Mexico Barbaro II Movie Review

Written by Ryan Holloway

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Written and directed by Diego Cohen (Paidos Phobos), Christian Cueva (Fireballs), Ricardo Farias (Fireballs), Michelle Garza (Vitriol), Carlos Melendez (It’s About Time), Lex Ortega (Exodontia), Abraham Sanchez (Juan the Soldier), Sergio Tello (Do Not Sleep), Fernando Urdapilleta (Potzonalli)
2018, 95 minutes, Not Rated
Premiered at the Hola Mexico Film Festival on June 2nd, 2018

Francisco Barreiro
Laura de Ita
Dana Karvelas
Fermin Martinez


Mexico Barbaro II is an anthology film with a twist, a twist from an evil knife buried deep into your very soul.

Disturbing, obscene, perverse and filled to the brim with all kinds of mind-f***ery, Mexico Barbaro II consists of eight tales that aim to satisfy every horror itch in all of those hard to reach places.

What can and has been an issue with anthology films is the quality awkwardly dropping in and out as roughly as a masturbatory crucifix. What is somewhat surprising is that the stories, despite coming from eight very different directors, feel like part of a whole, which makes Mexico Barbaro 2 a rollercoaster ride, but one that is more coherent than most.

Any quality dip really comes from the viewer’s point of view and a deeper look at what each individual considers horror to be. Across the stories there are certainly some moments where it could easily fall into dark web territory but serves here as more of an exploration of the darkest corners of the subconscious and always feels like a striking art form.

Of course part of the fun of an anthology is not entirely knowing what twisted tale you’ll get next, so we’ll avoid providing too many spoilers here. We’ll just tease a little.

The first important thing to note about Mexico Barbaro II is that you’ll need to stick with it. Although each and every short has it’s good points and always carry an aesthetic that is a joy to watch despite the madness, the stories do get stronger as the film goes on, this is surely a deliberate tactic in building up to a strong visceral ending if not a narrative one.

Kicking things off is ‘Juan the Soldier’ from director Abraham Sanchez. To be honest, its kind of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it entry that never really goes anywhere but does have some cool imagery and sets the tone nicely, it is beautifully shot and acts as a nice gentle entry-level story…because believe us, its going dark, real dark.

Next, Diego Cohen takes us on an emotionally charged journey centering on the relationship between a mother and her child in ‘Paidos Phobos’ before things get weird with ‘Potzonalli’ from Fernando Urdapilleta. Let’s just say this one might put you off your appetite for, like, probably forever.

‘Fireballs’ from Christian Cueva and Ricardo Farias lives up to its name as well as being the most experimental entry so far. What starts out as a couple of guys recording a porno goes south, and not in a good way.

‘Vitriol’ is the fifth and most polished entry. Strong in its simplicity, it tells the story of beauty and vanity. Director Michelle Garza handles the subject expertly without ever getting gratuitous.

‘Do Not Sleep’ teaches us not to tell sensitive kids strange consequences to their actions like “a spider will crawl into your nose if you don’t clean your room.” Wow, thanks for that grandma, the road to OCD beckons! It’s an eerie tale which delivers on scares.

Saving the best till seventh is Carlos Melendez’s ‘It’s About Time’; this one sees a couple of girls curse a bunch of bullies. It’s fun, gross and very funny. It should be shown in schools as an anti-bullying video.

The grand finale is a gritty and perverse take on the tooth fairy, showing the desperation of an addict in the most nightmarish of ways. The imagery is stunning and some of the content is most certainly hard to swallow. Just have a shot of tequila nearby to take the edge off!

By the end of Mexico Barbaro II you’ll feel drained, confused, and a little bit wrong, but although the experience is hard to forget, some of the stories miss just a little more than you’d like making it a mixed bag.



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Ryan Holloway
Ryan HollowayWebsite:
Staff Reviewer
As far back as he can remember Ryan has always had an obsession with films, and horror in particular. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and ‘Alien’ were the first films that really stuck in the psyche and rather than scarring his tiny mind and running up a huge therapy bill, those films created a fascination with the dark side of life and art. Brought up by Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers (not literally), horror will always fascinate him no matter how absurd, dark, twisted, barmy or just plain wrong. Horror DNA gives him the opportunity, and excuse, to legitimise his macabre tastes and watch whatever strangeness comes his way.
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