Sunday, February 25, 2007

7 Dollar Popcorn Presents the 7 Dollar Popcorn FILMuary Spectacular: 28 Days of Movie Mayhem Day 25: The Devil's Backbone

Like a bomb dropping out of the sky it's 7 Dollar Popcorn Presents the 7 Dollar Popcorn FILMuary Spectacular: 28 Days of Movie Mayhem!

Seeing Pan's Labyrinth got me interested in seeing more of Guillermo del Toro's movies. Specifically El Espinazo del Diablo, aka The Devil's Backbone.

Set in a school/orphanage in the Spanish Civil War, the movie starts by asking "
What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber."

Carlos is a new student. He's being dropped of by his "tutor." Carlos' father has just died, but no one has told him yet. This, is essentially irrelevant.

Jaime is one of the boys at the school. He doesn't exactly warm up to Carlos right away. He's a bit of a bully to him actually. Jaime likes to draw.

Santi is the "one who sighs". Santi is a ghost.

Jacinto is a bastard. He is a jerk. He used to be an orphan at the school. Now he's a grounds keeper. He is trying to rob the school.

The bomb is a bomb. It fell one night and did not detonate when it hit the ground. It may or may not be "alive".

When Guillermo del Toro claims that Pan't Labyrinth is a "spiritual sequel to The Devil's Backbone, he's not kidding. There are a lot of similarities. Not the least of which is that they are both fantasies set in the Spanish Civil War. They both begin with a very similar sequence of bringing a kid to what will be their new home. Both Ophelia and Carlos have recently lost their father. Jacinto is as unsympathetic as Vidal.

"And these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only
Imperial stormtroopers are so precise."

No doubt, del Toro has made some beautiful movies, and this is no exception. The man has quite the imagination and has the ability to put that imagination onto the screen. While not exactly a horror movie, The Devil's Backbone is certainly creepy. 7 and a half slugs in a box that you collected the night your friend died out of 10.