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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

SHE-WOLF -- DVD Review by Porfle

It took me a few scenes before I got what Argentinian director and co-writer Tamae Garateguy (UNTIE YOU UNTIE ME) was up to with SHE-WOLF, aka "Mujer lobo" (Film Movement, 2014). 

But once I caught on, this bloody psychological horror-thriller became one of the most exhilarating movie experiences I've had in a long time.

Bare bones synopsis: a vicious female serial killer (the "Mujer Lobo" of the title) seduces men and then, either during or after sex, murders them. One of her potential victims happens to be an undercover cop named Garcia, who begins to track her down with a vengeance.

Meanwhile, she falls in love with a young drug dealer named Leo, who is unaware of her nefarious nocturnal activities, after he helps her escape from the dogged cop.

But here's what really kicks SHE-WOLF into play: this Mujer has multiple personalities, each played by a different actress.  Mujer Lobo (Mónica Lairana) is the ruthless and utterly feral she-beast who kills for pleasure. Mujer Rubia (Luján Ariza) is a blonde bimbo-slash-nympho who helps lure Mujer Lobo's victims to their doom.  And Mujer Joven (Guadalupe Docampo) is the straight-laced, innocent young woman who must suffer the deeds of her other selves.

Director Garateguy handles the transitions from one actress/personality to the next brilliantly, leaving us constantly on edge as to which one will come to the fore during the Mujer's romantic interludes with Leo or other interpersonal dealings.

Often all three will take turns engaging in a particular situation, as when Joven's sex play with Leo suddenly goes from wildly erotic to dark and frightening when Rubia and Lobo get their blood up.

This also gives an added edge to the murder scenes when Rubia's insatiable sex drive is overcome by Lobo's animalistic bloodlust, sometimes right in the most inopportune stages of oral sex. 

Lobo, we find in several startling scenes, has a fondness for biting, which comes in handy not only when killing for pleasure but also for disposing of certain adversaries in order to protect the sweetly vulnerable Mujer Joven.

Garateguy's direction and the film's dreamlike black and white photography are often brilliant, with a sort of David Lynch quality that makes it all visually fascinating.

Performances are first-rate, and watching the main character's unpredictable switches from one personality to another keeps us in a constant state of keen suspense. We never know which personality will emerge dominant at any given time, or what pandemonium may result.

Disturbing yet delightfully intriguing, SHE-WOLF is a bracing dive into the deep end of dark, weird dream cinema and a marvel of fine technical and artistic filmmaking.  But best of all, it's a one-way ticket for fans who enjoy the occasional first-class seat on the horror express.

Buy or stream at Film Movement
Buy at Amazon

Format: NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Number of discs: 1
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Bonus: None
Studio: Omnibus Entertainment (distributed by Film Movement)
DVD Release Date: March 12, 2019
Run Time: 92 minutes


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