Thursday 23 May 2013

Curandero : Dawn of the Demon - UK DVD review

Mexican horror film “Curandero : Dawn of the Demon” is released to UK DVD this week and was fortunate enough to get an advanced look at the disc.
Set in Mexico, Carlos (Carlos  Gallardo, a regular in Robert Rodriguez films) is the son of a spiritual medium, known as a Curandero, who many people seem to think also has his fathers “powers”. But Carlos is in fact a sceptic, who doesn’t buy into any of this spiritual nonsense and spends most of his time debunking local superstitions.
A young detective, Magdelana Garcia, comes to visit him, looking for his father saying she needs his help to spiritually purify the police station. A brutal drug lord, Castenada (Gabriel Pingarron) who’s heavily into black magic, escaped from there days earlier and the police are scared to go back inside until it’s been cleansed.
Though he thinks they’re being superstitious fools, he agrees to go through the motions just so he can get them back to work. However, when a rather demonic looking Castenada, who only he can see, pays him a visit in the police station he is forced to reconsider his sceptical position.
Seems Castenada wants Detective Garcia for some reason and only Carlos is able to prevent him from getting his hands on her and so the scene is set for a bizarre showdown of sorts of evil spirits vs good. Scripted by Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk till Dawn, Sin City), this one was originally filmed back in 2005 and was produced by Mirimax films, but got stuck in post-production hell whilst the studios were in turmoil. But has thankfully seen light of day thanks to Lionsgate films.
Filmed by Eduardo Rodriguez (no relation to Robert), the film blends elements of Mexican superstition and witchcraft against a backdrop of Mexicos drug problems and police corruption, which produces some interesting results (think “Constantine” crossed with “Miami Vice”, but set in Mexico). There’s some good gore and some interesting demonic imagery, but the film’s lows budget and odd pacing do count against it. It is however an interesting new take on various themes that have featured before, and fans of Robert Rodriguez other movies will undoubtedly want to check it out, so my verdict is give it a go!
The film can be viewed either in its original Spanish language with optional English subs, or in dubbed English. An audio commentary track with director Eduardo Rodriguez and Director of Photography Jaime Reynoso (in English) is also included on the disc.
The film is out on UK DVD now from Lionsgate.
View the trailer on YouTube
Buy the DVD at

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