This is the first full-length film by Nacho Vigalondo, whose work also appears in the anthologies The ABCs of Death, The Profane Exhibit and VHS: Viral. He’s since made his English-language debut with the Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey-starring Open Windows and was noticed by his films Colossal and Pooka!
He was inspired to make this movie by the comic 2000AD, citing the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons story “Chronocops.”
Somewhere in Spain, a middle-aged man named Hector and his wife Clara are outside when he sees a young nude woman. After his wife leaves to go shopping, he investigates and finds the girl unconscious. Soon, a man in pink bandages stabs him. Hector runs to a building where a scientist warns him of the bandaged man and leads him to a machine that takes him backward one hour in time.
The scientist now refers to our hero as Hector 2, who runs away despite being warned that he must hide. After an accident, his face is damaged and he must wrap it up, turning the white gauze pink. He’s accidentally hit a woman, who is the nude woman he saw before, so he feels compelled to recreate the same scenario that he just saw. This compulsion will drive the story toward several conclusions and overlapping narratives.
I loved the look and feel of this movie, despite how confusion the plot can get. I also absolutely adored the use of Blondie’s “Picture This,” which the director claims sounds happy but is actually very sad. There was a rumor that Cronenberg was going to direct a remake of this with Tom Cruise in the lead, but that was more than a decade ago.
You can watch this on Tubi.