Following on the heels of 2014’s MEXICO BÁRBARO, MEXICO BÁRBARO II (2017) will be making it’s North American premiere at this year’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. It brings with it eight more tales from nine of Mexico’s best up and coming directors. The official synopsis’ follow
La Leyenda de Juan Soldado” (Juan the Soldier) Directed by: Abraham Sánchez
Tijuana, Mexico, 1938. Juan is a soldier sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a little girl. After being executed, he will receive an unexpected help from the underworld to defend his innocence.
“Paidós Phobos” (Paidos Phobos) Directed by: Diego Cohen
Maria suffers from pedophobia, she must deal with her deepest fear every day, but once she decides to face it, she will be able to end her worst nightmare, even though that means sacrificing her own life.
“Potzonalli” (Potzonalli) Directed by: Fernando Urdapilleta
A family prepares a succulent pre-Hispanic recipe. The main ingredient will be the one who has perpetrated different types of family violence among its members.
Bolas De Fuego” (Fireballs) Directed by: Christian Cueva & Ricardo Farias
Two film students try to fulfill their twisted and true dream : Record a porn movie. When their actresses reveal themselves as sent from Hell, they will face a complicated dilemma: Fight to conserve their souls, or to be carried away by the sexual pleasure that they offer.
“Vitriol” (Vitriol) Directed by: Michelle Garza
A traumatic event has heavily affected a model. She will find a way to overcome her fears and transform herself to seek revenge.
“No Te Duermas” (Do not sleep) Directed by: Sergio Tello
Edgar is a 9 year old child who has grown traumatized by the legends and myths that his deceased grandmother told him. No one believes him and only he seems to see and hear unnatural things. He soon faces one of those legends and the consequences of not respecting them.
“Ya Es Hora” (It’s About time) Directed by: Carlos Meléndez
Eli and Fatima, two high school girls, invoke the Devil to take revenge on Jessica and her entourage of popular friends, without imagining the catastrophe that they will loose.
“Exodoncia” (Exodontia) Directed by: Lex Ortega
A girl finds a way to get money to solve her addiction to drugs through a strange and insatiable being, which in turn demands a lot of suffering and pain. “What she wants is not necessarily what she needs.”
Obviously, as with any anthology with this many stories, it’s something of a mixed bag. None of the segments are really bad although the final one comes close. The first two segments are the best and really get the film off to a good start. In the original announcement Juan the Soldier was listed closer to the end, it seems they moved him up to help hook the audience, as well they should.
Subject matter and tone are all over the place as you can see, although rape and sexual violence runs through several of the segments, quite possibly a reflection of the real life brutality going on in Mexico now. Fireballs and It’s About Time provide some relief from the grimness of the other segments. While neither are laugh out loud funny they are darkly amusing.
Currently on the festival circuit and looking for distribution MEXICO BÁRBARO II should satisfy genre fans, especially those who like anthologies and who don’t mind subtitles. It’s worth seeing if you get the chance.