Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DVD Review: The Devil's Backbone (2001)

Today we have a McBastard's Mausoleum event,  our first-ever guest review from noneother than Root Rot. Check out his blog and blogcast The Witch's Hat

Author: Root Rot


About 6 years ago (actually 2weeks ago), I contacted McBastard and volunteered to do a movie review for his blog. I had to think long and hard regarding my film choice, as to ensure that it was on par with the high standards of his blog. Weeks of scanning my mental movie files resulted in the well deserved choice of The Devils Backbone (2001).

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Origin: Spain

Plot: During the Spanish Civil War, a young boy (Carlos) is dropped off at an orphanage by his father who is leaving to fight in the war. Carlos struggles to adjust to life in the orphanage and away from his father. Loneliness and boredom spark his curiosity, as he eventually sneaks away to explore the orphanage. During Carlos’ midnight adventure he is confronted by the spirit of a dead boy. He is told by the ghost, “all will die”. As Carlos’ and a band of other orphans search the orphanage grounds to once again find the ghost, the orphanage’s handyman and former tenant of the orphanage, catches them. The handyman decides to reprimand the boys the handyman’s way, thus revealing his true nature. The handyman’s mode of operation progressively unfolds throughout the film. To begin, it is exposed that he torments and hurts children, he beats his girlfriend (orphanage’s maid) and fucks his bosses wife in a plot to steal the gold from the orphanage. The doctor that oversees the orphanage begins to discover the handyman’s evil side. The doctor fires the handyman, who then leaves the orphanage with his cronies; however, after a brief time spent plotting their revenge, the handyman and his crew return. While the handyman’s crew is focused on getting their hands on the gold, the handyman himself is more concerned with implementing his revenge. So…this is the point in the movie where the evil doers blow up, shoot up, stab, abuse and kill anyone they can get their hands on. Amidst all the mayhem, this is also where the film reveals the what, who, why, when and where’s of the ghost. Will he help the kids? Is there gold? Why is the handyman such a dick? Why is there a bomb in the orphanage’s court yard? I guess I could tell you , but I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you.

The Devils Backbone concludes with a cohesive meshing of the different story lines that evolved throughout the film, this is one of the film’s strongest attribute. The other highlight of the film is definitely the execution of the handyman character, I mean come on, he torments the orphans, fucks old women, and pimp hands his girlfriend, it doesn‘t get better than that.

On the Root Rot scale of (A+) being the best and (E) the worst, the 2001 The Devils Backbone gets a (B)… I really enjoy this flick.. Thanks for reading my review


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