At the risk of revealing too much about myself, I’m a U.S. citizen with a deep Argentinian background. And because of that, I wanted the country to be well represented in this year’s 31 Days of Halloween blog project. I know that Aterrados (Terrified) has received great acclaim (I don’t have Shudder). And Penumbra is on Hulu and it looks quite good.
But I took in 2010’s Cold Sweat (Sudor Frio). And I’m honor-bound to present it here because it’s a deeply psychotronic bundle of WTF trash delight, and it deserves much discussion.
Cold Sweat (2010)
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
Writer: Adrián García Bogliano, Ramiro García Bogliano, Hernán Moyano
Notable Cast: Facundo Espinosa, Marina Glezer, Camila Velasco, Omar Musa, Omar Gioiosa,
Plot: I need to tackle this one on my own.
We are in Argentina, in a lower income suburb of Buenos Aires. We meet sad sack Roman (Espinosa), a young dude smarting over his girlfriend Jacqui’s sudden kiss-off and Internet hook-up date. He has asked his sexually liberated hipster friend Ali to trace the IP address from where Jacqui sent her break-up email. Jacqui goes inside the old, decrepit townhouse from where the email originated.
Still with me?
The townhouse is not inhabited by some handsome young Internet lothario. It is inhabited by two crazy ass old men who were once government military torturers in the 1970s. These two old torture queens like to kidnap young women and do all kinds of nasty things to them, mostly covering them in nitroglycerine so that they can’t even move for fear of blowing up.
And these old men? They wax creepy and campy. Their dialogue is lifted verbatim from my Argentinian parents’ daily arguments over household chores and more.
The rest of the film involves Roman not-quite nutting up to save Ali and Jacqui, some trashy nearby neighbors, pseudo-zombie cannibal women, and lots of nitroglycerine tension.
I question the sub-plot with Roman and Jacqui (Roman and Ali, by the way, end up falling in love in the midst of all this fuckery). I think this movie is about Roman recovering his balls in the throes of being dumped. Still, dude can’t take on the pair of creaky old men, one of whom still manages to menace everyone while getting around on a walker.
Commentary, and What We’re Afraid Of: There’s a LOT GOIN’ ON here. Cold Sweat has to be seen to be believed. It may or may not be a desperate cry for help related to Argentina’s reckoning with its dark past of military rule, torture and the “desaparecidos.” Rather than tackle this in a thoughtful horror way, we are inundated with exploitation, particularly of its beautiful female stars.
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