Rojo Sangre (V)

Shown at the great fourth annual Screamfest LA:

I’m going to try and keep my review for ‘Rojo Sangre’ as vague as possible. Sometimes you need a little spoiler to get you pumped for a film, but I feel any serious plot details revealed for ‘Rojo’ could compromise your viewing experience. Christian Molina’s film is unique and extraordinary- but is painfully bruised by the over-use of tricky camera work and special effects.

Long time horror genre actor/director Jacinto Molina plays Pablo Thevenet, a washed up actor whos life is a spinning spiral all the way to the bottom- I’m surprised he didn’t pick up “the bottle” once. He can’t find a job, everyone thinks he’s a joke now and the new up-and-coming directors mock him to his face- sure they have a role for him, streaking through a scene in their movie at the age of 65. He’s narcissistic, vain, egocentric and feels like the world owes him over for everything he’s done in his past. Only thing is- nobody cares. While getting desperate, he takes a job as a human statue at a nightclub by playing famous killers through history- it pays his bills, but the anger inside him is still brewing.

Now that may seem like a long synopsis, but it’s only the beginning and only gets you started. ‘Rojo’ takes an unordinary twist through the trials of life and really catches you off guard. The plot thickens moment by moment, as the world around him becomes an unnatural place- that only he feels comfortable in.

The story takes on a very religious overtone as questions are raised about life after death- can you become your own god? This does nothing to ruin the plot, but I hope it gives you something to think about after you’ve seen the film. The horror genre is tampered with severely in ‘Rojo,’ but not compromised. The story is all over the place, but it’s held together perfectly by the brilliant cast choices and the possibly obvious twists.

Although some of the acting and camerawork is beyond the realms of excellent, some of the FX and the rest of the camera work compromised the entire integrity of the film. One scene that I was blown away by was a kill that was shot using a silhouette on the wall. It looked like a lot of FX work and looked very unaturalisitc. There was a tint of yellow and the shadows seemed to come to life in this massive violent blank mass streaking across the wall. It was brilliant. But then director Molina gets a little too creative for his own good and starts using overly creative transitions in an unnecessary environment. It’s ‘Rojo Sangre’- not ‘I, Robot’ and someone needs to explain this to him. When you have a really small town, dark atmosphere and realistic approach- there’s no reason to have crazy background visuals and transitions that interlace two scenes on top of one another. It was ridiculous, ugly, inexperienced and damaging to the final cut of the film, which could have achieved a level of perfection not seen in movies of that ora.

But given the fact that the movie still went on and entertained as much as it did means a lot and I truly think fans of slow paced horror will really find a treat in ‘Rojo Sangre.’ If you ever get the chance to see this in theaters, don’t miss the opportunity because it might be something you regret for a long time. Fangoria is releasing the film on DVD sometime in the near future- so hopefully you’ll get to see it sooner or later.

Official Score