Have you been practicing Spanish but still need help with basic phrases like “You are seven years old. You are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother’s picture” and “Antichrist is born tonight, but I do not know where. That’s why I need to summon the devil”? Have no fear–these Spanish-language cult films are here. Spiders, nuns, satanists, piles of dead rabbits…all the elements of classic cult cinema are here. If they don’t scare you, you certainly shouldn’t be scared to join one of our Spanish classes, starting in September.
Luis Buñuel (1962, Spain/Mexico), Amazon
From the deranged mind that brought you such classic arthouse films as Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or comes a cult classic that is distinguished by being banned in Franco’s Spain and denounced by the Vatican as blasphemous. A young novice, Viridiana, is about to take her final vows to become a nun when her uncle invites her to his home for one last visit. He attempts to seduce her and a grotesque debauch ensues which, indeed, gives the Vatican plenty to be upset about.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (1971, Mexico), Amazon
El Topo is one of the ur-cult movies and a perennial favorite on the midnight movie roster. Jodorowsky wrote, directed, and starred as the mystical desperado who travels a psychedelic desert fighting masters who represent four religions and are armed with such implements as butterfly nets, piles of flaming rabbits, and geometrical toys before being reborn in a beehive sort of thing in a….you know what, you really just have to see it.
The Day of the Beast (El día de la Bestia)
Álex de la Iglesia (1995, Spain), YouTube
Innocent priest Father Ángel Berriartúa decodes the Book of Revelations and determines that the Antichrist is going to be born in Madrid on Christmas Day. In order to root out and battle him, he has to commit as many sins as possible in the short time remaining. A dark comedy that satirizes religion and modern Spain.