Do you believe in demons? No? Me neither.
Robert Rodriguez‘s (Sin City, Machete) Curandero: Dawn of the Demon is a supernatural horror flick with a bit of action going on in-between. The film is based in Mexico, and it deals in cultural traditions and folklore. Our main protagonist is Carlos (Carlos Gallardo), a curandero, who is a practitioner of magic–think shaman who specialize in cleansing areas and individuals who are cursed–is called in by the Mexican police department to cleanse the police station of an evil totem–a bucket with miscellaneous human parts marinating in blood. Then later we get to see people be “cleansed” with eggs, then bloody eggs that explode and a woman with a taste for steak with cockroaches. Mmmm, sounds tasty, doesn’t it?
For all the gore and intended shock value of the mysterious black magic or black arts that Carlos involved himself in–and he found himself in a few nasty situations–was dumbed down by our protagonist being a coward. The guy just ran away from anything and everything. It really isn’t until the very last 20 minutes or so that you really get to see some on-screen action (i.e. gunfights and a naked woman demon biting random people on the street and drinking their blood). Also, whatever you do, stick with the Spanish language version of the film with English subtitles. The English dubbing/dialogue is just terrible. Another thing, I didn’t know that it is permissible for a mafia kingpin to have his organ donor handy around the house. The film goes back and forth between supernatural events and random gunfights in the middle of a busy street.
What’s the positive thing that I took from watching the film? Not much. Sure the film contains a lot of guts and gore–carpets soaked in blood, bodies hanging from the ceiling and random people would flash in oozing blood from their mouths. It’s disappointing to watch a film where the leading character, Carlos allows his awesome powers go to waste. The guy just avoided any and every situation where just a smidgen of his expertise would have been greatly appreciated.
Overall, it’s a B-movie quality horror film that offers up a few laughable moments here and there. I gave the film an extra star because of it.
Image and trailer courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.