REVIEWED BY-STEVE GENIER (APRIL 2005) DIRECTED BY-CHRISTIAN MOLINA CAST-JACINTO MOLINA (PAUL NASCHY), MEHN-WAI, MIGUEL DEL ARCO, BIBIANA FERNANDEZ, GUILLERMO MONTESINOS, FRANCISCO ALGORA, SATURNINO GARCIA and JOSE LIFANTE. SOURCE-MANGA FILMS (SPAIN) PAL R2 DVD (2004)
Meet Pablo Thevenet, an actor of the old world, one that has been through it all, seen it all and has certainly made it through. Or has he? Given his age, the veteran actor has come to the end of his rope. With the sad departure of his daughter who was viciously murdered and his wife walking out the door on him. To add salt on his wounds his acting career, his bread and butter turns itís back on him as well. His longtime agent wants nothing to do with him, as their seems to be no work for him. His attitude towards the current cinematic community becomes that of a firey revenge. His soon to be ex-agent as one job left for him, though it is not an acting job, but a strange job as a statue of many faces for a whore house ran by the equally as strange, Reficul.
Though at first Pablo finds this to be an insult, well until he shows up for the interview and hears the cash flow involved. Though itís not the best offer he has had, itís good money. Each night he is too dress up as a different historical maniacs, figures like Jack The Ripper and more. His distaste for his agent and others who has felt have betrayed him in the film community grows to a boiling height, and to sooth it he goes on a killing rampage. Feeling it equals the best performances he has ever done. As he continues his job under Reficul, he his approached by a funeral home mogul, Ambrose Fuch , who is looking to get into film producing. Not just any films either, he is looking for a director of snuff material and in Pabloís current state and with the amount of money waved in his face, he excepts. Given two avenues a gory merger and an ultimate bloody ending.
Surely one of the most artistic adventure Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy has been attached to in a long time, if not his whole career. Brilliantly written by him and directed by a pretty much new comer to the scene Christian Molina (no relation that I know of). Basically taken the model of Naschy own career and using it as the central character of Pablo. Even going as far as to mentioning actual films that Naschy had starred in through the years. Director Molina takes this wonderful script and weaves a highly artistic venture into an actorís dark side. He gives us this multi layered painting with motion carried by highly inventive transitions. This in my opinion is the mark of a director to watch for. Using the screen and painting a moving mosaic and never losing neither the films pacing or the interest level of those watching ROJO SANGRE.
One scene in particular is when there is a shot of Pablo walking through a park with this cane, now to heighten the next transition without losing the motion of going forward, Molina uses a close up of the cane cutting through the middle of the frame and using it to led in the next scene. ROJO SANGRE is filled to the brim with this fresh way of coaching the overall pace of the film. This also heightens the very colorful cast of characters and their strange ways. From ROJO SANGRES many exploitative natures to the varies amounts of blood that is spilled by our central character of Pablo. I must re-iterate on the cast being colorful as well. From Reficul and his transvestite assistant, Dora to the highly eccentric mogul Ambrose Fuch and not to forget Pabloís co-employee at the whore house, Tic-Tac. Who he also has short love scene with. They all reflect the artful eye of director Molina. As he molds all the elements into his own little crazy world driven by the likes Paul Naschy.
Naschy as youíve never seen him before, he just gets better with age, much like a fine wine. He is down right nasty, bitter and never afraid to shy away from a sexy vixen. His ticker is working just fine. His performance as Pablo is just the icing on the ROJO SANGRE cake. In fact I would goes as far as saying it is probably one of his finest moments on film, acting wise. I would never prop this up with his classics, or should I? Either or, his presence is yet another vehicle along with the artful eye of Christina Molina bring us a marriage made much like that of the good old days when Naschy teamed up with the likes of Leon Klimovsky or Carlos Aured. Two pieces that absolutely clicked in all the right areas.
I must also mention ROJO SANGREíS very effective score as well, one that reflected all the visuals with complete precision to the directorís overall vision. Performed by David San Jose, it is well rounded in sound and feel. Using various different aspects to achieve just the right touch to make ROJO SANGRE complete in the eyes of the viewers. San Jose has also scored another Paul Naschy film of recent years, that of Carlos Gilís SCHOOL KILLER (2001).
I choose to go with the Spanish release of this Naschy film or the Media Blasters in due part to the discsí front cover. Though the Media Balsterís cover is quite good to, Iím partial to that of the Spanish release. The disc is presented very well, as the print is a wide-screen version with a Spanish Dolby Digital surround track accompanied with English subtitles. Both are in very good quality. As for the extras, they are all fun to watch, but sadly only presented in Spanish, which of course is a bonus if you can understand Spanish. The runtime of the Manga Films release is around 85 minutes where as the Media Blasterís release runs about 90 minutes. Iím not sure what this entails as I have not viewed the R1 release, but I canít see the Spanish version being cut in comparison the R1 version, but hey Iíll leave that to those who have seen both version.
STORY- 3.5 BITCH SLAPS PICTURE- 3.5 BITCH SLAPS AUDIO- 3 BITCH SLAPS EXTRAS- 2.5 BITCH SLAPS OVERALL DVD- 3 BITCH SLAPS
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