An underground Chilean film-maker who, at least in his early films, mixes elements of both arthouse and grindhouse, with an emphasis on modern extreme violence, torture
and some gore. Also involved in comics, and frequently injects black humor or homages to grindhouse movies, along with artistic cinematography, somewhat intellectual
dialogue and the occasional surrealism. His serial-killers tend to make repeat appearances in his movies. After the first few experimental and unique movies however,
he turned towards more conventional, albeit very violent and slightly weird horror movies. Reviewed until 2016.
For the first half of this movie, I thought it was a spoof on Von Trier's Antichrist. A man with magical powers lives in a forest after an apocalyptic event that turned
everyone violent. Bibilical and other quotes are splashed across the screen, telling the tale of creation in reverse, the magician also talking in reverse, speaking of a
great magic trick that he must perform involving death and violence, as if he were undoing creation itself by using nature's own cruelty against it. He digs out a woman's
body, shares with her his plans and then keeps performing sadistic acts of violence, cruelty and rape on her, speaking of his desire for cruelty and the magic he will create.
So we have irrational and endless torture between a man and a woman, pretentious biblical themes, a forest, and gratuitous penetration shots, and it's so nonsensical it
must be a spoof. But then the movie starts suggesting other solutions: A sci-fi Matrix-like reality, experimental mental procedures, computer programs with biblical names,
the inside of a killer's mind who may be a murderous circus performer, or perhaps a hero who fights the system. Which reality is real is left up to the viewer, and
Valladares pulls out all the stops to make this an artistic, surreal, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, sadistic head-scratcher. Moderately interesting.
Pitch-black humor and implausible twists fill this Chilean horror movie about two killers who find themselves hired to kill the same woman. One is The Italian, who sees
himself as an experienced and professional stylist, with rules about how to torture and kill his victims with a certain dignity, brutality and style. The other is a young
and simpler-minded man with a chainsaw and a taste for rape and the perverse. They immediately start to argue and discuss methods and techniques, disagreeing on most
issues but also reminiscing on past kills and reputations, discussing the philosophy of killing and the arbitrary limits that each one draws, while the horrified victim
sits bound and screaming to a chair. Matters deterioriate, and there are several plot-twists that are implausible but amusing. Also included are a couple of surreal scenes
involving The Italian romancing or raping his victim in natural settings like some kind of vampire before the kill.
An anthology of horror films on the theme of intimate relationships gone very very twisted. Toro Loco is a badly acted cowboy who 'ties' the three films together by
going after the people involved in the films out of some kind of sick idealism of his own, his weapon of choice being a cow's skull (huh?) or gun. He is also chased
by a samurai-sword wielding man in a silly mask (don't ask). The first film 'Eat me Tender' is the most dull and empty, featuring an artsy montage of serial-killer-themed
footage and quotes as the police investigate a cannibal-killer, with a twist involving a like-minded serial-killer companion. The second, No Ordinary Love, is the most
graphically sick, filming a cheating husband and a hooker in a motel room as the sex becomes more and more sadistic involving broken glass and needles, with an ending
that turns the tables. The final film (You Like This) is about a very confused and broken man abused by his wife who turns to homosexuality and other kinks (insert artsy
and graphic gay imagery here) only to find that his lover (who may not be real) will go to really sick and gory lengths to keep him.
Unfortunately, Valladares chucks out his unique touches of black humor and surrealism and just goes for condensed and mind-numbingly endless grindhouse nastiness in this one.
That it is supposedly based on real events is only a minor distraction, as the portrayal here is obviously too over-the-top, exploitative and unrealistic to match any true
story. A beast of a country-man that works with a local drug kingpin gets rid of his wife and replaces her with his daughters, one of which promptly gives birth to a mutant
that is fed raw meat. Matters somehow get worse from there, as the father goes berzerk and the drug boss sends people after him and his daughters to recover his drugs,
while his daughters resort to prostitution and cannibalism to stay alive. It's like a compendium of grindhouse staples: Backwoods mutants, gore, gratuitous violence,
incest, rape, torture, cannibalism, drugs, and even some chainsaw violence. But although it may pass any grindhouse checklist, the lack of realism and originality
makes it forgettable. Three years later Valladeres remade his own movie into a much more coherent, muscular Hollywood movie with many of the dark and violent elements
of the original but without the insane extreme stuff.
Hidden in the Woods