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guillermo del toro
Fangoria #210, 2002 (New Line)
Guillermo del Toro

"What is a ghost? An emotion, a terrible moment condemned to repeat itself over and over? An instant of pain perhaps? .... A sentiment suspended in time .... like a blurry photograph .... like an insect trapped in amber?"

-- - opening of "The Devils Backbone"

Date Title Source IMDB DVD Reviews
1993 Chronos VHS IMDB
1997 Mimic DVD IMDB Review
2001 The Devil's Backbone DVD IMDB
2002 Blade II DVD IMDB Review
For a complete filmography go to the IMDB

Born: October 9, 1964, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

When I was a very young child, about 2 years old, I woke up one night after watching an Outer Limits episode called 'The Mutant'. I was so scared by it that I started to see green ants on the wall and monsters in my closet. That's exactly the moment when I made a pact with the monsters. I told them "If you're nice to me and let me go to the bathroom, I'll devote my life to you" That's the reason I started to do horror films.

He started directing when he was 8 years old, using a Super-8 camera to create his own monster movies. His first film was made with some Planet of the Apes action figures and a lot of ketchup. Super-8 was soon not enough for del Toro, who directed several 16mm shorts before applying for and entering Dick Smith's Advanced Makeup Course to learn more about the special FX he loved so much. He founded his own monster and makeup FX company "Necropia" and worked on more than 22 TV movies and several features. While his company's fame continued to grow (it no longer exists but was functional for 15 years), del Toro branched out to write and direct episodes of a TV horror anthology called Hora Marcada. Del Toro began thinking about Cronos in 1985 and started making notes and drawings.

After a lifetime of of watching films, founding his own FX company and directing numerous shorts and television movies, it was only natural that he make his feature debut with a horror title. Hence CRONOS, an extremely original vampire story. In its native country, the film swept the Ariel de Oro Awards with (Mexico's Oscars), taking the Best picture and First feature prizes as well as Best Director and Screenplay for del Toro; it was also Mexico's official best foreign film entry for the Academy Awards in 1994.

An old antique dealer finds a clocklike device inside an old statue that fastens to his hand. The object bestows eternal youth upon him, but also gives him a powerful thirst for blood. Compounding his problems is a greedy, aging industrialist who covets the device and sends his sadistic son to acquire it at any cost. After being "bitten" by the device, he descends into a junkie stage, becoming addicted to the device and the insect which lives inside. Then he starts to feel the hunger for blood
---- - Fangoria 132, 1994 by Caroline Vie


Exploiting his professional background in special effects and make-up, his first feature "Cronos" (1993) was a brilliant essay in body horror in which a mechanical vampire transforms a mild-mannered antique dealer into a rabid zombie. More importantly perhaps,CRONOS is set in an eerily deracinated Mexico City where Argentine tangos collide with Russian street signs and dialogue alternates between Spanish and English. The vampire machine, brought to the New World by a Spanish colonist, is an uncanny allegory for the mixed and warring roots of Mexican culture. Widely praised, CRONOS was followed by the much cruder MIMIC (1997) in which Mira Sorvino fights off giant cockroaches in the New York subway.

The DEVIL'S BACKBONE (2001) features all the visual brilliance that once made del Toro seem destined to be the founder of Mexico's own "cinema du look". The opening montage of a falling bomb, wounded child and body parts drifting in amber liquid is dazzingly realised.

The DEVIL'S BACKBONE remains the work of a great stylist with a uniquely disturbing attraction to, and vision of, the frontier between life and death.
---- - Sight and Sound, 2001, by Paul Julian Smith