As the calendar changes from October to November, Mexican horror fans will ascend for the twelfth year on Morbido Fest, a Mexico City-based festival dedicated to all things macabre, organized and executed by Morbido Group CEO and founder Pablo Guisa Koestinger.
This year’s festival will kick off Oct. 30 with a spectacle grander in its ambition than any Morbido inauguration before. Taking place within the Esperanza Iris City theater, more than 60 artists will perform six choreographed musical numbers with Guisa taking the reigns as master of ceremonies. Those familiar with Guisa and his public persona won’t be surprised to hear that his opening night wardrobe alone includes eight costumes, with more to come in the following days.
Somehow, the TV network owner, festival director, writer, publisher and radio host found time to make appearances in three high-profile films screening at this year’s fest: Paco Plaza’s “Eye for an Eye,” Adrián García Bogliano’s “Svart Cirkle” and Edgar Nito’s “Huachicolero.”
At this year’s Santiago de Chile-based Sanfic Festival, Guisa also announced that he will return to the Chilean capital each year to participate in the festival’s industry sidebar to godfather genre projects and select a non-specific number of projects to back to the tune of 30% of the film’s proposed final budgets.
Last year, Spanish scream king Plaza, “Veronica” director and co-creator of the “Rec” films series, attended Morbido and spearheaded a scriptwriting program on behalf of the festival. This year, he returns for the Latin American premiere of the aforementioned “Eye for an Eye,” the story of a Mario, a model citizen and nurse who crosses paths with a recently released from prison drug kingpin.
Also screening for the first time in Latin America is Alice Waddington’s feature debut “Paradise Hills,” co-written by Oscar-nominated Spanish genre filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (“7:35 de la mañana,” “Colosal”) and featuring a star-studded cast including Emma Roberts, Mila Jovovich and Awkwafina.
On Halloween, the festival will hold a celebratory 30th anniversary screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s gory classic “Santa Sangre” (“Holy Blood”), remastered in 4K by Severen Films. The following day, BAFTA and Goya-nominated composer Simon Boswell, who composed the music for “Santa Sangre,” will perform songs from his impressive cinematic catalog which includes films such as “Hobo with a Shotgun,” “The Crying Game” and Alex de la Iglesia’s “Dance with the Devil.”
In collaboration with the famed Mexico City film school CCC Film Training Center, Morbido will host a masterclass given by producer-director Gary Sherman discussing his most iconic work, “Poltergeist III,” held in the historic Luis Buñuel hall. The talk with focus on the filmmaker’s implementation of practical VFX and camera movements in lieu of digital green screen technology. He will also host a special screening of a restored version of his 1972 British cult classic “Raw Meat,” originally titled “Death Line.”
Richard Elfman will world premiere his latest feature “Aliens, Clowns & Geeks,” the story of an out-of-work actor who gets caught up in an intergalactic war between, you guessed it, aliens and clowns. The film features a score composed by Elfman’s four-time Oscar-nominated brother Danny Elfman.
“Sesión Salvaje,” a documentary from Paco Limón and Julio Cesar Sánchez recounting one of Spain’s golden ages of horror, the 1960s through ‘80s, will screen as part of a special event presented by Apache Films and Morbido Films, produced by Enrique López Lavigne and Guisa.
2019 Morbido Feature Screenings
LATIN AMERICAN FEATURES
“A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio,” (Luciano and Nicolás Onetti, Sergio Morcillo, Joshua Long, Jason Bognacki, Adam O’Brien, Matt Richards, A.J. Briones, Pablo S. Pastor, Oliver Park, Argentina, New Zealand)
“Diablo Rojo PTY,” (Sol Morenao, Panama)
“El diablo me dijo qué hacer,” (Alejandro G. Alegre, Mexico)
“Huachicolero,” (Edgar Nito, Mexico)
“Infección,” (Flavio Pedota, Venezuela, Mexico)
“Luz,” (Juan Diego Escobar Alzate, Colombia)
“Matar al dragón,” (Jimena Monteoliva, Argentina)
“Rendez-vous,” (Pablo Olmos Arrayales, Mexico)
SPECIAL LATIN AMERICAN SCREENINGS
“Santa Sangre,” (1989, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mexico, Italy)
“Tintorera,” (1977, René Cardona Jr., Mexico)
“A Good Woman is Hard to Find,” (Abner Pastoll, U.K., Ireland)
“Aliens, Clowns & Geeks,” (Richard Elfman, U.S.A.)
“A Living Dog,” (Daniel Raboldt, Germany)
“Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made,” (David Amito, U.S.A., Canada, Hungary)
“Blood Machines,” (Seth Ickerman, France, U.S.A.)
“Bullets of Justice,” (Valeri Milev, Kazakhstan)
“Color Out of Space,” (Richard Stanley, U.S.A.)
“Come to Daddy,” (Ant Timpson, E.S.A., New Zealand)
“Culture Shock,” (Gigi Saul Guerrero, U.S.A.)
“Flesh City,” (Thorsten Fleisch, Germany)
“In Fabric,” (Peter Strickland, U.K.)
“Jallikattu,” (Lijo Jose Pellissery, India)
“Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway,” (Miguel Llansó, Estonia, Spain)
“Little Joe,” (Jessica Hausner, Austria, U.K., Germany)
“Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro,” (Michael Paszt, Canada)
“Paradise Hills,” (Alice Waddington, Spain)
“Riot Girls,” (Jovanka Vuckovic, Canada)
“Sesión salvaje,” (Julio César Sánchez, Paco Limón, Spain)
“Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street,” (Roman Chimienti, Tyler Jensen, U.S.A.)
“Svart Cirkel,” (Adrián García Bogliano, Sweden)
“The Pool,” (Ping Lumpraploeng, Thailand)
SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL SCREENING
“Death Line,” (1972, Gary Sherman, U.K.)