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  Luz: The Flower of Evil Daddy Deadly
Year: 2019
Director: Juan Diego Escobar Alzate
Stars: Yuri Vargas, Sharon Guzman, Jim Munoz, Conrado Osorio, Andrea Esquivel, Daniel Paez, Marcela Robledo, Johan Camacho
Genre: Horror, Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: El Senor (Conrado Osorio) is what they call him in this tiny community he leads out in the mountains of Colombia, a very small village consisting of his three daughters and his band of hangers-on. His wife, known as Luz, has died a couple of years ago and was buried near a tree they fully expected to bloom thanks to her goodness in life, but never did, it remained barren, and this has troubled El Senor. But then, he is a very troubled man, struggling to raise his offspring - who are grown women anyway, not that he would prefer to admit it - and his faith, which has seen him chain up a young boy as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

What we don't know initially is that this blonde and blue-eyed child is the fifth such example he has claimed as the return of Christ to Earth, and for some reason followers have not twigged that their patriarch is out of his mind on religious mania. Quite how this has happened is a mystery, perhaps it is because they have no sanity to compare him to, maybe it's because they are scared of him (that's more likely), but the fact remains nobody is standing up to his madness and wild fixations. What he needs is professional help; what the community gets is his terrible vengeance when his attempts at complete control begin to eventually slip.

Intense was one word for all this, but director Juan Diego Escobar Alzate claimed he was trying to make a tribute to Chile's most famous (or should we say infamous) film director, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and there were certainly some of his obsessions here taken to the kind of extremes he would likely approve of. However, there was a note of the critical about this that Jodorowsky would not necessarily have placed at the heart of his story, a takedown of the patriarchy and the enormous damage placing your faith in one person can do when that individual is misguided at best, utterly insane at worst. And yes, that individual could be a domineering male.

Osorio threw himself into this role like a man possessed, to the extent that you feel you would not want to meet him on a dark night, or indeed broad daylight, which had you fearing for the other characters, especially the daughters. Uma (Yuri Vargas), Zion (Sharon Guzman) and Laila (Andrea Esquivel) will all rebel to an extent, but their first act of that seems relatively minor: they find a cassette recorder in the woods and it has a tape in it. This classical piece it contains is the first proper music they have ever heard, aside from the tinkle of a music box's chimes, with its little revolving ballerina a familiar horror movie image, but El Senor claims all music is the work of the Devil, who he is preoccupied with deterring from entering the souls of his flock.

You may observe that El Senor was not completely incorrect in his assumption that music could lead to his daughters turning against him, and though it was not exactly Judas Priest there was a theme that the power of music can carry an ability to transport the listener in a religious manner, or fake religious manner more to the point. Before long it seems he has gone totally off his rocker in his drive to attain a purity that would never be possible on Planet Earth where there are so many distractions, with Mother Nature herself a candidate for courting his followers away from the righteous path he wishes for them, yet the fact he keeps a little kid chained up with a goat (not that kind of kid) in his yard indicates he has long since abandoned any decency and given in to the arrogance of his self-belief. Once the birthing scene is over, you will have given up on him and hope he is abandoned, though you will be dismayed that his daughters retain a faith in him, even after all this. Such is the poisonous power of perverted patriarchy. Music by Brian Heater.

[Fractured Visions presents Luz: The Flower of Evil on digital 26 July and Blu-ray 23 August 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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