures” that are direct nods to Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, one of which pops up in the third episode. Like Nancy in the 1984 film, Sabrina has a nightmare vision of a blood-covered dead girl standing in the doorway of her classroom, who none of the other students are able to see. And just like in Nancy’s memorable nightmare sequence, Sabrina chases the dead girl down the hallway, the girl trailing blood along the way.

Another fun nod to Elm Street comes in episode 6. Screen-grabbed at the top of this article, Ross Lynch’s Harvey Kinkle is at one point laying in bed with headphones on, sporting a white and blue crop top with the number “10” printed on it. The shirt is virtually identical to the one Johnny Depp was wearing during his Elm Street death scene, which also took place on a bed while he was wearing headphones!


2) BEETLEJUICE

In the very first episode of “Chilling Adventures,” Harvey kisses Sabrina after a night out at the movies, which compels her to do a happy dance on the stairs once she’s back in the comfort of the Spellman Mortuary. The dance she does, set to “Be My Baby,” is very similar to the dance Winona Ryder does as Lydia Deetz in the final moments of Beetlejuice. Sabrina doesn’t float, mind you, but her moves were clearly inspired by Ryder’s iconic 1988 dance.


3) SUSPIRIA

There’s a good bit of Suspiria love in “Chilling Adventures,” with the show’s Academy of Unseen Arts essentially serving as its own version of the 1977 film’s dance academy. Both, after all, are run by witches, and the students even sleep together in one big room just as they did in Suspiria. Another more direct nod to Dario Argento’s Italian horror classic can be seen in the Spellman Mortuary, which features a stained glass ceiling (prominently seen in episode 8) that is an *exact* replica of the stained glass ceiling from the bloody opening of Suspiria!

Keep your eyes peeled for some other tributes to Suspiria‘s set designs throughout.


4) THE EXORCIST

Before “Chilling Adventures” even premiered, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had been teasing an episode that was a full-on tribute to The Exorcist, and that can be found in episode 6’s fittingly titled “An Exorcism in Greendale.” The episode primarily centers on the demonic possession of a man, and it plays out much the same way Regan’s possession does in The Exorcist. Aguirre-Sacasa had recently told us, “Episode 6 is pretty much a straight-up homage to The Exorcist from shots to different little things that I don’t want to spoil.”

And yes, of course the possessed dude projectile vomits.


5) HELLRAISER

One of the coolest things for horror fans about “Chilling Adventures” is that it’s *loaded* with actual Clive Barker artwork, most of which is prominently on display in the Academy of Unseen Arts. As the production designer recently explained, Barker contributed over 150 paintings to the show, and you’ll surely recognize them as you make your way through the series.

Naturally, “Chilling Adventures” has all kinds of other Barker-inspired touches, including a puzzle box opened up by Sabrina in the super fun fifth episode, which unleashes a demon. More subtle nods to Hellraiser are found all over Madam Satan’s house, which features wallpaper, stained glass windows and even floor designs similar to those found in the Cotton house.

Clive Barker, in many ways, has a strong presence in “Chilling Adventures.”


6) EVIL DEAD

The catalyst for Season 1’s storyline is that Sabrina bails on her “Dark Baptism,” refusing to sign on the dotted line and give her soul to Satan. As she’s running out of the dark woods in episode 2, Sabrina is attacked by tree branches that have come to life in an attempt to keep her from escaping, an obvious nod to one of the most memorable moments from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead.

Thankfully, the tree attack on Sabrina is a bit less, well, violating.


Did you spot any horror movie homages that we missed? Comment and let us know!

Haunting at Foster Cabin aka Demon Legacy – USA, 2014

‘See evil. Hear evil. Speak evil.’

Haunting at Foster Cabin – aka Demon Legacy – is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Rand Vossler and Bob Gill from a screenplay by the former and Tracy Morse. The Parallel 49 Production stars AnnaMaria Demara, Michelle Nunes, Kate Siegel, Kati Sharp and John Savage.

California: In a remote mountain lodge, five sorority sisters accidentally unleash an unholy entity, and must battle evil and each other to stop it from devouring mankind…

Reviews:

“It is unfortunate that there is so much to praise for the most part of Demon Legacy in replicating what made a multitude of 80’s low budget horror films cult gems. However, it manages to mess it up in the final act where a true sacrifice to the film is made in trying to add something fresh where ultimately it ends up feeling stale.” BloodGuts UK Horror

“Under the circumstances, benefit of the doubt suggests Demon Legacy did everything conceivable to make lemonade out of blizzards, brushfires, and expired contracts. Yet while that satisfies as an explanation for the film’s schizophrenic delivery, it doesn’t salvage the mediocre entertainment value.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

Demon Legacy isn’t as entirely bad as elements of this review might suggest, but nor is it nearly as good as it could have been […] It’s goreless, lazy and predictable, packed with clichés, annoying characters and rubbish CGI horror. It may wish it was, but Demon Legacy is not Evil Dead-ish at all. This is merely Evil Dead for the Ugg boot generation.” Joel Harley, Horror Talk

“From the demonic smoke, to the comedic jerking of those possessed to the utterly bizarre cameo from John Savage as ‘The Codger’, at times it was hard to distinguish this movie from a straight-laced horror to unintentional parody. The shoddy special effects that were used did little to help my state of open-mouthed bemusement…” Dave Wain, The Schlock Pit

“Yes, some money has been put behind the film and it looks slicker than other, similar offerings, but the appalling weakness of everything else means the money spent was wasted. Sex sells, gore sells and the two combined should have meant a sure-fire hit. Instead, Demon Legacy is a work as empty and soulless as the zombie-demon-things in it.” Stuart O’Conner, Screen Jabber

Choice dialogue:

Sharon: “Considering you were hiding out in a secluded cabin I was expecting it to be a little more, you know, Evil Dead-ish.

Cast and characters:

  • AnnaMaria Demara … Michelle
  • Michelle Nunes … Dana
  • Kate Siegel … Jack
  • Kati Sharp … Sharon
  • John Savage … The Codger – Empire of the Sharks; The Orphan Killer; They Nest; The Killing Kind; et al
  • Grant Alan Ouzts … Randy
  • Jamie Strange … Kelly
  • Eileen Dietz … Grace
  • Cortney Palm … Demon Dana
  • Nancy McCrumb … Demon Jack
  • Angelina Lyubomirova … Veronica
  • Matthew Currie Holmes … Wesley
  • Marley Brantley … Young Michelle

Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

Trivia:

Initial filming began in 2008, however the production was plagued by problems and had to be shut down twice. The movie was eventually only completed in 2014 after a crowdfunding campaign to complete special effects.

The original title was See How They Run

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