Don’t Let the Title Satanic Hispanics (FANTASTIC) Fool You; It’s Heaven for Horror Lovers
Title: Satanic Hispanics
First Non-Festival Release: TBD
Director: Alejandro Brugués, Mike Mendez, Demian Rugna, Eduardo Sanchez, Gigi Saul Guerrero
Writer: Pete Barnstrom, Alejandro Mendez, Lino K. Villa
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Starring: Efren Ramirez, Henky Madera, Jonah Rey
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
This film’s review was written after its screening at the Fantastic Film Festival in 2022.
Five tales of horror are connected after a mysterious man named The Traveler (Efren Ramirez) is taken into custody following a massacre. Stuck in his family home, a man discovers a ritual that opens portals to another realm. It’s minutes before the sun is meant to rise and a vampire out in a killing spree must race home before the morning light burns him alive. Deep in a remote rainforest, a man hiding out finds himself victim of a terrifying force. A man must free himself and avenge his friends from the wrath of demons with help from an ancient artifact. Finally, The Traveler faces off with Death himself.
Bright and boisterous, Satanic Hispanics provides plenty of thrills, chills, and laughs while highlighting Latino filmmakers.
Rousing horror and comedy make this group of Latino led horror shorts must watches. Built specifically for Fantastic Fest audiences, Satanic Hispanics plays up its camp to maximize its midnight madness appeal. It is clear that the teams behind these films are having fun and that their goal is to give the audience the same great time. Twisting and re-telling old legends and stories across Latin America, the cultural significance of the film is notable and noticeable too.
Introducing the next front man for an anthology series, “The Traveler” establishes pitch perfect tone for the rest of the film. Balancing the intensity and playfulness of the series of shorts that proceeds it, "The Traveler" also cements a figure that passes through time in a manner to conceivably bear witness to all the stories he has in his mind. Efren Ramirez exudes charm and dynamism in the titular role. Hopefully, if the film becomes a franchise, like it deserves to be, we’ll be seeing plenty more of him.
The most generic part of the collection, “Tambien Lo Vi” manages to unsettle and creep into the viewer’s imagination. Portals to other dimensions might be familiar but the rituals involved are complex and incomprehensible to those engaging in them. Malcolm frustrates the audience as intended while maintaining sensibilities once things go truly south.
What could have been a standard vampire short becomes something much sweeter than expected in “El Vampiro”. Leaning more into comedy, this tale is more about forgetting about one’s feelings for a loved one before it is too late and the lengths you will go for them. It does this all while still being laugh-out-loud hilarious with plenty of Halloween related hijinks.
Easily the most serious short of the bunch, “Nahules” takes viewers on an intense and terrifying journey in the heart of a Mexican rainforest. Much of the story is kept secret from viewers, but gradually as the film goes on, more is revealed about the nature of the horror involved. Part revenge and part supernatural, this is the most mysterious and visually haunting of the shorts in Satanic Hispanics.
An absolute blast from start to finish, “The Hammer of Zanzibar” balances comedy, action, and horror perfectly to sell its zany premise. Boasting one of the best fight sequences of the year, this short deserves nothing but praise for its execution of something so high concept. It also works as the best closing short before the wraparound finishes. The intensity allows for “The Traveler” to circle back and hopefully open things up for a sequel in the near future.
Rousing, side-splitting, and culturally significant, Satanic Hispanics is an excellent anthology film that is consistently entertaining and intriguing. Without a single weak entry, this film defies the conventions of genre anthology filmmaking on its first iteration. Wrought with franchise potential, Satanic Hispanics works because of the clear passion behind the project. From the top line down, it is evident that everyone is all in for the silliness and terror that makes these stories so compelling. Great casting, location scouting, and impeccable comedic timing make this film the perfect midnight movie to enjoy with a crowd. Keep an eye out for the next big thing in horror anthology news and put Satanic Hispanics on your watch list now.
Overall Score? 7.5/10