Entertainment

These Latino-Directed Movies Prove That Latinos Have Some Of The Most Imaginative Minds

Let me clarify: this list will make you laugh, cry and half of it will make you scream en horror latino. Put on your sweatpants, grab the popcorn and your boo, because we threw in some rom-coms as well. And not just for straight people.

Here goes your weekend:

1. “Mosquita Y Mari” (2012)

CREDIT: Wolfe Video / YouTube

This is a must-see: Two “young Chicanas [who] contemplate life when they stir unexpected desires in each other.” Aurora Guerrero, the writer and director, crafted something truly incredible and special, touching on what it’s like to be a queer woman of color.

2. “Confissões de Adolescente” (2014)

CREDIT: Trailers nosferahcorp / YouTube

If you’ve never had a sister (ME), get your fill of the alternate reality with this movie. This 2014 film is based off the diaries of Maria Mariana, who also stars in the film!

3. “Wild Tales” (Relatos Salvajes) (2014)

CREDIT: TrailerHD / YouTube

This incredible film is actually a collection of six short films connected by themes of violence and revenge. Oh and it’s beautifully shot in Argentina.

4. “The Witch’s Mirror” (El espejo de la bruja) (1962)

CREDIT: Todo El Terror Del Mundo
/ YouTube

Pro tip: Never murder your wife in front of a witch’s mirror. Pro trip, part II: Stay away from witch’s mirrors altogether. Because then your dead wife might come back, and she’s going to be pretty pissed. Exciting, witchy story aside, this black and white film features some pretty gorgeous use of lighting and cinematography, as well as one of the most iconic uses of bandages ever.

5. Sin Nombre (2009)

CREDIT: SinNombreMovie / YouTube

“Sin Nombre” is a 2009 Mexican thriller produced by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna that tells us a story of immigration that will rock your soul. It follows Sayra, a Honduran teenager migrating to the U.S. with her father and uncle, as well as Casper, a Mexican gang member.

6. Real Women Have Curves (2002)

CREDIT: Silvia Garrido Gallego / YouTube

In 2002, this was a pioneering movie for us Latinas who don’t fit the stereotypes that Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Lopez helped pave for us. Not that I would ever talk smack about them, but thank you, America Ferrera, for this gift for the rest of us.

7. The Book of Stone (El libro de piedra) (1969)

CREDIT: SAGAPODCAST / YouTube

The Book of Stone tells the story we all feel as kids: adults don’t understand us or listen to us. Oh except, the ending will leave you delightfully creeped out.

8. “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001)

CREDIT: PurpleGardenWalls / YouTube

After 12-year-old Carlos arrives at a boys’ orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover. Talk about a creep fest.

9. “Desierto” (2015)

CREDIT: MovieclipsTrailer / YouTube

“Desierto,” starring Gael García Bernal, is a 2015 film that is essentially a political horror. While a group of immigrants journey through the desert in an attempt to make it to the U.S., a gun-toting man driving his truck along the border, is about to hunt them.

10. “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)

CREDIT: Movieclips / YouTube

Vampires, as it turns out, can take on all sorts of day jobs, like dancing at the infamous “Titty Twister” strip club. Robert Rodriguez’s pulpy take on vampires takes place in a small town in Mexico and includes plenty of bikers, truck drivers, fugitives, and the site of an ancient Aztec temple. Also, obviously and famously, Salma Hayek dancing with a snake.

11. “The Perez Family” (1995)

CREDIT: Movieclips Trailer Vault / YouTube

This is an oldie but a goodie, following two Cubans who meet in Miami and discover they have the same last name and pretend to be married to make their entrance easier.

P.S. this is a comedy turned romantic.

12. “Esteros (2016)

CREDIT: Movieclips Film Festivals Indie Films / YouTube

Here’s another recent LGBT classic brought to us by Argentinian Director Papu Curotto. This follows the story about two teenage boys who grew up together, and discover their attraction to each other. But not without facing homophobia from Matías’ family.

13. “The Mansion of Madness” (Dr. Tarr’s Torture Dungeon) (1973)

CREDIT: mike alter / YouTube

This film, also by Juan López Moctezuma, is a personal favorite of mine. As in, I own it on DVD and watch it over and over. Very loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether,” the story shows what happens when lunatics take over the asylum. It also happens to be a GORGEOUS movie, with every shot, costume, look and line carefully staged for maximum impact and weirdness. Take the scene, for instance, where two characters are walking down a long path as some of the asylum’s inhabitants playfully, and somewhat unnervingly, weave in and out of shot. You can take a look at it, and enjoy an in-depth synopsis, at Cinema de Merde.

14. “The Curse of the Crying Woman” (La maldición de la llorona) (1961)

CREDIT: lolwut / YouTube

We’re all familiar with the legend of La Llorona, right? It’s a classic horror story, replete with loss, gut-churning guilt, and the need for sweet, sweet vengeance. It’s a wonder there haven’t been more (and, you know, better) movies based on the mother of all ghosts. This film, for instance, isn’t so much about La Llorona herself (although her scenes are truly, gorgeously frightening), but about a family grappling with witchcraft and curses. Relatable!

15. “Santa Sangre” (1989)

CREDIT: Joel Barish / YouTube

No one does avant-garde psychedelic weirdness like Jodorowsky. Santa Sangre is no exception, following the story of Fenix, a former circus performer, and his relationship to his parents, particularly to the mother who keeps a literal and figurative hold on him through much of his development. Roger Ebert praised Jodorowsky for expanding the horror genre by reminding viewers that “true psychic horror is possible on the screen–horror, poetry, surrealism, psychological pain and wicked humor, all at once.”

16. “Under the Same Moon” (2007)

CREDIT: FoxSearchlight / YouTube

We grew up crying to this. Released in 2007, “Under The Same Moon (Bajo La Misma Luna)” stars Mexican actors Kate del Castillo and Eugenio Derbez. It follows a mother in the U.S. whose young son lives in Mexico with his grandmother and the journey the young boy has to endure to make it from Mexico across the border to be reunited with his mother.

17. “Martin” (1978)

CREDIT: Ancient Horrorfilms / YouTube

Director George Romero is known for his zombie movies, but introduces a strange one for the vampire genre. This would be the last time you see him drink blood without a syringe. Lots of syringes.

18. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)

CREDIT: Brandon Tobatto / YouTube

That’s more like it! This is Director Romero’s zombie movie that changes everything. This is how we know that zombies aren’t just corpses controlled by spells, but are real undead people that walk jerkishly and slowly to you.

19. “We Are What We Are” (Somos lo que hay) (2010)

CREDIT: Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica / YouTube

The family that eats together, stays together, for better or for worse. In this film, which was remade for U.S. audiences in 2013, follows a family struggling with maintaining an ancient, bloody ritual and the impact it has both on their bodies and souls. You’ll never look at family dinners the same way again.

20. “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” (À meia-noite levarei sua alma) (1964)

CREDIT: Cinema Coffin JoeZé do Caixão / YouTube

Meet Coffin Joe (Zé do Caixão). Joe is the definition of girl-crazy. More like an utterly depraved maniac set on settling down with whichever girl survives his mass murders.

21. “Alucarda” (1978)

CREDIT: Cultura Minerva / YouTube

Being a teen girl is hard enough, never mind being an orphan in a Catholic convent. Add demonic possession into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster / a truly fantastic horror movie with stunning visuals (just take a look at the nuns’ super stylized and highly evocative habits and robes, for instance). The film’s emphasis on a close emotional and physical relationship between two young girls has drawn comparisons to the classic vampire tale, Carmilla, made all the more apparent when you notice that “Alucarda” is simply “Dracula” with the letters rearranged. SpoooOoOooky!

22. “Cronos” (1993)

CREDIT: discover7films / YouTube

Here’s our other del Toro entry: Cronos! Because who doesn’t love a good, inventive twist on a vampire story that also serves as a metaphor for society’s obsession with youth and virility? Cronos beat out Crimson Peak because, while the latter is truly a beautiful, visually stunning work, Cronos‘ story of love, loss and sacrifice simply holds up better throughout the film.

23. “Entre nos” (2009)

CREDIT: entrenosfilm / YouTube

True story alert! This is about a woman, longing to be reunited with her husband, by making the trek from Colombia to Queens with her two children in tow. Spoiler alert: the guy abandons the family with absolutely nothing. Spoiler (2) alert: this film will make you think twice about denying refugees safety.

24. “The Way He Looks” (2014)

CREDIT: Films Boutique / YouTube

You guys need to watch this. This is about a blind teenager from São Paulo who breaks out from his overbearing mother bind as he studies abroad. And then, he begins to develop feelings for Gabriel.

Goodbye To The 2010s: 11 Crazy Reality TV Moments You Didn’t Remember Actually Happened This Decade

Entertainment

Goodbye To The 2010s: 11 Crazy Reality TV Moments You Didn’t Remember Actually Happened This Decade

MTV

Reality is messy and unpredictable. So it’s only fitting that reality TV is just the same, messy and unpredictable —x1000. And these past 10 years have really seen a surge in reality programming. So we couldn’t say goodbye to the decade before revisiting some of the wildest reality TV moments of the past years. Some of these were so shocking that we thought they deserved their own shout out. So read along and enjoy. 

When Snooki got punched

Okay, okay, we know this isn’t technically part of the last decade but it was right at the very brink of it. In 2009 Jersey Shore cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was enjoying herself with her squad at the bar and having a good time when she started arguing with a random guy who seemed drunk, and punched her. Ferro was not a cast member and the whole thing became a huge scandal. 

Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition

In a “KUWTK” special called “About Bruce,” Caitlyn Jenner revealed that she was a transgender woman publicly for the first time and was beginning her transition. 

Miss Universe 2015

Steve Harvey only had one job the night that he hosted Miss Universe and that was to announce the rightful winner to the crown. As you know by now, he messed it up and big time. Instead of announcing Miss Philippines, as the winner, he announced Miss Colombia as the winner when she was actually the runner-up. 

American Idol Charlotte Auditions

Be honest: How many of you watched American Idol just for to see the eye rolls and subtle (and not-so-subtle) digs between judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey? You can answer truthfully, this is a safe place. And you are definitely not alone.

Chrissy Lampkin Sucker Punched Kimbella

Chrissy Lampkin has always been super protective of her man and her friends and she proved this during season 2 of VH1’s Love And Hip-Hop. When Kimbella dropped the bomb on Emily B. that she was dating rapper Fabulous while Emily was pregnant with his child, Chrissy went straight into defense mode. 

When Aviva Drescher slammed her prosthetic leg on the table

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Aviva, from The Real Housewives of New York City, announced there was only one thing fake about her, and proceeded to slam her prosthetic leg onto the table.

Mystique Summers Madison reminded Morgan McMichaels where she’s from.

When things got tense on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Mystique Summers Madison reminded Morgan McMichaels where she’s from; “B*tch I will whoop yo a*s I’m from Chicago!” …things escalated pretty quickly from there. 

Tristan Khloe and Jordyn Woods’ cheating scandal

In season 15 fans got to watch the family learn about Tristan’s cheating scandal just days before Khloe gave birth to True Thompson. Unsurprisingly, Khloe’s sisters were angry, but Khloe tried to keep her cool for her daughter’s arrival.

When Kelly and Abby got into a physical fight on Dance Moms.

Kelly brought up that Abby said Kelly’s daughter looks miserable, Abby denied saying that…cue the fighting.

Kenya using a megaphone to call Porsha a “Dumb ho”

When Kenya used a megaphone to call Porsha a dumb ho, at the reunion episode of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, Porsha lost her shit —and was subsequently arrested.

Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy reveal

When rumors about Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy were at their height, she stopped appearing on the show altogether. But then, she showed up pregnant on “KUWTK” in season 15, proving that she had actually been filming for the show in secret.

Here Are 8 Latino Christmas Movies You Should Watch To Get Into The Festive Season

Entertainment

Here Are 8 Latino Christmas Movies You Should Watch To Get Into The Festive Season

Crown Media

This Christmas, when you’re getting comfy on the couch, ready to turn on the TV and watch a Holiday film, one thing is certain: we all know what the leads will look like. It’s safe to assume that the actors of most Christmas movies are white. 

Christmas and the whole holiday season is an important time of year for Latinos, traditionally and culturally, so it’s exciting to see Latinos on screen portraying our seasonal conflicts, rituals and family dynamics whenever the opportunity arises —which is not very often tbh.

When it comes to African American and Asian romantic leads in Hallmark holiday movies, the number is zero.

According to the numbers. By the end of 2017, Hallmark premiered a combined 86 new movies on two of its networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Only six of those movies had non-white romantic leads. That same year, Hallmark debuted three films with Catherine Bell (“Good Witch: Spellbound,” “Home for Christmas Day” and “Christmas in the Air”), who is half Iranian; one movie with Julie Gonzalo (“Falling for Vermont”), who’s from Argentina; and two movies with Alexa PenaVega (“Destination Wedding”), one of which also starred her husband Carlos PenaVega (“Enchanted Christmas”), both of whom are Hispanic.

While there obviously needs to be more seasonal films where Latinos take the lead, there are a number of films that Latinxs can watch to see themselves represented on screen. Keep scrolling to read all about them, here are some of our faves. 

Christmas Bounty

Starring Francia Raisa, this film is all about a bounty hunter-turned-elementary shool teacher who tries to keep her past a secret. Shenanigans follow as Raisa’s character reluctantly returns home for the holiday season. 

Nothing Like The Holidays

Credit: deswest_mac / Instagram

The dysfunctional Puerto Rican Rodriguez family reunite and fight for the first time in years in Alfredo De Villa’s Nothing Like the Holidays.  John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodriguez, Elizabeth Peña, Luis Guzmán, Jay Hernandez and Melonie Diaz appear as the Rodriguezs, gathering for Christmas in their family home in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. 

¡Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad!

Spanish-language ¡Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad! directed by Luis Palomo, stars Tere López-Tarín, Carlos Soriano, and Angelina Cruz. The family-friendly magical-realistic holiday film tells the tale of three children who overcome differences in the interest of friendship.  The inspiration Christmas movie exposes the true meaning of Christmas, and the value of interpersonal relationships and family.

El Camino Christmas

Credit: kambizshayanfard / Instagram

Starring Jessica Alba and Emilio Rivera —better known for his role on Sons of Anarchy—this comedy will make you LOL. The story of a man who’s in search for his father and then gets stuck in a liquor store on Christmas eve, has at least a little bit of diversity in it, so why not give it a go?

This Christmas 

Laz Alonso and Lupe Ontiveros star in the African American holiday comedy-drama This Christmas, a film about the Whitfield family. The estranged family gathers under the same roof for the first time in seven years, and the attempt to rekindle broken relationships.

A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas 

This is one of the most diverse Christmas movies out there. It includes a few Latinx stars in it —Danny Trejo and the Colombian-American actress Paula Garces. The movie is about Kumar and Harold’s holiday adventures and, let’s just say there’s lots of cannabis involved. 

Esta Navidad

The 1959 film is somewhat of a cult classic. Directed by Rene Cardoso, the Mexican film is about the Devil’s evil plan to kill Santa Claus. The surreal film is set in Santa’s cloud castle as well as in Mexico City. It’s not a traditional film, but definitely worth seeing. 

Holiday in Handcuffs

Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart star in Holiday in Handcuffs, a holiday film about a miserable and lonely waitress and aspiring painter who kidnaps a customer from her job, so that she can introduce him to her family as her boyfriend. Mario Lopez plays the kidnapped fake boyfriend —and I mean, if I had the chance to kidnap Mario Lopez, you best believe I would.