As Fábulas Negras [The Black Fables] (2014)

As Fábulas Negras
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 19.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Plot:
As Fábulas Negras is a Brazilian horror anthology that tries to show what is currently being done in Brazil regarding genre film.

I saw this directly after México Bárbaro and admittedly, I was still a little drained from that earlier film. But I didn’t want the night to end with rape goblins, so I decided to power through this film regardless. That setting might have worked in As Fábulas Negras’ favor: because I was so happy that there is just a little sexism and only a few gratuitous boob shots in it, I really thought it is a nice film. Although it certainly isn’t great and probably won’t be in my head for very long.

asfabulasnegras

Crianças na Mata
Director: Rodrigo Aragão
Four boys running through the woods, playing and telling each other horror stories.
As a framing device, this was actually pretty clever. Because it’s children telling the stories, the immaturities, clichés and other stumbling stones are easily explained. Though I wouldn’t have minded if they had included a girl in there as well.

O Monstro do Esgoto
Director: Rodrigo Aragão
The mayor refuses to invest money in a new drainage system which pushes all kinds of shit, literal and figurative, to the foreground.
Fecal humor is not so much my thing, so it was clear that this segment probably wouldn’t be for me. And it wasn’t. But it was ok.

asfabulasnegras1

Pampa Feroz
Director: Petter Baiestorf
A beast is killing off the General’s men. It might be the one who is in love with the General’s daughter. At least he is behaving rather suspiciously.
The story of this is an old hat and therefore predictable, there are boob shots thrown in there that are entirely unnecessary, but it is a werewolf story – to which I’m partial in general – with an absolutely excellent, unusual transformation sequence.

O Saci
Director: José Mojica Marins
A young girl makes her way through the forest, despite being warned against it, and encounters the Saci who won’t leave her alone anymore.
The Saci in this iteration is just a racist stereotype (not that the original is racism-free exactly): It has the face of a black man’s caricature and is super-connected to nature and murderous. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if that had been some colonialist’s fantasy that became mythical creature, but I certainly couldn’t look past the racism (or the unnecessary boobs, again).

asfabulasnegras2

A Loira do Banheiro
Director: Joel Caetano
A girls’ boarding school, a mysterious bathroom, a mirror and the Bloody Blonde.
This segment was a classic Bloody Mary story, including all the clichés and, how could it be any different, with a bit of sexism thrown in. But Caetano manages to make it creepy and tense for the most part, making the whole thing perfectly enjoyable.

A Casa de Iara 
Director: Rodrigo Aragão
When Iara realizes that her husband is cheating on her, she decides to punish him for it.
This was probably my favorite segment, tying the kids’ story from the framing device up in a neat little bow, with a cool looking devil and great atmosphere. They didn’t manage to keep the sexism out of this one, either, but hey, I take what I can get.

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During the credits of the film, we can see the directors, especially Marins (who is a Brazilian horror legend) talking about the state of horror film making in Brazil. And while there was some interesting stuff in those interviews as well, not even there did they manage to stay sexism free. The way Marins talked about horror films, it’s clear that he sees the horror film audience completely male (and straight). That explains the sexism of the film, but it galls me personally as a female horror fan. Could have done without that.

Summarizing: It’s okay, but most of the plus points it got from me, it got for not being México Bárbaro.

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