Saturday, September 17, 2011
EVEN THE WIND IS AFRAID (Hasta el viento tiene miedo, 1968)
How many movies are available for free online? By now it's probably impossible to get an accurate count as new stuff appears constantly. Every so often I get curious, so I do a Google Video Search for stuff 20 minutes or longer. Sometimes I'll check by year, sometimes by genre, sometimes by an artist's name, and so on. The other day I did a "1968" search just for the heck of it and got a lot of results. There's quite a bit of eastern European stuff to be seen, with English subtitles, as well as some Bollywood, Shaw Bros., etc. We must be close enough to Halloween now that I was interested in seeing a horror film, and Google pointed me toward Carlos Enrique Taboada's film, which one "EddietheArsehead" has uploaded to YouTube with enhanced fan-generated subtitles. Eddie bills Hasta el viento tiene miedo as "perhaps the best traditional ghost story ever filmed." That was a gauntlet thrown to the floor. I don't claim to be a specialist of even a particular fan of ghost movies, but that big a claim for a movie I'd never heard of, or didn't remember reading about, basically dared me to watch the film. I wouldn't call it the best of anything, but it does have its virtues and its attractions.
There's an irrepressible tackiness to Mexican horror in color from the Sixties, and that makes Even the Wind too garish to be gothic much of the time. But Taboada does work up some authentic chills, especially when he gets the girls out of their over-bright, over-colorful dorms and into the night, often in their nightgowns. Then it's gothic all the way, with gusto. The ending is a bit flat, simply because the circumstances of Andrea Ferran's death aren't really the stuff to inspire epic vengeance. It's not as if the headmistress, Bruja or not, actually killed Andrea's mother or Andrea herself. But I suppose we had better not question ghosts when they're in a temper. But if the film suffers from ghostly pettiness, it gets by with a naively exploitative charm. The students are fun to watch and Kitty's striptease of terror is definitely a camp highlight. Watch the film in the right frame of mind and you may not think as much of it as EddietheArsehead does, but you may want to thank him for making ninety minutes of innocent spooky fun available online. Check it out and judge for yourselves.