Friday, 6 November 2015

ATROZ: Violencia en El Defectuoso

Are you bored shitless of ghosts and zombies? Do you find yourself hurriedly scrolling past all the generic press releases announcing the next tired-sounding demonic possession flick or post-apocalyptic "thriller"? Are you ready for the next Martyrs or A Serbian Film to come along and knock you flat on your ass?

For those of us who crave something a bit more inflammatory, transgressive and dangerous then the usual horror fare, upcoming Mexican shocker Atroz may be just the fix we need. Earlier this week it had its first screening at Mexico's Morbido Film Fest, and the word over at Twitch is that Atroz is indeed the real deal. An uncompromising, stomach churning roughie, sure to send the censors into a frothing rage and milquetoasts everywhere running from theatres in disgust. With none other than Ruggero Deodato on board as associate producer, the film's promotional materials seem to be saying "you know exactly what you're getting here, enter at your own risk".

Atroz appears to be a grisly character-study of a vicious serial murderer who has been harvesting his victims from the mean streets of Mexico City, and in the tradition of films like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Maniac, it graphically documents the killer's exploits from his own point of view. However, this time the sicko's atrocities are revealed during the course of a police interrogation, via a series of homemade snuff videos seized by the Federales at the time of his arrest.

The man behind this potentially explosive movie is one Lex Ortega, an experienced sound technician with numerous credits ranging from Iñárritu's 21 Grams to Adrián García Bogliano's Here Comes the Devil and Late Phases. Ortega's directorial credits include a number of shorts (including one that Atroz is expanded from) and a segment in Mexican horror anthology México Bárbaro (also out this year and featuring a segment from We Are What We Are's Jorge Michel Grau). 

It's pretty easy to decipher Ortega's intentions with Atroz. Rather than an unnecessarily gratuitous gorefest, the man is merely holding a mirror up to the horrors that beset his nation. Check out his entry for The ABCs of Death 26th director competition, which displays this same preoccupation with the grim reality of violence in Mexico.

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