Friday, January 20, 2023

Legions, from Argentina

As a shamanistic warlock, blood and faith are all that matter to Antonio Poyju. Both are central to his work and his identity. Unfortunately, his demonic nemesis has targeted his daughter Helena’s faith to undermine his bloodline. Poyju was never happy in contemporary urban society, so he is perversely just as comfortable cooling his heels in a criminal asylum, but he will have to finally break out to save his estranged daughter in Fabian Forte’s Legions, which is now available on VOD.

Poyju would prefer to still live as a medicine man-hermit in the rain forest, “mediating” between the spirit realm and our own world. However, a demon killed his beloved wife and stole the talisman that guarded Helena’s faith. As her belief waned, the demon grew stronger. The secular society attracted the teenager like a magnet, so the old man moved with her. However, he still practiced his severe brand of spiritualism, which was misunderstood in the capitol. Ultimately, he was committed to the mental hospital, while his son-in-law, Warren, files his appeal and serves as a buffer for the increasingly freaked out Helena.

Of course, we know she hasn’t seen anything yet. Unfortunately, old Poyju is right about everything. That means his daughter is in grave danger. He needs a lot of spiritual help to save her, but his cronies in the asylum mostly just provide comedic relief.

Weirdly, the inmates are staging a play based on Poyju’s demonic battles, but Forte wisely avoids meta gamesmanship, using it instead as a macabre and absurdist backdrop. Frankly, descriptions positioning
Legions as a comedy somewhat overstate matters, but it certainly has an off-kilter sensibility that helps set it apart.

German de Silva is spectacularly grizzled and grouchy playing Poyju. Honestly, he is pretty darned scary, especially for a good guy.
  Regardless, it is quite entertaining to watch his grumpily kvetch with his fellow patients.

Do not panic, Forte also delivers plenty of gory practical effects, keeping everything properly folky and seriously sinister. Argentina is somewhat under-recognized as a major horror film exporter, but
Legions maintains the standards set by forerunners such as Luciferina and Darkness by Day. Easily recommended for fans of demonic and folk horror, Legions is now available on VOD.