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The Devil's Backbone [Region B]


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Playback Region B/2 :This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications here

Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B : it WILL NOT play on regular DVD player, or on standard US Blu-Ray player. You need multi-region Blu-Ray player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: Spanish ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Spanish ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes, Commentary, Featurette, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Special Edition, Storyboards, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: From acclaimed Mexican horror maestro, Guillermo Del Toro, comes The Devil's Backbone, a truly terrifying spine-tingler combining state of the art special effects with towering performances from a combination of Latin legends (Federico Luppi and Marisa Paredes) and younger stars (Eduardo Noriega, from Alejandro Amenabar's Open Your Eyes). A deliciously dark horror, The Devil's Backbone tells the tale of a remote Spanish orphanage during the final days of The Spanish Civil War whose young inhabitants are brutally terrorised by Santi, a decomposing spirit who stalks the building's dark decaying hallways. But, as the film builds to a grisly, explosive finale, the children learn the true story of Santi's death and rise up to vow a deadly vengeance on his vicious murderer. Produced by Pedro Almodovar and brilliantly photographed for maximum suspence by leading cinematographer Guillermo Navarra, The Devil's Backbone is a truly haunting, memorable ghost story. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Goya Awards, ...The Devil's Backbone ( El espinazo del diablo ) ( The Devil's Back bone )

Product Details

  • Actors: Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi, Francisco Maestre, Fernando Tielve
  • Directors: Guillermo del Toro
  • Producers: The Devil's Backbone ( El espinazo del diablo ) ( The Devil's Back bone ), The Devil's Backbone, El espinazo del diablo, The Devil's Back bone
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 107.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006LQYM6A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,575 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By BD Ashley on April 14, 2003
Format: DVD
"What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain perhaps. Somthing dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect taped in amber".
It is this rumination which opens THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, a ghost story set during the Spanish Civil War directed by Guillermero Del Toro (Mimic, Blade 2) and presented by Pedro Almodovar.
Carlitos is an orphaned 12 year old who is sent to a boarding school that shelters orphans during the last days of the war.
One unwelcome occupant is the ghost of a murdered boy, called "The One Who Sighs" by the other pupils. Carlitos is unlucky enough to come face to face with the hideously disfigured apparition one night where as a dare, the other boys send him downstairs to get some water; but for some reason he ends up in the slug infested basement; where "The One Who Sighs" dwells in a pool conveniently located there.
The movie gets its title from the name given to the deformed spine of dead foetuses, which is preserved in alcohol by an ecentric teacher. The alcohol is then sold in town and touted as a "cure all" remedy...BR>THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is a horror thriller that takes its time getting started, but once it does it makes Hollywood's regular crop of horrors look anemic. Scary, stylish and twisty (in addition to twisted) THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE doesn't undermine the viewer's intelligence either. This is a must see for horror fans and film buffs.
Extra features on the DVD include a doco about the making of the movie, trailers, storyboard comparisons and commentaries by Del Toro and the cinematographer.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By John Bonavia VINE VOICE on March 17, 2007
Format: DVD
Like del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" which has made huge waves in the non-Hollywood world, "The Devil's Backbone" is not easily categorised. Ghost story? yes, but much more. Picture of the scary tensions in Spain in the early days of the Civil War? yes, but more. Wonderful tale of how a group of children mature amid disaster and tragedy and come to be almost their own family, to replace the ones they never had or are separated from? Yes, but more. Rich in symbols and allegory...yes, but...

The richness of what T.S.Eliot called the "objective correlative" gives one that sense of underlying depth. For instance, there's the huge unexploded bomb stuck in the middle of the school courtyard. What is it but a metaphor for the hidden ghastly secret that waits to explode and reveal the reason for the mysterious ghost of the boy Santi? We only find out Santi's story near the end. Then there's the Devil's Backbone itself - in reality a congenital deformity where the spine is exposed, but spooky-looking in the sample floating in a jar of preservative - doesn't Jacinto exactly match that name? An irredeemable core of evil, like a Shakespeare villain or the Captain in Pan's Labyrinth. del Toro doesn't want to claim that there's something good in everyone: he says no, some characters are just irreversibly turned to the dark side, the very backbone of evil.

Then there's the subtle end-to end connections that add more richness. In the early scene of the school classroom, the children are shown the picture of a mammoth and the teacher makes the point that in these days the creatures were so big and strong that the hunters could only succeed by working closely together as a group.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anton Ilinski on February 24, 2007
Format: DVD
12 year old Carlos (Tielve) arrives to an isolated boarding school for boys closer to the end of the Spanish Civil War. New friends and bullies, a director of the school (Luppi) - old, wise doctor, who likes citing poems to his deputy (Paredes) and is clearly in love with her. Deputy director shares his love for poetry and secret sympathy for republicans (whom they're hiding some gold for) although prefers to seek sexual pleasure in the hands of a young caretaker (Noriega). There's only a blue sky above the orphanage and burnt out, lifeless Spanish prairie for miles around. Oh, I nearly forgot - children are telling stories about "the one who sighs" - a local ghost roaming vaults of the boarding school, and as we're to find out willing to tell some secret to Carlos.

War is in the air. There's no actual war in The Devil's Backbone, but Guillermo Del Toro's "Spanish trilogy" is about war so it's the main theme here. It's obvious the war is coming even to this remote corner of Spain. It's hanging over this place as Damocles' sword and reminds of itself even by way of a huge unexploded bomb sticking out of the schoolyard pavement. It serves both as a reminder and as a menace - no one knows if it's going to explode finally. As in later Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth the war is shown here through the eyes of children and is seen as troublous times when you don't know whom to trust, when a neighbor can turn out to be your enemy, when everyone is against everyone else. Children can only trust other children and try to survive relying only on themselves albeit their attempts can seem naive and helpless. The line "They're grown-ups but we're numerous" will stick in your mind for a long time after you're finished watching.
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