Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Maria (2023)

My notes on Maria (2023)

A very brief Argentine movie which feels like a short shot in a single location with more elaborate prologue and epilogue added on – there’s near-future stuff about AI, a porn star in a coma and a possible revolt of the machines but it’s all beside the point when the main action is a claustrophobic free-fire killfest in a disused factory.  It sets out to evoke Metropolis, as a porn star is revived as a flesh-covered killbot, but is mostly a splatter runaround as Maria (Daria Panchenko) – apparently turned into a cyborg by ‘a Russian feminist group’ – protects women and kills men in order to further the cause.  Initially, it seems that comeback queen Maria has died during onscreen orgasm – prompting the sleazy guys on the crew to call in some masked necrophiles to take the body off their hands, while make-up girl Mel (Sofia Gala Castiglione) and boom-mike holder Alina (Malena Sanchez) are tied up so their complaints can be ignored.  While the chief pervert is molesting the corpse, grinding mechanisms inside her vagina kick in – and we get that FrightFest favourite, a screaming, spurting dick mutilation scene.  After that, it’s just running and hiding, with Maria taking some punishment to show the metal and blinking lights under the flesh Terminator-style – and dim memories of 1980s efforts like Steel and Lace and Eve of Destruction.  It’s not long enough to be boring, but it is fairly rote.  Ezequiel Rodriguez, outstanding in When Evil Lurks, is one of the dodgy porn guys.  Directed by Gabriel Grieco and Nicanor Loreti.


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