Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Original Title: El Trono del Infierno (The Throne of Hell)
Year: 1994
Director: Sergio Goyri
Writer: Gilberto de Anda?
Genre: Horror

A group of archeologists excavating Aztec ruins in Mexico City uncover a bizarre statue, which unleashes satanic powers and possesses the chief archaeologist. The demonized man goes on a rampage of bloody murders while being pursued by one of his female colleagues and a police officer. Horribly burned in an explosion, he still continues his ungodly crimes, including crucifying a woman upside down. A bishop sends for a mystic called “The Angel”, a character who dresses in medieval clothing and is armed with a demon-destroying sword. The possessed archeologist transforms into a club-wielding monster and challenges The Angel in a duel to the death.

Ahhh, finally a return to form. No cheating, no punches pulled here. Mexploitation that is overly dramatic, filled with issues, gory, etc. and it ruled! This film sounded pretty ridiculous in descriptions and made me a little giddy. I'm so glad it didn't let me down.

Fuck you both, Stuart Whitman and Hugo Stiglitz!

Right off the bat, we are thrown into this supernatural story as the aforementioned archeological group removes a golden seal from the ground, then a strange ruby-eyed jackal statue. This simultaneously causes a solar eclipse, an earthquake, a tornado or some shit, and the awakening of some dude in linen with a mullet that would make Kenny Powers jealous.

Oh, it gets better.

Mr. Mullet, played by director Sergio Goyri, extracts EXCALIBUR and gets on a private jet to go stop all the mad shit that has just been unleashed in Mexico. The Beast, possessing the body of Mr. Jose Juan Jimenez (Roberto Ballesteros) after gruesomely slaying a few losers and even going on a car chase with outdated cars, wants to open the gates of Hell to allow Satan to come through, is Mr. Mullet's target.

This is pure gold.

The performances in the film are what I have wanted for awhile. I don't know if this film is meant to be taken all that seriously, but I love when these Mexican films remind me of the telenovelas that I have mentioned in past reviews. Amateur camera flourishes like the RAPIDZOOMINTOFACE to show surprise, or constant awkward cuts to someone asking for an explanation to something add to the poorly acted scenes.

The overly nerdy Dr. Rosa Maria Castro (Telly Filippini) and the hand cannon sporting detective Moran (Jorge Luke) do most of the talking, and in other context, their performances would be unbearable honestly. Filippini's fake looking lips and exaggerated nerd appearance really had me thinking we were going to see some slutty transformation in her at some point, but no such luck.

I've seen way too much porn apparently.

The best character is the possessed Jose Juan Jimenez. When he is foaming at the mouth, he is OK, but after he stops talking and walks around fucking shit up, he is at his strongest. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about his acting. Far from that actually.

I'm talking about this lumbering guy that jumps out windows, chokes motherfuckers, drives like a maniac, and will blow you up by staring at you. Don't miss his obvious rubber flopping club at the end! Quality!

For a large part of the film, he will be your source of enjoyment while on the other side you are being overwhelmed with exposition from the other characters. Explaination after explanation after explanation... then a little taste of gore!

While the direction and writing may not be the best, Goyri does benefit here from some nice sets and images. I don't know if it is thanks to a higher budget than we've become accustomed to this month, but the sets for instance in caves, inside an old castle, etc. really added to my enjoyment of the film. There were some cheaper type effects like the shaking rooms during an earthquake or the FulciFog® machine action, but these work too in a different way.

In particular, the poor crucified chick in the broken down industrial area is quite nice (in a manner of speaking). This is a well done scene I thought. And there's more FulciFog®!

This film is not very well made, got a little awkward at times due to the constant explanation to what was going on, and certainly not well acted, but I did enjoy it. I felt like I was getting off track (with the exception of Satanico Pandemonium) and this one righted the ship most definitely. It was so over the top at times, I couldn't help but smile.

Definite recommendation if you're looking for a strange Mexi-horror. It doesn't have any real scares, but does well in being bad/good and entertaining.

Score: 6.5 / 10

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