Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Scenes from "Satanás" [2007 Colombia, Mexico]

You'd be forgiven for assuming that any Latin American film titled "Satanás" must be a nunsploitation flick from a bygone age. As it turns out, this 2007 drama is a recreation of a shocking 1986 massacre in Colombia when a Vietnam vet killed 29 people including his own mother, before turning the gun on himself. For a feature-length directorial debut, Andréz Baiz had constructed a brilliant crime drama indeed. He makes us follow not just the protagonist but some of the victims before the they find themselves at the restaurant where the final act happens.

When I bought the film, I thought it was a psychological thriller, that this was a crime drama inspired by true events was a revelation. Damián Alcázar gives a restrained performance as the soft spoken Eliseo, an English professor and former soldier in the US Army, getting lonelier and depressed by the day, until he finally snaps. The screenplay is particularly well written - we see some of the victims even interact innocently with Eliseo days earlier, and that is not all - some background stories not directly related to the massacre, but may have contributed to the victims being in the wrong place at the wrong time were also conjured up to give us a bigger picture. It is cinema of high calibre along the lines of early Gaspar Noé works, and I'm surprised that so little is known about this film outside Spanish-speaking countries. The direction, dialogues, editing, cinematography and set design are all of high quality, including the performances by all the main characters. Needless to say, Highly Recommended Viewing..!

Compilation 1: Patricia Castañeda, Isabel Gaona, and Marcela Valencia

Patricia Castañeda, Isabel Gaona and Marcela Valencia

Scene Guide:
  • Eliseo visits a brothel and picks Valeria, played by Patricia Castañeda. But he quickly changes his mind and leaves in a hurry.
  • Priest Ernesto is having an illicit relationship with his maid Irene. After torturing himself for having 'sinned', he decides to quit priesthood in order to live with her. Irene is played by señorita caliente Isabel Gaona - can't help commenting on that awesome ass of hers - muy impresionante..!
  • Alicia is serving time for murdering her three children - she just couldn't afford to feed them. When the priest visits her in prison, she tries to seduce him, claiming to be possessed by the devil. We are later shown a bizarre scene of her urinating while reading the bible, and tearing one of the pages to clean herself afterwards. Alicia is played by Marcela Valencia.

Compilation 2: Marcela Mar
This compilation contains only brief nudity and includes an unpleasant rape scene, the reason why I compiled these separately. Paola is a con-artist working for a gang. One night, she herself becomes the target of another gang, who upon finding no money on her person, decide to rape her for all their trouble. I've also added Paola's retribution towards the end to balance things.
Paola is played by the talented Colombian actress Marcela Mar.


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