Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Grave Robbers

The Grave Robbers (The Tomb Sackers, Ladrones De Tumbas) Directed By Ruben Galindo Jr. (1990)
   Mexico has it's horror/natural distaster/survivalist auteur with a "Jr." at the end (Rene Cardona Jr.), does it really need another? Not really, but this film is alot more fun if you let it into your heart and give it a chance. According to the Deep Red catalog "it's a crypt kickin south of the border splatter fest". Let's see what TOG has to say.
   The beginning song sounds like "we will fall" by the Stooges or stoned monks chanting.
A satanic ritual is a foot as a sweaty flat-nosed executioner (who sort of looks like a beefy version of Dominic West from The Wire) is antagonizing a screaming woman chained to the floor. Apparently he wants to use her to birth the Antichrist, but instead is caught and put on the rack for crimes of devil worship. He is killed with a hatchet that must never be removed or he will return from the grave and crack open a case of Tecate!

   Before he dies however, he swears that Satan will have his back and offer him the power to seek vengeance. The screaming in Grave Robbers is over the top and loud as hell, at the same decible as chimps mating I'd imagine, (take some excedrine before you watch this)!
   Next we are thrown into present day 1990's Mexico as banditos practice shooting. Everyone is dressed like either Madonna or Menudo (the fashion trends are a few decades behind). A pickup truck full of babes and dudes decked out in denim and headbands are planning on robbing graves (to justify the title).
   Rebeca (Erika Buenfil) stupidly falls into an endless cavern beneath an exhumed corpse and Manolo ventures down into sudden death after her. They end up finding a mausoleum and have the attitude of "fuck these corpses, let's rob them blind". "No respect at all" to quote Rodney Dangerfield!
  Manolo (Ernesto Laguardia) justifies their desecration of the dead by proclaiming him and his pals as Archeologists. They all want to get rich by robbing graves (a typical teenage thing way to think right)? I mean Hey It's The 90's!
Rico Suave with a PHD
      They find an amulet stuck on the corpse of the warlock from the beginning in a crypt and he emerges from a fiery pit to seek vengeance. The teens make it out of the graveyard, but it seems that the satanic monk is out chopping up random guys in ponchos on horses. 
     The premise is just like any other generic slasher movie, except it's Mexican and has an axe wielding monk. El Capitan rounds up all the kids and beat on them until they admit they are "Tomb Sackers"! (What the fuck is that? wait a minute! I'm watching the wrong movie)!
Anyway that's the first I've ever heard of that ridiculous term! The girl's have strategic dirt patterns on their face and noses (they had more in the budget for blood effects then beauty makeup). The monk is still out reaking havoc, now that he's loose in the forest and murders a new group of female characters. 
     The story takes a long while to return to the religious aspect from the beginning, but O' Capitan finds a priest to solve the mystery. I actually wanted more demonic possession battling then tedious Friday the 13th bullshit.
Hey, did you know something's wrong with your hand?
   Something very gruesome and unexpected happens in the prison, one dude's intestines pop out and a hand comes out of the wall, while all the kids are locked up (they stole a little from Nightmare on Elm Street in a more retarded way)! There's a fake Necronomicon too.
This always happens when I eat Taco Bell!
    Soon the undead monk is back to his old rituals and finds a new girl to deliver the incubus. Will he succeed? There's no reason to see The Grave Robbers, but it's a riot and even though it rips from alot of flicks, it's got enough shamelessness to make it entertaining and it has a catchy post punky soundtrack. My favorite part about the whole film is the big reveal at the end, when they show what the evil monk looks like now, the years have not been kind to him. Just picture the famous cover model (actor Ottaviano Dell' Acqua) on all the box covers of Fulci's Zombie with a bad toupee and yogurt pouring out of his mouth! Slightly Recommend!


  1. I have a soft spot for these late 80s/early 90s Mexican horror flicks. Definitely check out the ELM STREET wannabe DON'T PANIC and CEMETERY OF TERROR with Hugo Stiglitz!

  2. Stiglitz has been popping up in everything I've been watching lately (like the rifftrax for Bermuda Triangle) and that Shock Cinema interview with Stuart Whitman.

  3. I thought Grave Robbers rocked! Tomb Sackers is a much better title though :)


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