Horrortoberfest ’20 Day 11 – Ladronas de Almas (2015)

 

This time around, we get an interesting blend of several genres in one. It’s a period piece that is also a zombie movie and a revenge horror a la Last House on the Left. That zombie bit definitely came out of nowhere, though, since there is no mention of it in the description but then pretty early it takes a sudden turn toward the undead. It was neat to see a zombie that wasn’t the same as the standard Romero zombie.

Set during the Mexican War of Independence, a group of fighters show up at a remote estate where only the Father and his 3 daughters plus manservant live. They already suffered from being ransacked by Royalist troops that killed the Mother and attempted to kidnap the eldest daughter. Not wanting to leave emptyhanded, the greedy soldiers start looking for treasure but end up finding mostly zombies and some very righteously angry women. Turns out that trying to commit war crimes isn’t a great idea.

The zombies in this are much more like the traditional zombie in the sense that they were people that were turned into undead slave labor rather than risen corpses that infect those they bite. They do apparently still hunger for flesh but that might just be an after effect of having been starved. Of course the zombies aren’t the only creatures out for blood. The daughters end up being responsible for more deaths than the undead and seem to enjoy the killing. Especially towards the end, you get a very real parallel between the monsters that they helped to make and the monsters that they have become. Even though their vengeance may be justified, nobody leaves the war untouched and virtuous.

The movie suffers a bit from a pacing problem and also wanting to reveal some twists that aren’t really necessary to hide. The men that show up say that they are Insurgents fighting for independence but they’re actually Royalists looking for a missing treasure. We know almost immediately that they aren’t what they say and are definitely bad guys but the film dances around it for so long like it’s going to be some huge surprise. Once it really gets going, it still tends to take too much time meandering through things before getting to anything relevant.

With a unique setting and take on things, it’s not a bad watch. While certainly not an instant classic, it won’t be a disappointment if you watch it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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