Cronos (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Imagine, if you will that a European alchemist fled Europe to Mexico in the 16th Century. Gaining appointment as the Governor's clockmaker he set about making a machine that would prolong his life. He succeeds and lives until a building collapses on him in modern times. His estate is broken up and sold and the real story begins when an antique dealer, Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi), acquires a statue of an angel. In it he finds a golden scarab-like machine. One with horrific powers that Jesus inadvertently activates.
Seeking the scarab for his own purposes is Dieter de la Guardia (Claudio Brook) and his last remaining relative Angel (Ron Perlman). They will stop at nothing, but a repeatedly foiled by the scarab's power over Jesus. Another key player is Aurora Gris (Tamara Shanath) who has no lines but seems to preside over the life and death drama that plays out before her.
There are a few grim and violent moments, but, for the most part, Cronos gains its momentum from its atmospherics. Imagine a screenplay written by Poe and directed by Fellini with echoes of Don't Look Now and you will have a sense of the film's feeling. Colors are dark, sets are detailed, and the minimal special effects are telling. Especially the insides and operation of the clockwork scarab.Read more ›
Rich industrialist Dieter de la Guardia (Claudio Brook) has his brutish nephew Angel (Ron Perlman)searching for the device himself. Only Dieter knows about the history of the device, what it can do and the consquences of using it. When Jesus resists Dieter's offer for the device, it also puts his family in peril.
A rich, allegorical horror film that recalls the classic films of the 30's and 40's with its focus on character and the consquences of their actions at the expense of endless blood and gore, "Cronos" is a thoughtful, sad movie that demonstrated the considerable talents of Del Toro ("The Devil's Backbone", "Blade II", "Hellboy"). It's got its moments of gross out gore but Del Toro focuses his story on the delicate relationship between Jesus, his wife and granddaughter.
The film is presented with the original Spanish voiceover presented in English. After that, the film is a mix of Spanish and English as Dieter and Angel speak both sparingly throughout the film while Jesus and his family speak nothing but English. It would probably help to have on the subtitles if you don't speak English during the film as it switches back and forth pretty consistently.Read more ›
The movie opens up with a narrator telling the story of an alchemist who made a metallic, beetle like device (the Cronos) that when placed against skin, has a scorpion like stinger that stabs the person and injects a tiny amount of bloody fluid. The injections cause the alchemist to live for centuries and only dies when he is in line at a bank in Vera Cruz during an earthquake and is crushed by falling debris.
Some time later, an antique dealer, Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi), discovers the Cronos device in the base of an old statue he has acquired. After wondering what the device might be for, he inadvertently sets it off and is pricked by it's stinger. The whole process of watching this happen is fascinating, and you are never quite sure if there is some sort of living insect inside the enclosure, thanks to Guillermo's David Lynch like photography and editing of the scene.
Jesus soon discovers that he has more energy and feels more youthful than he has in ages. But unbeknownst to him, there is an evil and rich old man, Dieter de la Guardia (Claudio Brook) who has been searching for years for the device. He has tracked it down to Jesus' shop and sends his simple minded nephew, Angel de la Guardia (brilliantly portrayed by Ron Perlman), to get the statue that has stored in it, the Cronos device. When the statue turns up empty, Dieter instructs Angel to get the device at any cost.
In the meantime, Jesus has become addicted to using the device.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful movie!!! Bought this after I watched it with my partner. Incredible taste in movies he hasPublished 2 days ago by Brandon
Del Toro does not make good movies, he makes interesting movies. this is one of them. recommendablePublished 2 months ago by Linda
I started out with high hopes for this film. I have to be honest and let you know up front that I did not finish it. It was really cheesy from the beginning. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Atlproctor
I was impressed by how calm, cool and collected the child was throughout the entire catastrophe.Published 5 months ago by SallyDee
This is a great horror film. Another that is so beautiful and rich in detail. Blu-ray is definitely the way to view the sumptuous works of del Toro.Published 6 months ago by Lisa M. Compton
This is truly an excellent, imaginative film One of del Toro's best.Published 8 months ago by Marshall Pipkin
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