Vancouver’s Luchagore Productions have made a reputation for themselves as purveyors of vicious, no-holds barred cinema in a very short time. Blending Mexican folklore and religious iconography with bloody grindhouse-style violence, director Gigi Saul Guerrero and the Luchagore crew have made their presence known on the festival circuit with the shorts, EL GIGANTE and MADRE DE DIOS.

Which brings us to PALOMA, a total about-face from Luchagore’s signature style and a most-fitting musical selection for this year’s Dia de los Muertos or Day of The Dead.

PALOMA was created by Luchagore, after accepting an invitation to take part in Capilano University BOSA Centre for Film and Animation’s run of final projects for their Cinematography Class. Working with the stipulated guidelines (one day of preparation, followed by two hours of filming ), the film was subsequently chosen as the opening film for this year’s MORBIDO FEST in Puebla, Mexico, “an elegant and very Mexican piece…the right way to start”, according to Morbido’s Festival Director and CEO, Pablo Guisa.

And he’s absolutely right. While still working within the confines of Mexican occultism and traditions, the result is a languid, static yet haunting vignette -a take on an oft-reinterpreted Spanish standard (beautifully performed by Shadan Saul Guerrero ) that is equally beautiful and jarring – that goes against the grain of what Luchagore’s best known for. And I dig it.

They say variety is the spice of life, and PALOMA shows that Guerrero can slow things down without losing the visual punch of her more brutal works. A sign of true talent and diversity stepping outside familiar territory, and a strong indication that Guerrero and Luchagore Productions are no flash in the pan.

Up next for these Vancouver superstars? DIA DE LOS MUERTOS, a featured segment in the upcoming Mexican horror anthology, MEXICO BARBARO, out on DVD/Blu-Ray and VOD tomorrow!(Ain’t synchronicity a beautiful thing?).

And after that? Who can say? But I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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