Dir. Jairo Pinilla, 1985
Colombia. 98 mins.
In dubbed English with Spanish subtitles.
A beautiful medical student named Laura is orphaned in two fell strokes of awful fate: first her father dies, then her jeweler's mother is murdered by her sociopathic cousin Rodolfo (alongside his equally free-spreeing sister, who soon uses her witness status as a cudgel against the culprit.) Laura becomes obsessed, both with seeking vengeance for her mother's murder, and with the idea of reoccupying her still-fresh corpse - egged on by her compatriots, whose are only interested in modern medicine for the promise of a ramshackle bridge to the other side. Soon Laura has decided to be killed so her spirit can commingle with her mother's, but her boyfriend Ray disapproves - and Rodolfo, by now moved into Laura's empty family home with his deadbeat father, may have other designs.
Finding Colombian audiences disdainful of his Spanish-language movies, Pinilla sought to disguise EXTRAÑA REGRESIÓN as an American production, and thus dubbed it in English - giving a ludicrous innocence to the overdubbed line readings during on-campus discussions of science, morality and life after death. EXTRAÑA REGRESIÓN becomes a hypernatural revenge thriller in its final act, stacked with double-crosses and uncanny coincidences than a telenovela: a hyperintelligent baby is born to host Laura's soul, tracking down both Rodolfo and her old boyfriend Ray (now played by Pinilla) for a reckoning from the other side - sure to haunt the hell out of Rodolfo, Ray, and perhaps also the captive audience.
In keeping with our presentations of clásicos tropicales góticos by Luis Ospina and Ivan Cardoso, Spectacle is pleased to exhibit two Eighties rarities by living legend Jairo Pinilla, the so-called Ed Wood of Colombia. Also reigning from Cali (Ospinas hometown, as well as the late Carlos Mayolos), Pinilla pioneered a form of acerbic camp cinema in constant struggle with Foto Cine, the government agency providing funding for some of his movies. While the films are well known among cineaste circles of Colombia, little is published in English about Jairo Pinilla. His most notorious works (like the temporary-death medical thriller 27 HORAS CON LA MUERTE, or AREA MALDITA - about a marijuana crops protected by a monstrous, weed-addicted python) remain sadly unavailable on these dark shores. We hope this series begins a bigger inquiry into Pinilla's work which, despite its languorous pace and phantasmagoric theatrics, retains the innocence of the best zero-budget cinema of the macabre.
Last December Pinilla told The Miami Herald that You have to have a good ending first, he said, taking a deep drag on a cigarette. Then you start stacking all the other elements behind it like a funnel. The funnels capping both THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE and EXTRAÑA REGRESIÓN must be seen to be believed - affirming Pinilla's late night tales as low-key pulp masterpieces.
SPECTACLE THEATER (View)
124 South 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|