Original title:Maria
Director:Gabriel Grieco, Nicanor Loreti
Running time:81 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Maria Black, the world's biggest porn star, returns to the industry after being in a coma, and on the set of her comeback movie, all hell breaks loose.

Mulder's Review

Maria delivers a cinematic experience that can only be described as a head-spinning concoction of the bizarre, the provocative, and the audacious. This late-night sci-fi yarn catapults viewers into a world that is both tantalizing and unsettling, where the line between reality and madness becomes hopelessly blurred.

At its heart, Maria revolves around its titular character, played with conviction by Daria Panchenko. Maria is a renowned adult film performer whose career takes an unexpected and almost surreal turn following a catastrophic car crash. Plunged into a coma, her body vanishes, only to reappear three years later, setting the stage for a narrative that masterfully balances the absurd with the melodramatic.

The directing duo of Gabriel Grieco and Nicanor Loreti wastes no time in delving headfirst into Maria's peculiar odyssey. With a runtime of a mere seventy minutes, they ensure that the audience is immediately gripped by the unfolding events. This film doesn't linger or meander; it knows how to keep its viewers engaged without risking a single moment of boredom.

Visually, Maria is a feast for the eyes. The directors adroitly play with visual elements, toggling between stark black-and-white sequences and the electrifying, Giallo-inspired colors that amplify the science-fiction aspects of the narrative. These vivid visuals create a disconcerting and alluring atmosphere, mirroring the film's eccentric themes. The accompanying sci-fi score complements the visual aesthetics, effectively immersing the audience in the futuristic ambiance.

However, subtlety is far from this film's agenda. It luxuriates in its audaciousness, often pushing the boundaries of taste and comfort. The narrative tiptoes dangerously close to exploitation but doesn't leave the audience without retribution for the reprehensible actions depicted on screen.

Maria fully embraces its chaotic and creative spirit, evoking a vintage video store vibe complete with glitchy visuals and occasional lapses in continuity. The practical effects are executed with a level of detail that, at times, might make viewers wish they weren't so convincing.

In the midst of this gleeful madness, Maria never hesitates to present graphic and disturbing scenes that challenge societal norms. While it may not be the most polished sci-fi horror film out there, it certainly doesn't shy away from delivering a mind-bending and memorable experience.

The film's unapologetic approach to violence and the macabre makes it an ideal choice for late-night screenings, where audiences with an appetite for the absurd can revel in its unabashed madness. Maria may not be for everyone, but for those who can appreciate its audacious spirit, it provides an entertaining and eccentric ride that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll.

Moreover, the film tantalizingly leaves the door ajar with a pre-end credit tease, hinting at the possibility of more wild and outrageous adventures for Maria in the future, and that prospect might not be such a bad thing after all. In the end, Maria is a cinematic rollercoaster that invites viewers to embrace the chaos and savor its unique blend of madness, mayhem, and undeniable cult appeal.

Directed by Gabriel Grieco, Nicanor Loreti
Produced by Gabriel Grieco
Written by Nicanor Loreti             
Starring  Sofía Gala Castiglione, Malena Sánchez, Sergio Boris, Magui Bravi, Ezequiel De Almeida, Gabriel Grieco, Clara Kovacic, Megan McGarrah, Juan Palomino, Daria Panchenko, Andrea Rincón, Ezequiel Rodríguez, Demián Salomón Juan Bautista Stagnaro
Cinematography : Mariano Suárez
Edited by Gabriel Grieco, Nicanor Loreti 
Production companies :  Camauer, Crep Films Lahaye Media
Distributed by XYZ films (United States)
Release date :  NC
Running time : 81 minutes

Viewed on October 29, 2023 (screener press)

Mulder's Mark: