BorderlandApril 9, 2009
On a trip to a Mexican border town, three college friends stumble upon a human-sacrifice cult.
Release Year: 2007
Rating: 5.7/10 (4,442 voted)
Stars: Brian Presley, Jake Muxworthy, Rider Strong
Three college students, Phil, Ed, and Henry take a road trip into Mexico for a week of drinking and carefree fun only to have Phil find himself a captive of a group of satanic Mexican drug smugglers who kill tourists and whom are looking for a group of new ones to prepare for a sacrifice.
Writers: Eric Poppen, Zev Berman
José María Yazpik
Inspired by a true story.
Official site |
Release Date: 9 April 2009
Filming Locations: Ensenada, Baja California Norte, Mexico
Did You Know?
Loosely based in a case occurred in Mexico in 1989 of a group called "narcosatanicos" who killed at least 20 people and their bodies were used in satanic cults. They were accused of the murder of Mark Kirloy, a student who disappeared in march 1989 and killed by this group during a spring break.
A cut above
I have a problem with the new genre of "torture porn" that has muscled
its way into the horror movie limelight with such movies as Hostel and
Touristas. It's sick, repugnant, and of virtually no redeeming value,
and yet, like a moth to a flame, I can't bring myself to not watch it,
even though I end up cursing myself for subjugating my mind to its
Such was the case when the 2007 edition of Montreal's Fantasia Film
Festival scheduled a screening of Borderland. I found myself driving
downtown muttering to myself how I was going to regret this. And truth
be told, I almost did, except that the movie came packaged in a fully
fleshed out story (pun intended) that had the added impact of having
been based on a true story.
In 1989, Mexican police unearthed 12 bodies in the town of Matamoros.
Their brains and spinal cords had been removed. It was later determined
that a gang of drug smugglers had been practicing their own form of
Santeria, a religious hybrid of Catholicism and African religions,
similar to Voodoo. The leader of the gang, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo,
was worshiped as a living god by his followers and practiced the ritual
sacrifice of wayward individuals in the belief that the gods would make
them invisible to the police as they went about their drug smuggling
This is the backdrop that Borderland sets itself against as it tells
the tale of a trio of Americans from Texas who head for a short stay in
Mexico to indulge in some fast women and cheap booze. Along the way
they hook up with a stunning and resourcefully independent Mexican
barmaid played by Martha Higareda (soon to be seen alongside Keanu
Reeves and Hugh Laurie in The Night Watchmen) and, as fate would have
it, cross paths with members of the gang. The movie also delivers some
truly twisted casting as Sean Austin of Lord of the Rings renown takes
a villainous turn as the lone American member of the Santeria drug
Director Zev Berman, for whom this movie marks only his third stint
holding the directorial reigns, does a remarkably good job keeping the
pacing tight and focused, blending a nice mix of story, action and (I
hate to say it) gore, even though it's this latter part that I dearly
wish could be toned down. The version I saw had not yet been rated by
the MPAA so if there's any hope, the more unnecessarily gory parts of
it will be excised before it gets given its cinematic release. While
I'm no advocate of censorship, some of the gorier shots were just plain
gratuitous. Berman would do well to re-cut the movie taking a cue from
the original Saw (as opposed to the sequels), which illustrated just
how gory you could make a movie while showing so little.
Still, Borderland plays out to a satisfying pay off, and never let my
interest flag along the way, even if it did have me watching large
chunks (pun intended, again) through my fingers, which, I suppose, is a
good thing for some folks.