Probably the most amazing thing about Women in Horror Month is the super awesome ladies I end up becoming friends with. A recent friendship has blossomed between myself and Mexican born, award winning director/actress Gigi Saul Guerrero. Gigi is one of the most talented chicks I've come across in a while, and at a mere 23 years old, this girl is already a force to be reckoned with. Having just scored her inclusion into her THIRD anthology, México Bárbaro, an anthology that includes some of the most talented Mexican directors out there today; this girl has no plans of stopping!
Although at the age of 13 she moved to....guess where.....Vancouver...although she would have been only 3 when The X Files started (EEEEEP!!! Haha!!)...Gigi has never been one to forget her Mexican roots! And god damn, she celebrates them with gore~geous pride!
You can tell Gigi is a perfectionist...just take one look at her work and it's all there. Even her first short, Dead Crossing...although she would have been only 19 when she did this, it really is better than a lot of more established directors. And that's not the kind of praise I give away lightly either. I see so much talent in this girl, and she's a feisty and fun little minx to boot!
Down to the fact that I could literally pick this girl's brains for hours on end...I thought I'd break an interview down into segments, beginning with....México Bárbaro. :)
So it is with great pleasure that we can talk about your inclusion into Mexican anthology, México Bárbaro, an anthology that looks to showcase the work of some truly talented Mexicans, both male AND female! How did you first get on board the project, and had you completed Dia de los Muertos at that point?
I am extremely lucky to be a part of Mexico Barbaro. It was the most unexpected surprise!
How it came to be was because I made a short film with my team "LuchaGore Productions" for ABC'S OF DEATH 2 - "M is for Matador" (which was officially selected for ABC's of Death 1.5).
Lex Ortega viewed the short and contacted me. He asked me what other short films I've done and I showed him my latest work "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead). He loved it, and he told me it is exactly what he is looking for his next big project - Mexico Barbaro.
I flew to Mexico City to meet him, and the rest of the team and I was amazed to see who the rest of the talented directors were, such as Jorge Michel Grau; I couldn't believe I was in the same room with them! I showed my short and from that moment I was officially part of the team.
As a patriotic Scottish girl, I know I am always looking out for the work of my fellow Scots. It’s just how we roll yo!! ;) If you want a total bad ass, holy fuck balls Scottish film as of late, look no further than FILTH!
Anyhoo, I am also a HUGE fan of Mexican cinema...it’s probably my favourite foreign cinema (and most watched) next to German. Admittedly this was probably helped by going through a serious Gael García Bernal phase starting around 2002, where I went out of my way to buy and watch all his movies, haha. And obviously, once you come across directors such as Alejandro González Iñárritu, you never go back. Amores Perros is one of the most brutally brilliant films I’ve ever seen, and then for him to go and make 21 Grams...that film is one of sheer beauty!! Alfonso Cuarón is obviously another and is probably jointly responsible for my Gael García Bernal love as I saw Amores Perros and Y Tu Mamá También at around the same time. And then he sealed the deal by making my favourite Harry Potter film...and the rest is history! Then of course there’s Del Toro. Haha. Of recent years, when speaking indie Mexican directors, my favourite film has definitely been We Are What We Are, and so I am beyond psyched to get to see you part of a project with the brilliant Jorge Michel Grau.
Ummm.. Alejandro González Iñárritu, Cuaron and Del Toro are like… my heroes. I will do anything to meet them! And yes "Amores Perros" is an incredible film which is still on my list of top 5 films ever made.
Soooo, out of curiosity, just how familiar were you with the work of the guys that are involved with the project, and are there anyone name in particular that you were totally bouncing off the walls to get to work with?
As I mentioned before I was shocked to see who was involved!! When Lex contacted my team and I the first question we asked was "who else is involved in Mexico Barbaro"… and well, I recognized almost all the names! Of course Jorge's name nearly name me faint when I saw his on the list… (actually I think I did end up fainting? haha!)
I love that the main guy behind México Bárbaro, Lex Ortega’s basic requirement is that every director is Mexican, and that each short looks at Mexican culture and heritage. What was your inspiration for Dia de los Muertos, and was it an idea you had been sitting on for a while? :)
I thought of the story since Two years ago, it was around the time of the Dia de los Muertos holiday, I realized I'd never seen the sugar skull used in a film. I grew up with it and always loved it. I was thinking of a way to use this beautiful and really sexy makeup. It's about a group of strippers who live in a sketchy border town (like Juarez), who come together to take revenge on their most abusive clients. This is a subject I felt hadn't been covered in this way. It's usually some kind of authority figure, a policeman or such, who comes in to solve the murder or missing case of a Mexican woman. I wanted these women to take charge. The women disguise their faces with the Day of the Dead makeup and go nuts.
- My segment is called "Dia de los Muertos" created with LuchaGore Productions.
"In a seedy strip club off Northern Mexico, a group of abused women find themselves bound together under the command of Doa Luz. On the celebratory night of Dia de los Muertos, the club known as “La Candelaria” welcome all sinful men who enter. Unbeknownst that’s this is no ordinary club, the men face much more than just a show."
When you came up with the idea for Dia de los Muertos, did you have any idea that it would go this far?
I honestly never expected our film to get this far, I honestly just wanted to make something sexy, bloody and kick ass! I couldn't be more grateful for all the festivals we have won so far and now being part of something much bigger - Mexico Barbaro.
You are without a doubt one of the most fascinating women working in horror today and it’s been so cool seeing what you’ve already accomplished....and you’re only 23!! Who were some of your main Mexican female influences growing up?
Without a doubt Salma Hayek. She is so talented, fierce and just not afraid to do anything. Her poise shows through the screen, and she is just an amazing woman.
México Bárbaro isn't the only anthology project you have got your mittens into however. You are totally nailing it at the moment with your anthology inclusions...and this makes me feel so proud both for and of you, and your whole creative team! How does it feel to be part of The ABC's of Death 1.5, and World of Death?
To be honest ABC'S of Death has been an anthology I have been following since the moment is started! When my team and I heard about the second competition happened we had to do. So only 3 weeks before the deadline we decided to go for it. It was the most incredible and stressful experience yet. We wanted "M is for Matador" to kick so much ass with little time to make it. It was an incredible opportunity because we won $1,000 for best short from a previous competition help in Vancouver called "Rio Theater's DEAD ON FILM FESTIVAL", so last minute decision we put 100% of our winning to Matador :)
Now being officially in ABC's of Death 1.5 feels like we accomplished what we wanted. We can be alongside other talented filmmakers, and if I didn't take the chance of trying the competition I would've never met Lex Ortega (pictured below). Everything happened for a reason. :)
Even though I just met everybody from Mexico Barbaro in January I already have a fantastic connection with all of them. It's great to be part of a project where everybody has the same drive and passion to make it the best possible. I can't wait to see everybody's segments!
For more information on this fabulous chickaroo, then check out her IMDb page, as well as the LuchaGore Facebook and LuchaGore Twitter pages. Also check out the blogs I have written about her previously, including the announcement of El Gigante, the teaser poster of México Bárbaro and the announcement of M is for Matador screening at Jennifer's Bodies.
And speaking of Jennifer's Bodies, I am excited to announce that those in attendance will get to check out Dia De Los Muertos, as well as Laurette Flores's México Bárbaro segment Bautiso. These two shorts alone are worth attending the event for!! :) xo