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On the night of Friday, November 11th, about 90 moviegoers showed up for the Cementerio del terror (Cemetery of Terror) screening at The Frida, filing into the theater’s lobby and waiting to order concessions and movie tickets. It was already a busy night what with Rocky Horror about to play in the other theater, with shadowcast performers and crew getting ready for their show. The actors were coming in and out of the theater in their costumes prepping for their performance. Our theater’s classic Rocky lips couch and old-school Rubén Galindo Jr movie posters adorned the lobby.
I made it just in time for the movie since parking is often full on the weekends. The line at The Frida was almost out the door but thankfully our staff was able to scan everyone’s ticket quickly and take care of any concession orders including my own. You simply cannot watch a movie without snacks! I was looking very forward to seeing Cementerio del terror since this is the first Rubén Galindo Jr. film I have ever watched in a movie theater.
Many attendees arrived early to see Cementerio del terror starring Hugo Stiglitz and it was the perfect post-Halloween movie to watch on a weekend night. The Mexican slasher film was directed by Rubén Galindo Jr. and released in 1985. Galindo Jr. has directed other movies such as La niña de la mochila azul, Grave Robbers, and Don’t Panic. Once I took my seat I noticed that the theater was more full than I had anticipated but I managed to find a front row seat before the movie started. I commenced eating my concessions as we all waited for the movie to begin.
Before the film began, the screen displayed hilarious mini movie snippets that involved making fun of different movie themes such as romance, murder and violence. In a way it reminded me of the Scary Movie franchise that poked fun at horror movies and made them comedic. They also reminded me of crack videos on YouTube, or videos that are edited or remixed for comedic effects. The audience roared with laughter and applauded whenever their favorite actors appeared on the screen. One snippet even made references to the Mexican band called Los Bukis, to which the crowd yelled in excitement.
Without going into much detail about Cementerio del terror, I will admit that the film does make slasher films look silly. The film felt like two different movies because it felt like a Michael Myers Halloween spoof since it involved intoxicated college teenagers in an abandoned mansion with a supernatural killer running amok and kids adventuring into a cemetery on Halloween night. I guess you can definitely say that teenagers and children have different ways of having fun on Halloween. Several scenes even directly referenced Halloween and Night of the Living Dead, poking fun at both.
Cementerio del terror did a great job of not only making the audience laugh, but also pointing out the cheesiness of slasher films. It’s a low-budget film that’s worth watching right after Halloween. For some reason I half-expected the movie to be an actual horror movie like The Exorcist. At the same time I did not have any expectations when it came to this movie since I had never heard about it. I went into the movie with minimal expectations and did not look up information on it so as not to spoil the plot of the movie. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s a better surprise to go into movies blindly without knowing what they’re really about. We can really appreciate movies more without reading the biased reviews of critics or accidentally looking at potential movie spoilers.
Overall, the night was full of laughs and entertainment. Since the earlier mini movie snippets played until the actual presentation of the movie, many guests were not sure if Cementerio del terror ended and if it would be appropriate to leave. I found myself confused too even though the ending credits were rolling. Everyone looked at each other for a few minutes until many started leaving. It was a fun night and I look forward to watching more of Rubén Galindo Jr’s films in the future!