Psychopalooza: Spanish web series “BLOODY JUSTICE” mixes reality with brutality
If you were to ask a horror fanatic what is killing pop culture, chances are more than a few may speak the words, “reality shows.” Yet for fans of a genre that so embraces found footage and voyeurism, it’s a surprise that few have previously tried to capitalize on the trend (Maurice Deveraux’ 2001 $LA$HER$ being a rare example). I’m sure THE REAL WORLD: TWIN PEAKS or SURVIVOR: CAMP CRYSTAL LAKE would have more than a sizeable audience. However, Spanish filmmaker Pablo Morales de los Rios is offering you the next best thing: BLOODY JUSTICE!
BLOODY JUSTICE: THE MURDERER’S REALITY SHOW is a new web series from Morales de los Rios, a dark satire pitting infamous killers against one another in the name of justice. Cannibals, serial killers and cult leaders are only examples of the insanity on display on this gore-heavy series, with just as much bloody goodness coming from the supposed “normal” characters as well. Morales de los Rios, who created and directed the series, came up with the twisted concept from his fascination of horror and of course, his displeasure with reality programming.
“The inspiration came many years ago, when the virus of reality shows spread to the world. I had the idea of watching TV and trying to list all the things I do not like of it,” says Morales de los Rios, “I imagined a final contest and I took it further. What if morality is put into play? I always wanted to make films starring peculiar specimens like these ones.”
Morales de los Rios—currently hard at work getting English subtitles ready as the show rolls out internationally—poured his own blood, sweat and tears into making a genre show in a culture that’s less than appreciative of macabre movies. “The filming of the series was an odyssey: it has taken us almost four years and involved nearly 200 people in total,” Morales de los Rios states, “In Spain right now, it’s very difficult to produce a project of this nature and magnitude, so we tried to off-set the lack of budget with great dedication and talent. I had to work very hard to finish the project. There were many times I felt that all the effort was absurd. We didn’t have any investors and subsidies. We are our own producers.”
Even for the limited budget, the show has grabbed an eclectic cast of character actors, including Javier Botet, better known to horror fans as the titular character of MAMA as well as a featured creature in the [REC] films. Despite this, Morales de los Rios doesn’t choose favorites amongst his psychopaths, even including the character “Hermes”, whom he portrays, instead claiming that the series doesn’t have a main character.
“I liked the idea that each killer had his moment, and almost every episode begins with a biographical report dedicated to one of them. There is also a cynical presenter, an immoral judge, a morbid reporter, a tattooed pin-up girl and a lot of victims. However, Javier Botet, in the role of cannibal Apetencio Gonzalez, impresses with his innocent rawness, his grotesque humor and his unique physique. Working with him was a pleasure, especially because we were among friends.”
The other fictional killers in the show are just as crazy as “Hermes” and “Apetencio”, including a terroristic bounty hunter, a morbidly delusional live-action role player, a schizophrenic almost out of the J-horror handbook and even a murderous composer who targets those unappreciative of the opera. And although some of the characters may seem like parodies, Morales de los Rios aims for fare much darker within its humor, saying, “BLOODY JUSTICE is like a corpse cut into ten parts, and maybe only horror fans have the stomach for it. It has a special sharp humor that not everyone will enjoy. I do not believe in the term ‘for all audiences’. Not even Spielberg is for everyone.”
“I created the series that I would love to see, and I know there are more crazy people like me,” continues Morales de los Rios, “I am a great lover of satire, absurd and dark humor, and I think using them is very good way of claiming things. But truth is stranger than fiction, and all murderers and events in the series are a reflection of our reality. And there’s only one way to overcome the realism: with surrealism.”
And for those thinking that such an innovative undertaking with a lower budget may skimp out on the effects, think again. “Digital effects are limited to television most of the time. Even the animations I made were handmade. In a time when everybody abuses digital effects, I wanted classic and tangible FX.”
Currently, only the pilot of the series has been translated into English, but Morales de los Rios is working on having all ten episodes available very soon. Those waiting for an English language remake may not want to hold their breath, though. “[An English Remake] can happen, yes,” declares Morales de los Rios, “But BLOODY JUSTICE has a long trip ahead of it. I have sometimes thought of a second season, but for now, I think the world will have enough murders with these ten episodes. If the audience demands more blood, I’ll think of more murderers.”