Adrián García Bogliano and Ramiro García Bogliano
Adrián García Bogliano
Noelia Balbo as Pilar Ines Sbarra as Lucia Ariana Marchioni as Emilia Melisa Fernandez as Marilu Priscila Rauto as Priscila Andrea Duarte as Violeta
Somewhere between an art-house imagery display, a blood-soaked Troma flick, a powerful message film and a 70s exploitation extravaganza lies 36 Pasos. This Argentinean micro-budget horror adventure, reportedly created for a mere five thousand dollars, is an interesting ride to be sure.
The film starts by introducing us to a group of women preparing for a birthday party. The guest of honor will be arriving soon and there is much to do.
As the story unfolds we learn that the house full of women is not as it appears – they are all held there against their will. If they pass beyond the perimeter of the property a 300 pound man appears out of nowhere and kills them with a sledge hammer…quite dramatically I might add. The stories behind the lives and capture of each of the inhabitants are shared and it is made clear that each was chosen specifically for incarceration for an unknown reason.
There are a few simple rules that must be followed if the hammer is to be avoided; Silence, Obedience, Tolerance, Yielding and Having Fun….or at least appear to be having fun. What happens when the unknown captors begin a chain of events to turn each of the women against each other when nerves are already frazzled and tensions high? A gory kill fest involving knives, poison, guns, a chainsaw and a nail gun, that’s what.
There are a couple of primary themes running through 36 Pasos, the title coming from the number of steps from the front door of the house to a visitor’s automobile representing freedom. Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None (title changed from the non-PC Ten Little Indians, made after the first change of the original even less PC title Ten Little Niggers) provides many elements of the plot in terms of someone taking revenge for past transgressions. The second primary theme is a treatment of the traditional role of women.
Women are to smile, wear bikinis all the time, plan parties, maintain order and follow directions – all while remaining compliant, non-complaining and silent. Director Adrián García Bogliano is making the statement that the women in 36 Pasos represent every woman living with the demands of a patriarchic society. Follow the rules or you will get your head crushed in by a sledge hammer. Eventually something has got to snap.
36 Pasos is a wonderful sub-titled journey into horror, gore and social commentary. Filled with gallons of blood, action and an intricate plot this Argentinean entry to the world of horror is worth a watch – and if the production cost was truly $5,000 as reported this work borders on genius.