Unsettling Spanish Horror with Realistic Gore…
I’ve always been a great believer in ‘less-is-more’ when blood and gore is called for in film, and that’s exactly what writer/director Óscar Rojo has achieved in his second outing, Omnivores. Rojo has used a lot of the same cast from his first feature, the unsuccessful, Brutal Box, and given their relatively short list of film credits, they’ve done a remarkably able job. Lead man, Mario de la Rosa, however, went through the film with a face like a wet weekend and appeared to have only two expressions; unhappy and a bit more unhappy; including several occasions he’s with naked women; having sex; bathing with one, which was admittedly off-putting at times, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the movie.
Omnivores begins several years ago, with a young, bedraggled, starving boy, watching his mother on her deathbed, begging him to fetch help. A family friend arrives at the lonely cabin to discover the mother dead, with large amounts of flesh eaten from her extremities; the kid looking guilty with a blood covered face and a full belly. After the family friend burns then buries the body, we jump to present-day Spain, where well-known food critic, Marcos Vela (de la Rosa) has been asked to look into a secretive group of well-heeled food fanciers who get together periodically, to partake in highly unusual edibles. He eventually manages to get himself invited to one of the gatherings, which then allows him to gain access to a group who pride themselves in the fact they eat freshly murdered strangers, snatched off the streets.
They way these innocent victims are dealt with, by way of their preparation for being carved up and cooked is quite brutal and I found it, not only realistic but most unsettling. I remember a documentary I saw many years ago where a cat would be quickly thrust into super-heated water then easily skinned alive, which is similar to what happens to one of the victims, before he’s quickly stabbed in the neck and left to bleed out. It’s the matter-of-fact manner these atrocities are carried out that makes it all the more brutal; harrowing and effective.
While we can’t escape the fact, Omnivores, is a low-budget affair, and thus, has the flaws that go along with these types of film, including the relative inexperience of most of the people involved in its making, the actual story (plot holes and oddities too) and Rojo’s passion are hard to fault in this day-and-age where the “cliche” and the “remake” are celebrated, as time after time we get the same group of kids going camping then being hunted by a masked serial killer, or an old 80’s flick is dusted off.
Omnivores, is a breath of fresh air with its approach to horror and I hope Rojo can follow up with another film that has as much heart and originality as this little film has. Spain, and Óscar Rojo have plenty to offer horror-lovers and this movie has made a fan out of me, so I’ll be keenly waiting to see what the filmmaker can devise for us next.
by Nav Qateel