films seen
10
average score
3.60*
nationality
Spain - 57 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

One of Spain's prime genre directors. His films are defined by overt horror elements, sly and dark comedy, and a penchant for maximalist styling. If you care for genre cinema, de la Iglesia's oeuvre is an absolute must.

Rare treats

The Last Circus

Balada Triste de Trompeta
2010 / 107m - Spain
Drama, Action
The Last Circus poster

A technical marvel, an unearthly combination of pulp and arthouse that is equally moving as it is entertaining, without ever becoming cheap or misplaced.

The good stuff

Witching and Bitching

Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi
2013 / 110m - Spain
Comedy, Fantasy
Witching and Bitching poster

Witching and Bitching is a true visual orgasm, a film that looks amazing from the very first to the very last frame.

Solid pieces

Veneciafrenia

2021 / 100m - Spain
Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Veneciafrenia poster

Álex de la Iglesia's latest. It's a bit surprising to see him move shop to Italy, but Venice is the perfect location for one of his slightly surreal, maximalist horror films. The premise and structure of the film are relatively simple and don't offer anything particularly new, but de la Iglesia's signature is definitely present.

Read all

Five Spanish tourists have planned a trip to Venice. When they arrive, they find that the locals are tired of tourists destroying their city. They don't really care too much and go out in search of a party. They are invited to an exclusive club, but when they wake up the next morning, one of them is missing.

The settings and costumes are superb, the performances are decent and the villains are pretty badass. The pacing is also on point, but there are few surprises here and even though the film is topical, it's not quite as original as I'd hoped. Veneciafrenia is a good horror flick and a fine addition to de la Iglesia's oeuvre, but not one of his best.

Perfect Strangers

Perfectos Desconocidos
2017 / 97m - Spain
Comedy, Mystery
3.5*/5.0*
Perfect Strangers poster

One of the endless remakes of Perfetti Sconosciuti (which I probably should've seen first). Not sure how they sold this film to so many countries in such a short time, but clearly something about this film clicked. It is a very good concept, and it is very easy to localize, which is why I ended up with de la Iglesia's version. I trust him to bring something extra to a film.

Read all

Seven friends come together to spend an evening reconnecting with each other. When the conversation moves to keeping secrets from each other, they decide to play a little game with their cellphones. They place them in the middle of the table and promise to read aloud every message they receive.

I can't comment on how this version compares to the others (and the original), but de la Iglesia has plenty of fun with the concept and doesn't mind putting on a few extra layers. The mix of dark comedy with minor fantasy and mystery elements makes for an intriguing little film, only the ending felt like a cop out. Good fun though.

The Bar

El Bar
2017 / 102m - Spain
Mystery, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
The Bar poster

My Big Night

Mi Gran Noche
2015 / 100m - Spain
Comedy
3.5*/5.0*
My Big Night poster

Films to Keep You Awake: The Baby's Room

Películas para No Dormir: La Habitación del Niño
2006 / 77m - Spain
Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Films to Keep You Awake: The Baby's Room poster

Ferpect Crime

Crimen Ferpecto
2004 / 105m - Spain
Comedy, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
Ferpect Crime poster

Mutant Action

Acción Mutante
1993 / 93m - Spain
Comedy, Sci-fi, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Mutant Action poster

What a fun way to start off a career. Mutant Action is a perfect illustration of de la Iglesia's skills. A blend of different genres that underlines the joy of cinema. It's not a very serious film and de la Iglesia's doesn't hold back, but people with a soft spot for genre films will find plenty to enjoy here. Others may get a bit overwhelmed.

Read all

In a world where everything is decided by looks and wealth, a group of disfigured men plans to fight for their rights. They get together and come up with the idea to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy businessman. The plan doesn't go as intended, but some of them do manage to get out with the girl. The leader of the gang has his own priorities though.

The film is pretty campy, but it never looks cheap or lazy. The performances are spirited, the blend of comedy, horror and sci-fi works well and the different settings add a lot of variety. The film is not as polished as de la Iglesia's later films, and it's not quite over-the-top enough to be a timeless classic, but it is prime entertainment.

The inoffensive

The Day of the Beast

El Día de la Bestia
1995 / 103m - Spain
Comedy, Horror
3.0*/5.0*
The Day of the Beast poster

The film that kicked off Iglesias' career. I didn't find out about his work until much later, and so I never really took the time to explore his older films. Though The Day of the Beast was a decent enough watch and carries many of his marks, I don't think it really compares to his better work.

Read all

A priest is certain he cracked the code of the Apocalypse. The birth of the antichrist is near, and the priest vows to do everything in his power to invoke the devil. Together with a death metal fan and a TV priest he sets out to stop the birth of the antichrist and save the world from annihilation.

Iglesias' direction is promising, but the execution is a little frumpy. The comedy isn't quite as funny as it should've been, and the performances are mediocre. The visual effects aren't great either, but the characters are pretty weird and there are some memorable scenes. Not a bad film, it just pales compared to his later films.