Cholo Zombies Monstro Image

Cholo Zombies Monstro

By Terry Sherwood | April 4, 2024

Gone are the days of Latin horror coming from vampires and ballerinas, mummies, werewolves, or wrestlers. The work of brutal horror genius Brazilian Coffin Joe or José Mojica Marins with his ideas of using real spiders had its time, but no more. Cholo Zombies Monstro, directed by Eric Rafael Ibarra and Mark Newton (who also wrote the screenplay), is a unique picture in that one must let the film world flow over you, then it works. This comedic horror title is part social commentary and part excessive gorefest in line with Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover. It would be best if you park your brain in a mason jar by the door in order to appreciate what’s in store.

This is the middle of a trilogy from producer Pete Bollinger, Ibarra, and Newton. The picture is a well-shot, CGI zombie film with allusions to BeetlejuiceCarnival of Souls, and early George Romero’s efforts like The Amusement Park in some stylish moments. The story concerns a zombified woman by the name of Vampz (Loretta Vampz) who dearly loves her dead mate, Monstro (Vince Romo). She loves him so much she brings him back to life using machines and electricity. We are treated to her digging up the corpse and sewing it together, punctuated by growls and CGI thunder.

Monstro rises and finds he has to protect Vampz from nefarious characters from his past to keep his family together. Monstro also discovers he has a child with Vampz, Monstra (Lilith Vampz). She is a miniature version of her mother with large Dolly Parton-style hair, yet minus Vampz’s deadly cleavage in the style of Chesty Morgan. Can these lovestruck zombies battling a society that shuns them and a judicial system that separates them make it work in the end?

Monstro rises and finds he has to protect Vampz from nefarious characters…”

Cholo Zombies Monstro is filled with stereotypes and over-the-top performances while exploring the family dynamics of the Latino community. With tongue planted firmly in its cheek, the world presented is exaggerated, recalling satire of the finest kind. Beneath the fun is the reality that there are challenges of partnership and parenthood after reuniting in a world where the law marginalizes differences of any type and hunts them. The undead are odd folk to be around. This reminds one of the light but fun television series The Munsters. Different diets, social habits, friends, clothes, and a perceived lack of cleanliness are how some stigmatize refugees and other new people. Zombies tend to decay even when Monstro has a manicure to win back his sweetheart.

Ibarra and Newton deftly direct this almost romantic comedy tinged with horror and explosions. The use of a lovely, deserted amusement park in the daylight for all sorts of running around is a shining example of production value for cheap. The explosions look good, and the gunfights are exciting. The exaggerated looks, acting style, colors, and real-life situations, coupled with a lovely, aggressive music selection, make this picture a novel experience.

You will laugh at parts, especially a child custody settlement. You’ll scratch your head in puzzlement, wondering if you are dressed appropriately and smell acceptable to society. Mostly you will grin, knowing Cholo Zombies Monstro is so different from anything else that you need to see it again. Don’t forget to pick up the brain you left in the mason jar.

Cholo Zombies Monstro (2024)

Directed: Eric Rafael Ibarra, Mark Newton

Written: Mark Newton

Starring: Vincent Romo, Loretta Vampz, Carlos Carrasco, Wilson Ramirez, Lilith Vampz, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Cholo Zombies Monstro  Image

"…so different from anything else..."

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