Sunday, November 6, 2011

THE CRIMINAL LIFE OF ARCHIBALDO DE LA CRUZ (1955)

One evening when he was very young, the spoiled Archibaldo is playing with a music box that he was told has magical powers because it once belonged to a king. As he winds it up he wishes for his nanny to die. At that very moment a stray bullet comes through the window killing her instantly. When she falls her dress hikes up exposing her legs. Young Archi stares stares in complete shock as the blood gushes from her neck and onto her legs.

Years later, as an adult, Archibaldo is convinced that he has a blood lust. He tries to prove it by killing women, but every time he tries to kill somebody they are either murdered by somebody else or die accidentally. LOL. Like when he pulls a knife on a nun and tells her that he's going to give her the gift of death so she can be with God. She understandably freaks out and goes running down the hallway and accidentally falls down an elevator shaft to her death before Archibaldo can give her her "gift".

At the investigation Archibaldo tells the commissioner about his blood lust and that he's a great criminal...at least in his own mind he is, but the commissioner only laughs and tells him "If we imprisoned everybody who ever wanted to kill somebody...!" From here we go into an extended flashback which has other examples of Archibaldo desperately wanting to kill somebody, but always failing.

Not the most "Bunuel" of Bunuel's films, but it's still a highly entertaining and dark film filled with smaller Bunuelian touches like the mannequin and the woman trading places, the overly obscene woman and the funny moment when Archi's mother finds out the show at the theater has been canceled due to the Mexican Revolution: she stamps her foot and cries "It would have to be today!".

If you are looking for a copy I'm not sure what to tell you besides buy the VHS listed below. That's the version I have and it's pretty crappy. The picture is grainy and the English subtitles are completely fucked complete with misspellings, long gaps of no subtitles at all and one very strange moment where part of the sentence is actually in Spanish! It's almost like the retard doing the subtitles started daydreaming and just copied down what the person onscreen was saying. LOL. Even with all that TCLOADLC is a very enjoyable film. Recommended for sure.