El diabólico Review
From The Spaghetti Western Database
|The devil came on horseback|
Dutchman Giovanni Korporaal (of "Rififi in Amsterdam" fame) learned filming in Rome. Years later he would be directing something that, in terms of style, brings the spaghetti western into mind. However, despite the man's first name here it is not an Italian seated in the director's chair. Moreover, the present picture, El diabólico, is shot in Mexico rather than in Europe. So, it pretty much is a 100% Mexican production is what we're dealing with here. With some Dutch flavour added to it. Korporaal wrote the thing himself.
The film seems to immediately have a clear protagonist. This assumption is in fact true. The shell of this main character is subject to change however; in short, he morphs into no one less than Satan or, at least, an interesting follower of the Devil in human form. Where a bearded gunslinger gets himself into trouble under the influence of evil -he felt the need to rape women and to brand them afterwards- a noose is found quickly. Under the sign of hell he was! This due to the fact that he wore a demonic medallion. But here's the kicker: Anybody that wears the medallion goes Satanic apeshit! The branding of the raped women is even done with this device, a green highlighting Satanic artefact. Hail Satan! Anyway, the bad guy with his head in the noose, finds a way to hypnotize the local drunk into shooting the rope. Interesting detail: The drunk was not even capable of shooting prior to this particular incident! So, the demon in human skin, however, is so excessively wound in the logical escape that he kicks the bucket.; but not before the drunk, with Satan, swears that he will avenge his death! Void the drunk as his predecessor, he this same conduct is not in the least since his medallion has taken over ...
The plot has some elemens thrown on the table, but this shit right here is not an essay on my part, so I will not bore you any further. Nor me. Moreover, I have not actually any ambition to betray anymore of this kinda fascinating watch. You see, with El diabólico we have a highly unusual western on our hands. It is also an oater that is not afraid of bringing crude violence. Nice! The film is it often extremely bloody, blasphemous and / or otherwise morally impaired. Yet the film, from a technical point of view, is not so good. Although it has the coarse directing and editing methods going for it, the pacing is pretty bad. A positive implication here is the editing in of the (re) hanged, who increasingly rots until only the bones of him remain; this while his successor is avenging his death. It is primarily a deplorable lack of developments that, in the case of this Mexiwestern, is the main criticism.
Although I wish to admit that the pan & scan offering of the film is far from ideal, I am of the opinion that there was far too little being done with a quite original concept. The character developments are in fact good and the plot wanders off to a wonderfully bleak finale. Filmmaker Korporaal has not made a mess out of this at all, but remarkably it is 'far from', so to speak. This western is more than worth the look, but miles away from the cult work that it could have been.
Satanic greetings, it's Halloween, bitch, --Bad Lieutenant 19:25, 31 October 2014 (CDT)