EL GIGANTE

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

REVIEW: EL GIGANTE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: GIGI SAUL GUERRERO / SCREENPLAY: SHANE MCKENZIE / STARRING: EDWIN PEREZ, DAVID FORTS, MATHIAS RETAMAL, NISREEN SLIM, ARLIN RODRIGUEZ / RELEASE DATE: TBC

Like thousands of desperate Mexicans, all Armando wants is to start a new life in America. After a coyote fleeces him to take his wife and daughter over the border, he is left with no money to pay for his own passage. Lost in the desolation of the desert borderlands, what appears to be salvation ends up an agonising mauling at the hands of the monstrous luchador El Gigante.

Scripted by pulp horror gore purveyor Shane McKenzie, El Gigante is a short film adapted from the first chapter of his novel Muerte Con Carne. McKenzie’s books are written with the kind of unflinching and self-aware depravity that laughs in the face of Shaun Hutson, and are a perfect match for the grisly grindhouse styling of Gigi Saul Guerrero’s directorial vision.

The film shifts into a POV shot as Armando awakens, making us as disorientated and disconcerted as he is, and we soon almost wish he’d never come to his senses. A crude luchador mask consisting of a patchwork hood of filthy burlap is stitched to his face; human skulls top the wrestling ring’s posts, traces of rotting flesh still clinging to them as they crawl with greasy maggots; patches of blood dried into various states of discolouration stain the canvas; and the grimy backroom stench of the windowless makeshift auditorium practically permeates the screen.

True to his name, El Gigante is a colossal, barrel-chested monstrosity of a man, and with his wide animalistic glare, gnashing rictus and heavy breathing one step short of growling, he barely seems human, while other members of the attendant voyeuristic family, such as an opaque-eyed matriarch and a couple of feral kids laughing with gleeful sadism, provide a balance of sinister menace to the eponymous wrestler’s terrifying brutality.

Unlike many of Guerrero’s other shorts, there’s not any alluring sexiness juxtaposing the gruesome violence, unless you count an inbred-looking young woman playing with herself through her dress while Gigante tosses Armando around like a human sackdoll, the sound of his bones being mashed into splintered pulps resonating with sickening crunches. Gigante’s rudimentary championship belt, crushed with trophies from previous victims, provides an unsettling indicator that the clan of maniacs have been holding these torturous bouts for some time, and one shot even invites a final suckerpunch of despair before it’s all over.

Finally, the credit sequence where we discover exactly what gets done with Gigante’s victims (which the novel title gives a clue towards), while lacking the violence of the rest of the film, is in its own way the most nauseating part of it. El Gigante invites strong comparisons to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but is distinctive enough to transcend any accusations of cheap imitation. Guerrero is without a doubt a name to watch.

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG

Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.

CLICK TO BUY!

MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB:



Suggested Articles:
Ever fantasised about having a female amalgamation of James Bond and John Wick? Well, look no furthe
Volumes of Blood impressed a lot of genre-loving folks in 2015 with a low-budget underdog approach t
Dawn Of The Deaf is an engaging, horrifying, mystifying and, due to its brief length, tantalising ta
Ordinarily, explaining the concept of a short would be bad form to even consider, but Rites of Venge
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Movie Reviews

ATOMIC BLONDE 19 August 2017

VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES 16 August 2017

DAWN OF THE DEAF [SHORT FILM] 16 August 2017

RITES OF VENGEANCE [SHORT FILM] 16 August 2017

FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL…[SHORT FILM] 16 August 2017

A GHOST STORY 15 August 2017

THE DOMICILE 14 August 2017

ALIEN: REIGN OF MAN 07 August 2017

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS 06 August 2017

THE EMOJI MOVIE 06 August 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner