20 September 2015

THE BLACK FABLES (/Slash Filmfestival 2015)


Original Title:
As Fábulas Negras

Brazil, 2014
Directors: Rodrigo Aragão, Petter Baiestorf,
José Mojica Marins & Joel Caetano


"The Black Fables" is a Brazilian horror anthology, consisting of 5 black fables, all based on classic Brazilian folklore. The movie was made on an obviously pretty low budget, but with lots of heart and soul. Unfortunately, that doesn't help much. While it's easy to see how passionate the four directors were, it's even easier to recognize that they were much more interested in creating shitloads of oldschool gore, splatter and monster effects, and not so much in creating likable characters, gripping tension or coherent stories, resulting in a pretty mixed bag that feels too much as if the fables were just various short films cobbled together, just like in one of those terrible "Treasure Chest of Horrors"-flicks - though, of course, "The Black Fables" is far, far from being as terrible.

Segment 1 and 5 are easily the highlights of this anthology, both directed by Rodrigo Aragão ("Mud Zombies"). Although the first one, the comedic "Monster of the Sewer", is a bit too long and too all over the place, and the last one, the eerie "Iara's House", is way, way too short, both segments deliver beautifully haunting scenes, insanely awesome effects and many memorable moments + lots of hilarious humor (1st segment) and a few oh-my-gawd-wow!!-moments
(5th segment).

Segment 2, "Fierce Pampas", is a neat, yeat highly predictable and ultimately quite underwhelming werewolf story with effects that range from bloody good to bloody bad. At least, it's better than what you expect from a director who has titles like "The Vegetable Monster from Outer Space" or "Arrombada - I Will Piss in Your Grave" in his filmography (Petter Baiestorf).

Segment 3, "The Saci", was made by Brazilian movie-making legend José Mojica Marins ("Coffin Joe" trilogy), another okay, yet pretty disappointing episode. Its basic folklore roots (the one-legged "Saci" is one of the most popular characters in Brazilian folklore) are interesting, but director Marins seemed to had no idea what to do with the Saci, so instead of focusing on this weird creature, he decided to focus on a couple of characters who are all either annoying, or completely unsympathetic.

Segment 4, "Bloody Blonde", is undoubtedly the worst one. Brazil's answer to J-Horror, a lame and boring semi-variation of contemporary Asian horror classics. Too long, too tedious, at times gross like hell, at times just dumb. It's a mystery to me why they let Joel Caetano (who has only made one short film beforehand) direct such a long segment, actually the longest segment of "The Black Fables".

Final thoughts: decent, but unimpressing and forgettable anthology. Recommended only to fans of low-budget splatter and Latin-American Horror.


Thanks to Saskia Pramstaller (Die Halbstarken) for the festival-screener!


  1. Wow, I love the title and artwork. I don't mind a bit of low-budget splatter, so may give this one a whirl :)

  2. I'm with Winter - this one rates a watch if it shows up somewhere I can easily watch it without having to work to find it.

  3. Never judge a book by its cover... ;)


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