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Top 10 Mexican Horror Flicks To Watch This Cinco de Mayo!

05.04.2018by: Jake Dee
Happy Cinco de Mayo mi amigos! I know, I know, we're all still reeling from Canelo vs. Golovkin Part 2 being postponed due to a dirty dope test. What do you think, y'all buying Canelo's claim that he tested negative from contaminated meat? Not me, I just think he wants no part of that Triple-G beef!

Back to the topic at hand. With your Cinco de Mayo all cleared up now, we've got the perfect alternative programming that will allow you to pound all those cases of cerveza as planned. We're talking horror flicks here friends...Mexican horror flicks. New ones, old ones, classics, deep-cuts, we're running the gamut this fine Friday. We've got witches, vampires, cannibals, zombies, slashers, haunted houses, sex-starved nuns...the works. Ah hell, scroll bash the main image and check out our Top 10 Mexican Horror Flicks to Watch This Cinco de Mayo!

#10. CEMETERY OF TERROR (1985)

Let's kick this motherf*cker off with a cheesy, sleazy 80s Mexican zombie picture! If that kind of thing tickles your fancy, then get a load of Rubin Galindo Jr.'s 1985 CEMETERY OF TERROR. The flick stars Hugo Stiglitz as a professor who theorizes that a serial killer has returned from the grave. Cut to a bunch of teenage punks who pull a prank in a house in the middle of a cemetery on Halloween night in order to resurrect the dead, and a f*cked-up blend of zombie and slasher recipes come spitting out with bitter acidity and a high gore content. Sure it's derivative, but it's executed well and has a really fun uptempo vibe through out its brisk 88 minutes. No need wait for Dia de los Muertos, visit CEMETERY OF TERROR on Cinco de Mayo as well!

#9. HOUSE OF MADNESS (1973)/MARY, MARY, BLOODY MARY (1974)

Juan Lopez Moctezuma was such a distinct and singular voice in the 70s & 80s Mexican horror scene that we're sizing up his first two back-to-back features for y'all to try on. His feature debut, HOUSE OF MADNESS, which he co-wrote, follows the seditious mutiny of a bunch of asylum inmates. Once overtaking the nefarious Dr. Tarr's torture dungeon, the inmates turn the tables on the doctors and subject them to barbarous treatment that culminates in ritual slaughter. Shite's gnarly! As for MARY, MARY, BLOODY MARY - Moctezuma has all sorts of fun playing around with Giallo iconography, doing so in a story that follows a bisexual female artist that reveals herself to be a blood-parched vamp. John Carradine pops up in a small but vital role, lending credibility to what amounts to a super cool, late-night, low-budget horror romp!

#8. THE WITCH'S MIRROR (1962)

Having directed 117 films from 1928-1974, Chano Urueta was an absolute titan of Mexico's film industry. Toiling across the entire gamut of genres in his career, when Urueta chose to essay the horror brand, he struck down relentlessly with veritable terror. Look no further than his 1962 film THE WITCH'S MIRROR, about a man who murders his wife, only to be tormented by her angry spirit when her ghost appears from a witch's mirror years later. Tactile, atmospheric, downright unsettling (look at that f*cking image), THE WITCH'S MIRROR can be viewed as a sort of inspirational forerunner to such evil-reflective-glass flicks as INTO THE MIRROR, MIRRORS, OCULUS, etc. There's also a wince-worthy skin-graft scene that is comparably reminiscent of the great French horror flick EYES WITHOUT A FACE.

#7. SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM (1975)

Let it be known, this is surely the inspiration behind Salma Hayek's character in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (stay tuned). Indeed, the sleaze-oozing perv-picture from 1975, a fine entry to the vaunted canon of 70s Nunsploitation pictures mind you, is as lurid a Mexican horror flick this side of the Spanish speaking Jesus Franco. F*ck me! Natively titled SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM: LA SEXORCISTA, the movie follows a sex-starved nun who must stave off her carnal cravings or else her soul will be enraptured by the devil. Sick set-up, seductive execution, deranged milieu, all shepherded by director and co-writer Gilberto Martinez Solares. It may be a little slow in spots, but it's funny, sexy, bloody, bizarre and damn best when scene with a group of kushed-out friends!

#6. WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (2010)

As we approach the midway point, who better to be welcomed by than the f*cked-up cannibalistic clan in WE ARE WHAT WE ARE, our most recent Mexican horror flick to make a date with. Written and directed by Jorge Michel Grau, the flick attempts to take an intimate look at a rite of passage for a pair of siblings, as they're task with holding the fort and fending for themselves when their fiendish father suddenly parishes. Of course, this means tracking, hunting and masticating large amounts of human flesh! Remade in 2013 to arguably even greater success by Jim Mickle, I not only prefer the original, but urge those to check it out before seeing how the redo adds a few wrinkles. Not to spoil what's ahead, but Juan Carlos Colombo (Funeral Director) and Daniel Giménez Cacho (Tito) play the same roles here as they do in CRONOS.

#5. BLACKER THAN THE NIGHT (1974)/POISON FOR THE FAIRIES (1984)

Separated by a decade, we wholeheartedly urge y'all to cop a look at two intense, wildly disparate horror movies by writer/director Carlos Enrique Toboada. The first is the wonderfully titled BLACKER THAN THE NIGHT, about a passel of nubiles who take residence in of their aunt's old abode. Once their, they discover a malefic invisible force that haunts the girls through strange voices, eerie visions, odd noises, ghastly phenomena and all the rest. The other, POISON FOR THE FAIRIES (pictured above), is a deeply disturbing tale about a 10 year-old girl who convinces her classmate that she is a witch before forcing the child to be her assistant. The witch lures her classmate into dastard behavior through sordid games, which inevitably turn violent. This is a genuinely chilling horror yarn with a shock and awe twist finale. See both films if you can, you won't be disappointed!

#4. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996)

Now that you know where sexy-ass Salma got the name Santanico Pandemonium, it only feels right to throw in a movie that, at the very least, was partially shot and set in blood-soaked Tijuana. F*ck yes, Robert Rodriguez and QT's FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, a cons-on-the-run-vampire-mashup of epic delight, featuring the Mexican queen of all Mexican queens, is too damn memorable to omit this Cinco de Mayo. Love this flick! Shout out to the late great Michael Parks who steals an early scene as Deputy Earl McGraw, shout out another for a young John Hawkes behind the counter. Equal props go to Harvey Keitel for one of his softest departures, and triple props to Cheech for playing different roles. F*ckin-A, pour a shot for this gentleman above, looks like he could use it!

#3. THE VAMPIRE (1957)

In his short 58 years on Earth, Mexican filmmaker Fernando Mendez directed 40 films, 35 of which he wrote. Many are worthy of digging through, but the two he made in 1957, THE VAMPIRE and THE BODY SNATCHER, are arguably his two finest. At least, as far as the horror is concerned. Making his screen debut, German Robles plays the suave and seductive Count Karol de Lavud/Duval, depicted as the devilishly debonair blooducker we've all come to know and recognize. Per the story, this one sees a Mexican girl return to her hometown to bury a recently deceased aunt. While there, tales of her town being ravaged by a vampiric curse makes the girl suspect her next door neighbor, and other aunt, may be involved. This is classic Mexican horror in its most formidable form!

#2. CRONOS (1993)

Guillermo del Toro's Oscar winning track began with CRONOS, his 1993 inaugural address about a mysterious machine, an ancient artifact actually, that seems to grant eternal life. Strangely, it's the only film of Billy the Bull's that happens to take place in Mexico. Go f*cking figure. Anyway, you know the crux, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that for every reaction the machine gives, an equal and opposite and at times brutally horrific reaction is retorted in short order. I liken this film to Lynch's ERASERHEAD in how the passionate ingenuity burns right off the screen, how the undeniable talent shines through no matter what limited resources may have hindered the overall vision from the onset. It's del Toro through and through, from fingertips over each frame to the heartbeat in each character. Happy 25th birthday CRONOS!

#1. EVEN THE WIND IS AFRAID (1968)/BOOK OF STONE (1969)

If you come away with nothing from this list other than the proper primer to pour a keg down your gullet this weekend, take note of this name: Carlos Enrique Toboada. This guy was THE preeminent name in Mexican horror from about 1965-1985. Look no further than the four films of his we included here, cleaved into a pair of double-features, as to avoid a 40% monopoly. His two late 60s films: EVEN THE WIND IS AFRAID (above), about a harem of schoolgirls being haunted on campus during Spring break, and BOOK OF STONE, about a creepy little girl and her imaginary friend, are both worthy of seeing as soon as you're able. The former is a brilliantly eerie spin on the haunted house yarn, while the latter is an atmospherically menacing marvel that'll crawl under your skin and stay there. Both will!

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