Around the World in 31 Days: Denmark

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sorgenfriposter

As a fan of many things Nordic, I was pleased to see that Denmark has a zombie apocalypse film all its own. Even better, it takes place in a sleepy suburb of Copenhagen (Sorgenfri, the film’s original Danish title), filled with attractive people. As it begins, it is bucolic and sunny and very pleasantly ordinary. It could have easily fallen into some quiet Euro coming-of-age story or family drama, but of course, that’s not where the path takes you. You know, of course, based on the blurbs, that the path is to a zombie movie. And what I would have loved was a different branch of that path. To explain this point I will need to move up the “what we’re afraid of.”

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Around the World in 31 Days: Canada

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shivers

I could have been lazy and chosen any number of legendary 80’s slashers such as My Bloody Valentine and Prom Night to fill the Canada slot in this blog project. But I decided to delve into this seminal work by David Cronenberg, who’s style of “body horror” is groundbreaking, disturbing, and has rarely been my cup of tea (Debbie Harry was my reason to watch Videodrome.) It’s an interesting and unique film; not perfect, sometimes nauseating, but 100% original.

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Around the World in 31 Days: Indonesia

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If my Netflix research is any indication, Indonesia has a thriving modern horror cinematic tradition. Satan’s Slaves, currently streaming on the horror lover’s dream app Shudder, has been receiving acclaim. And the movies look like a delightful stew of all the things that get me: demonology, witchcraft, satanic panic. You know- everything that makes a movie worth watching.

And when I dove right in to 2018’s May the Devil Take You, I knew I was right!

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Around the World in 31 Days: South Africa

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The House on Willow Street is a Netflix original whose production credits originate in South Africa. If that fact wasn’t in the film’s IMDb credits, I’d probably be clueless. None of its mostly white cast speak with any sort of accent (perhaps one member of the central team of thugs?) and there were no specific references to the location where most of the action took place – except for one.

As I understood it, the house where the demonic evil was spawned is “at the exact opposite geographic location as the Vatican.” I guess, if you were to dig that hole to China at the Vatican, you would end up at the titular Willow Street residence. If that’s as spooky to you as an inverted cross or a religious blasphemy from a demon, this movie might be your jam. It wasn’t mine.

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An Insidious Conjuring in Lima

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Around The World In 31 Days: Peru
Repost! Happy weekend!

Chillerpop

We Are Not AloneOctober 9, 2017 – If all goes well, what I write below (plus some sort of introduction and minus the more spoilery parts) I’ll submit in a sound file to Gary Hill of Legion Podcasts, who has requested short horror reviews for his October 2017 project. Check out Cinema Beef Podcast and all of the great podcasts on the Legion network which have been keeping me sane in tough times.

I was excited to watch 2016’s No Estamos Solos (directed by Daniel Rodriguez) on Netflix, released as We Are Not Alone. It is a Peruvian horror movie, something I have never seen. I may dedicate next year’s 31 Days of Halloween to covering international horror. 

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Around the World in 31 Days: India

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pizza

Official movie poster. Source: IMDb

It was a circuitous streaming road that finally led me to Pizza for my India pick. At first I clicked on a movie called Hiss because I thought I needed a killer cobra goddess in my life. I probably still do, but in the first five minutes the movie’s bad-looking production values and dubious acting turned me off. Since India is a country with a storied and exceptional film industry, I knew I could do better.

I then started Pizza, but decision freeze caused me to jump elsewhere – 706, Lupt, Mythily Veendum Varunnu, Savita Damodar Paranjpe, 706 – until I finally decided to return and commit to Pizza due to its charming conceit. And I am glad that I did.

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Around the World in 31 Days: Belize

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xtabay

It’s a look, isn’t it? This is the Xtabay (portrayed by actress Shelley Glionna).

A Belizean movie was available on YouTube, and I was overjoyed. Belize is a Central American and Caribbean nation I know little about, and in this blog project I really wanted horror movies from countries with little representation in international cinema.

I was even more excited to find that it was titled 2012: Curse of the Xtabay. Mesoamerican anthropology is a passion of mine. Imagine the things this could have brought together? 2012, an auspicious and apocalyptic year in the ancient, classic Maya calendar (and source of anxiety for many people during the exact year). Belize, with its amazing ethnic diversity and large populations of Mayan-speaking people. The Xtabay, a name only familiar to me because of Yma Sumac, the vocal powerhouse diva whose album, Voice of the Xtabay, is my favorite thing to play when I want some peace and quiet.

Some Googling of the Xtabay reveals the following (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xtabay):
La Xtabay is a Yucatec Mayan myth about the Xtabay. The Xtabay is a female demon originating from a Mayan legend who has ill intentions towards men.[1] She dwells in the forest to lure men to their deaths and, according to those that have escaped her, she possesses incomparable beauty and evil.[2] She has beautiful black shiny hair that falls down to her ankles.[3] The Xtabay resides in the Yucatán Peninsula.[3]

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