Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ghostly Import: J-oke'l (La Llorona)- Curse of the Weeping Woman

Hola, me amigos.  Now that I've expended a good 50% of my good Spanish, let's dig into today's Film- J-ok'el: La Llorona- Curse of the Weeping Woman.  This 2007 Horror Film has some Mexican origins, but also some strong ties to the States.  In a nutshell, they got some American Actors to help sell it, but otherwise tried to make it authentic.  Hey, if Ron Perlman can be in Spanish-Language Films, why not?!?  What kind of Mexican name is that of our Director- Benjamin Williams?  Oh, that's not his name, you say, IMDB?  His actual name is Roberto Carlos Morales Vergara, it seems.  That's...quite a change.  Is it better than Vincent Dawn or Lewis Coates though?  Our Stateside connections here are Dee Wallace and Tom Parker (not the Colonel).  The former has a lot of good Films to her credits- like The Howling- but also alot of shit ones- The Eden Formula.  I'm not going to harp on 'working Actors' all the time, plus she's apparently a nice lady.  She's still in this Film though, so my leniency only goes so far.  Parker is someone I'm not familiar with, but he did apparently do a Travel Show about South America the same year as this one.  The Film's Plot- a missing Sister (In Law) brings a man to Mexico to find her.  Without his Mother's help or that of the Police, can he save the day?  To find out, read on...
A man (Parker) travels to Mexico when he's told that his Sister-in-Law disappeared from her home in Mexico.
His Mother lives there, but she's shutting him out.  Why so serious?
Our Hero gets no help from La Policia and can't find out who took her, but this lady has a theory.

J-oke'l is apparently a woman's Spirit who shows up when kids are troubled and kidnaps them.  Is this the Mexican Import Version of The Lady in Black?
With nobody else on his side, he teams up with a local woman, in spite of their conflicts.  Can they solve the case?
Given this Film's Budget (reportedly $500,000), you'll have to make do with a veil being waved in front of the camera for our ghost.
As things get worse, our Hero gets temporarily locked up and sees J-oke'l in the Street.  Can he find her/it?
 Eventually, he finds where J-oke'l has been hiding, albeit only after his friend's son goes missing.  Now begins the depressing final events...

First, all of the kids are dead.  No happy ending for you!
Next, it turns out that Wallace is actually the culprit and our Hero is forced to kill her.  Joy.
Lastly, at the Cemetery with our mourning Heroes, the real J-oke'l appears.

Literally no hope at all, huh?  Alright.  The End.
Ghostly non-fun!  This Film sure is bleak.  This Film sure can be tedious at times.  This Film sure is...not that interesting.  Wow- a triple threat!  Hell, this Film is more depressing than the realization that 2/3rds of ECW's Triple Threat group is now dead!  The Story is pretty simple and there's really not much to it.  Parker doesn't believe in anything and then he does.  The woman is optimistic that they can win and they don't.  Wallace seems crazy, apparently.  I want to say more about these kind of low-budget Horror Films.  When they are good, I'll praise them.  When they aren't, well, I'll just be that guy making fun of them.  The thing had promise.  A man out of his element, working a personal case and confronting his demons.  These are all good ideas and could make a good Film.  As a whole, however, the Film falters.  It wastes much time on a Sub-Plot with the woman's ex-Husband as a red herring.  Nobody is fooled!  The language barrier works at times, but mostly just makes us non-Spanish speakers read.  I have no problem with that, really, but others might.  It is kind of like how Tom Hanks' Character speaks German in Bridge of Spies, but they chose *not* to give us Subtitles most of the time.  Did that help?  Ultimately nothing here is that impressive, scary or immersive.  It isn't a terrible Film- just not a terribly-interesting one.  It does have great Lighting though...
Next up, a Rare Flix feature from New Concorde.  While it has no Island or Planet, this Raptor sure is...Stock Footage.  Stay tuned...

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