Posts Tagged ‘Ernesto Diaz Espinoza’

Fist of the Condor

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023

FIST OF THE CONDOR (El Puño del Cóndor), available now on the Hi-YAH! streaming network,* is the long-awaited (by me at least) reunion of Chilean martial arts star Marko Zaror (UNDISPUTED III, SAVAGE DOG, JOHN WICK CHAPTER 4) and writer/director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza. They came up together making KILTRO, MIRAGEMAN and MANDRILL, but this is their first together since REDEEMER in 2014. From the looks of it they spent that time training, meditating, and learning powerful secret techniques.

I loved this movie, and I think it follows the established Zaror/Diaz Espinoza pattern of being even better than the last one, but I have exactly one (1) caveat: I wish I’d remembered that the first trailer called it FIST OF THE CONDOR: PART ONE. It felt kinda like if I’d watched KILL BILL VOLUME 1 thinking it was the whole thing and expecting her to cross all the names off her list. When it ended I had to do a double take, rewind and watch the last scene again to get my bearings. But I understand it now. (read the rest of this shit…)


Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

tn_redeemerIn REDEEMER, Marko Zaror plays The Redeemer, a mysterious, drifting avenger with a thing for Catholicism. He used to be a cartel hitman, now he’s fulfilling a big time penance. He’s got a full back tattoo of the crucifixion, carries a portable altar and various idols and penants of the saints, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wears socks sewn out of a corner of the Shroud of Turin. For 95% of the movie he keeps the hood of either his sweatshirt or his jacket up. It’s not raining, so I think it’s to make him look like a monk. And every day he kneels and does a prayer ritual. The weird part of it is when he rubs a bullet with a scorpion painted on it against his forehead, then plays Russian roulette. Kind of a quirky thing to do every single day, right? I guess maybe that’s a thing though. I wouldn’t know, I was raised Presbyterian.

Anyway this individual The Redeemer is wandering through Chile on foot when he comes across some jerks beating up a fisherman. He watches for a while before he saves the guy. He’s real good with guns, but he’s Marko Zaror, so he’s also got some incredible kicks and punches. By rescuing the guy and taking shelter in the nearby home of a single mother they all end up involved in the man’s troubles: he found a bunch of money in his fishing net, he took it, it turned out to belong to gangsters, they are not real understanding about it. So The Redeemer and friends hide in a cave while he broods and prays and doesn’t talk and makes plans to clear all this up.

Plan A: Get the gangsters to promise no harm in exchange for their money back.

Plan B: Kill them all and use the money for the mom’s kid’s operation. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Green Inferno

Monday, September 28th, 2015

tn_greeninfernoEli Roth is one of the few name brands in modern horror. That’s weird because THE GREEN INFERNO is his first directorial work released in eight years. He’s spent more time producing and writing (the non-horror MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS being his most notable in that area in my opinion) and he was an Inglorious Basterd and what not. But as a director this is only his fourth film. At this point in John Carpenter’s career he was on his twelfth film, PRINCE OF DARKNESS.

I’m glad to have him back though because I’ve liked all of his movies. I remember CABIN FEVER being fun when I saw it at a midnight show, and though I had mixed feelings when I first saw HOSTEL it has grown on me on further viewings. And I especially like HOSTEL PART II, which I think is very underrated, even something of a modern horror classic.

Roth has always been one to talk worshipfully about the Italian horror directors, not just arty Argento but the slimy guys out in the jungle filming muddy maggot ridden zombies and cannibal savages cutting open ancient tortoises. So this is his tribute to those movies, his story of western travelers intruding on the territory of indigenous people who have, you know… different customs.

In the old ones they carried film cameras to make documentaries, these kids carry smart phones to livestream what’s happening. (Don’t worry, it has no found footage elements.) They come as activists trying to stop a corporation from plowing down the rain forest and the people inside it to get to the natural gas underneath. Or “unobtainium,” let’s call it. But their small plane crashes and leaves them stranded near the village, where they are manhandled, poisoned, caged, carved, cooked, eaten, etc. by a fictional Peruvian tribe (portrayed primarily by indigenous farmers who had never left their village deep in the Amazon). The captives plan and fight amongst themselves and try to escape. (read the rest of this shit…)


Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

tn_mandrill“You must be Mandrill. Who else would be so fearless as to kiss my woman in my pool?”

MANDRILL is Chilean vehicle #3 for martial artist Marko Zaror, and in my opinion his best so far. In KILTRO he played an overgrown man-teen with dyed hair and baggy pants, in MIRAGEMAN he was an emotionally-stunted wannabe super hero who barely talked, so it’s surprising to see how well he fits the more standard super-suave badass role. (read the rest of this shit…)


Monday, February 27th, 2012

tn_kiltroKILTRO was the first Marko Zaror movie I saw, but for some reason I never reviewed it. Maybe it’s for the best, because I liked it then, love it now. It improves with age and extra viewings, like a wine that’s flavored by people looking at it (I don’t know). Later I did review MIRAGEMAN and of course UNDISPUTED III (where he’s the lead villain/opponent) but it wasn’t until seeing a screener of his finally-coming-to-video-this-week latest MANDRILL that I decided to revisit KILTRO. I’ll have a review of that new one up soon but first let’s examine the prototypical Zaror vehicle here. (read the rest of this shit…)