Luciferina

The place to discuss FrightFest 2018 - Dates this year are 23 - 27th August.
Seat@theBack
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:43 am

Luciferina

Post by Seat@theBack » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:04 pm

LUCIFERINA

//// Really big *SPOILERS* all the way through! ////

This was the film at this year's FRIGHTFEST that I most wanted to see. Well, ok - second only to CLIMAX; but that's a given. It's a shame that the director - Gonzalo Calzada - couldn't make the premiere as his movie was an absolute scream.

Horror cinema can often be irritating, provoking, long-winded or deranged but that's what keeps it fresh and exciting and ambitious. LUCIFERINA was, at times, all of the above.

It could be irritating: the climax had about 5 false starts that were fairly lengthy. But this was great. As I walked out of the cinema I realised that - why should horror movies follow established expected formats and time schedules? It was fair play that the demon in Luciferina (most likely the Devil himself) takes a long time to deal with. I mean, come on - he's the Devil. He hasn't been defeated ever (not even in OMEN III: THE FINAL CONFLICT).

The final conflict in Luciferina may have felt a little long-winded with lots of talk about how to isolate the beast and the nature of virginity as a weapon of mass destruction (no really!) but was never boring, never less than authentically deranged. Deranged, but addictive and relentlessly crossing those safe, protective salt lines or circles in the sand that other entries in demonic nun horror cinema are so often happy to do (mentioning no names!). Was this Argentinean director who seemed to have a Rob Zombie divisive reputation back home actually the Gaspar Noe of satanic ritual flicks? You don't need to cast any runes to know my answer to that. Luciferina was an absolute filthy, dirty blast to the senses and a revolting rip to the heart of restraint: this is what horror is.

A young novice nun returns to her twisted family in the lush countryside after her mother's mysterious death and finds her father traumatised, painting demonic images on his bedroom walls and spending most of his time wrapped in bandages and on a ventilator. Her sister (they were both adopted) has gone all Siouxie Sioux and has a new boyfriend with a personality bypass and knife fetish (when not trying to sexually assault virginal younger sisters in the family cupboard).

All the young nun's friends want to do is mock her virginity or take mystic herbs in the forest to identify the truth of what happened to these two sisters when they were little. Clue: Think: all of TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER and half of THE EXORCIST and you'll be getting close (without the need to take herbal hallucinogenics).

It's easy to be silly with a film such as LUCIFERINA. But it's a kind of nervous giggle inside such as the kind you find in a trauma unit amongst the nurses that work there. The film is beautifully directed with a roaming, frantic stylish gaze (like a hunter, with a camera) across a lush visual landscape full of hidden churches, abandoned mystics and weird statues loitering in the dense undergrowth. Nifty effects abound: gore is used sparingly and targets the eyes, but this is not a gore fest. Characters interact thanks to the film's refusal to just die and be done in the name of horror film formatting and you may even find yourself rooting for the weirdos and psychos along the way.

There's a terrific central performance from Sofia Del Tuffo as the battling young nun with supernatural sight under threat from demonic intent, full of passion and fight, and you stay on her side to the end. Also fabulous is Malena Sanchez as the twisted sister and Pedro Merlo as the boy possessed who has to growl and spit and chant and never once come across as laughable or OTT; a cleverly restrained and sympathetic turn.

Demonic horrors can come across as stupid and full of boring, seen it all before religious or demonic imagery and black mass overload that never feels all that authentic and more of a horror by numbers for less gifted filmmakers to hide under.

Not so with LUCIFERINA. If you love horror you should absolutely fall in love with this movie and demand it's on your Amazon wish list right now!

Highlights of the film include a disgusting, disgraceful demonic birth and a Nun Vs Devil Vs Novice threeway battle within salty candlelit circles and ruined stone walls. There's plenty of bodies levitating and demonic flying through the air and the demonic ritual trip in an old church comes across like THE CRAFT as directed by Fulci. Scenes back at the house are awash with wanton sexuality and ritual orchestrated by a sinister, controlling patriarch and the quietly innocent, but fight-primed, second sight-loaded girl Vs possessed red-eyed demonic boy finale - when suddenly disrobed - is worthy of the legendary Jess Franco turned up to 11. Basically, if you love cult, crazy, off-kilter wild horror you'll absolutely want to propose your love and get married to this one - all on the same night!

Probably deeply politically incorrect and morally questionable and certainly ready to offend from the start, the film is also blessed with a gorgeous soundtrack full of sombre orchestral languishing. Strange sounds come pulsing, rumbling, grumbling and lots of Latin chanting creates a sense of ominous pace and worsening restlessness. It never tires or lets up and the FRIGHTFEST audience were dead quiet throughout - none of that sarcastic tittering or shuffling in seats: I for one was transfixed. What we were watching felt authentically depraved, horrific and oh so wrong.

The ambitious two hour runtime never dragged and just when we thought it was all over and hadn't exploited its young leads with too much sexually depraved occult degeneration, the finale truly went for the jugular and ended it all on a stone altar in the middle of nowhere without any clothes on - Gaspar Noe himself, I'm sure, would approve. Clearly virginity can - in horror cinema - be the only weapon against evil that always seems to work.

Don't see this movie unless you want to be assaulted with an overdose of the occult or the perverted and find yourself wallowing in a luxurious landscape as seen through open doors of ancient abandoned ruins crawling in vines full of demonic birthing rituals and sex magick.

A FRIGHTFEST screening hasn't been this much fun since HIDDEN IN THE WOODS or THE ROTTEN LINK. This is wild demonic horror as you always thought it could be. I loved it. And the shocked stagger outside of the smaller (but still packed out) Discovery Screen crowd when it was all over looked pretty authentic to me - a rawly horrific, heady and depraved punch to the senses.

looneygooner
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:48 pm
Location: Harrow

Re: Luciferina

Post by looneygooner » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:45 pm

Agree with everything you put down, for me there was an element of Dennis Wheatley's 'The Devil rides out', I even found touches of 'Rosemary's Baby and 'The Exorcist' within, it has to be one of my favourite films I have seen for a long time at Frightfest, Not a big fan of sex scenes in Horror films, but this film had to have it. I have not enjoyed such a good film and it's the beginning of a trilogy . I stopped going to Frightfest for about three years as I found it had become stale, but I took a gamble and booked ten films and I am glad I did because the reason for going to Frightfest twelve, thirteen years ago came back with a passion, And the films from Argentina were the dog's bollocks for me.Luciferina will become a classic and I implore fans to watch it, why it wasn't on the main screen was a surprise, but I'm glad they showed it, in screen two, very intimate and not packed. Now I wait for next year

ItWasAllGiallo
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:45 pm

Re: Luciferina

Post by ItWasAllGiallo » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:09 pm

Scanned these reviews very quickly to avoid spoilers, though glad to see the positive feedback despite this being one of the few disco films I wanted, but missed out on, this year.
Will be certain to seek this one out!

looneygooner
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:48 pm
Location: Harrow

Re: Luciferina

Post by looneygooner » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:10 pm

You will not be disappointed my friend

Wolfshade
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:57 pm

Re: Luciferina

Post by Wolfshade » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:13 am

Seat@theBack wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:04 pm


A FRIGHTFEST screening hasn't been this much fun since HIDDEN IN THE WOODS
I've been to funerals that were more fun than the screening of Hidden In Woods, I'd assumed that turd had been forgotten without trace.

MrsE
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:51 pm

Re: Luciferina

Post by MrsE » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:50 am

I agree also, this film was one of 4 Argentinian films I saw and I enjoyed all of them. Beautifully shot with great performances from the leading couple.

Seat@theBack
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:43 am

Re: Luciferina

Post by Seat@theBack » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:56 am

Wolfshade wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:13 am
Seat@theBack wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:04 pm


A FRIGHTFEST screening hasn't been this much fun since HIDDEN IN THE WOODS
I've been to funerals that were more fun than the screening of Hidden In Woods, I'd assumed that turd had been forgotten without trace.
I'm thinking of the effect. I saw grown critics spitting their teeth out after this one, in their cliques in the corridors outside ... It was brilliant. That's the effect that horror should have on all of us!

Sometimes at least...

One of my favourite films at this year's FEST was THE DARK.. a gentler and more quietly horrific ride. That's how I like it - that contrast and variation. Extremes isn't always about shouting..

And HIDDEN IN THE WOODS had undeniable raw and wild style and a thrilling link between soundtrack and action ... This was lost in the remake to an extent, maybe because I was such a fan of the original (but it's still a crazy movie with a great cast) so I'd stick with the raw original if you ever decide to go back. Which I don't think you will be!

The film btw - the original version - is just out in a 3 disc edition import with bluray/ dvd and bonus film (DIRTY LOVE).. limited 555

English subs apparently..

Well I'm sold! The same with THE ROTTEN LINK. A new multidisc release also out. Import. These discs will go soon...

I love Patricio Valladares to bits. He's an ecstatically driven horror film director with vision and is happy to shock naturally without being tacky (unlike that crappy Wyrmwood preview we were forced to watch before THE DARK full of stupid skull drilling and brainletting and beatings up that negated the early quite sombre hush of the film we had really come to see). The film Valladares shot with Robert Englund - NIGHTWORLD - is coming out on the FRIGHTFEST label soon I believe.. Here's hoping!

His DOWNHILL was a fun wild ride at FRIGHTFEST too @Shepherd's Bush scary place.

SNOWDEVIL or BREATH I hope will play FRIGHTFEST next year - please?

Back home he has launched a scheme to encourage young Chilean filmmakers to get their movies made.

Patricio Valladares divides opinion that's for sure but better that, than movies that create no reaction at all.

And he's a friend of the FRIGHTFEST team and a bona fide member of the FRIGHTFEST family, for better or for worse, but for me it's for better... :)

Alex J
Braaaains!
Braaaains!
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:30 pm
Location: The Back Of The Beyond

Re: Luciferina

Post by Alex J » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:00 pm

I got a little confused about what was going on with this one, but maybe that's because I was battling to stay awake most of the movie! The lead actress was engaging enough and there were a few other interesting characters, but ultimately it seemed to be a fairly standard battle against demonic forces, albeit livened up by the sex and drugs angles. 7 / 10
No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

Wolfshade
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:57 pm

Re: Luciferina

Post by Wolfshade » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:31 pm

Seat@theBack wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:56 am

I'm thinking of the effect. I saw grown critics spitting their teeth out after this one, in their cliques in the corridors outside ... It was brilliant. That's the effect that horror should have on all of us!
I thought Hidden In The Woods was one of the most tedious and worst films I've ever seen, everyone else I talked to found it dull and awful too; it was hyped up before the fest as a difficult watch, but it was just a dull watch for me. Downfall was an absolute mess imo, terrible film.

Haven't seen The Rotten Link yet though, so I'll check that out at some point.

Seat@theBack
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:43 am

Re: Luciferina

Post by Seat@theBack » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:41 pm

Wolfshade wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:31 pm
Seat@theBack wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:56 am

I'm thinking of the effect. I saw grown critics spitting their teeth out after this one, in their cliques in the corridors outside ... It was brilliant. That's the effect that horror should have on all of us!
I thought Hidden In The Woods was one of the most tedious and worst films I've ever seen, everyone else I talked to found it dull and awful too; it was hyped up before the fest as a difficult watch, but it was just a dull watch for me. Downfall was an absolute mess imo, terrible film.

Haven't seen The Rotten Link yet though, so I'll check that out at some point.
You will like LINK! I think... :s

Seat@theBack
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:43 am

Re: Luciferina

Post by Seat@theBack » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:49 pm

But in terms of an unnerving sense of demonic evil on screen - LUCIFERINA really has it. I remember feeling that way after watching THE EXORCIST on the big screen for the first time...

****SPOILER ALERT****

...and I don't think I've ever seen a sex scene quite so justified by context as it is here!!

MrsE
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:51 pm

Re: Luciferina

Post by MrsE » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:38 pm

Seat@theBack wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:49 pm
But in terms of an unnerving sense of demonic evil on screen - LUCIFERINA really has it. I remember feeling that way after watching THE EXORCIST on the big screen for the first time...

****SPOILER ALERT****

...and I don't think I've ever seen a sex scene quite so justified by context as it is here!!
Spoiler:
Get thee inside me Satan!

Alex J
Braaaains!
Braaaains!
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:30 pm
Location: The Back Of The Beyond

Re: Luciferina

Post by Alex J » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:26 pm

In a tragic and eerily coincidental bit of timing there are reports in the news yesterday / today about the death of a British backpacker who died in South America after taking the same drug as in Luciferina, ayahuasca.

One can only hope he benefited from some nookie like in the movie before his untimely demise...
No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

Seat@theBack
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:43 am

Re: Luciferina

Post by Seat@theBack » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:46 pm

There's a distinct abundance of hallucinogenics in most of this year's FRIGHTFEST movies: CLIMAX, BRAID, THE RANGER, LUCIFERINA... and that's just the day ticket holders!

jonbly
Braaaains!
Braaaains!
Posts: 602
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:16 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Luciferina

Post by jonbly » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:42 pm

Seat@theBack wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:56 am
His DOWNHILL was a fun wild ride at FRIGHTFEST too @Shepherd's Bush scary place.
That's not my recollection of Downhill... or its reception... with one notable exception.
http://www.frightfest.co.uk/forum/viewt ... =69&t=7164

Post Reply