ANOTHER TAKE ON: El Violador Infernal (1988)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Herbert P. Caine is the pseudonym of a frustrated academic and genre movie fan in Pennsylvania. You can read his blog at https://imaginaryuniverseshpc.blogspot.com.

This film’s title translates to “The Infernal Rapist.” Yep, you read that right, “The Infernal Rapist.” Why did they think this was a good title? Were “The Obviously Evil Rapist” and “The Man with Consent Issues” taken? Were the producers afraid that we’d confuse this film with some obscure franchise called “The Gentle Rapist”? We know that rapists are evil!

I watched this film largely based on curiosity rooted in its garish title. Unfortunately, I could not find a subtitled or dubbed version of it. (I don’t think it has ever received an official release here.) Consequently, I was left with a Spanish language only version on YouTube. Fortunately, the plot is not difficult to follow.

El Violador Infernal follows the adventures of Carlos “El Gato,” a serial killer and rapist who is about to die in the electric chair. After being unconvincingly electrocuted, Carlos receives a vision of the devil, who bears an odd resemblance to Cher. SatanCher offers Carlos a deal: in exchange for renouncing his religion and carrying out regular human sacrifices, Carlos will be given a new lease on life as a wealthy drug dealer. Carlos jumps at the chance, as a rapist isn’t all that faithful a Christian anyway.

If nothing else, the film realizes that its mission is to shock, as it immediately moves on to our protagonist sexually assaulting another man. Although this probably constitutes the most “transgressive” scene in the movie – keep in mind that homosexuality was far less accepted in the 1980s – it is probably the least graphic rape scene in the film, with a fully-clothed Carlos humping the also-clothed victim. Never mind Deliverance, this scene won’t even make you forget the scene from Kingpin where Woody Harrelson fantasizes about pimping out Randy Quaid. Subsequent scenes are far more explicit.

There’s no getting around the fact that the rape scenes in El Violador Infernal are disturbing to watch. Although the acting in this film is not great, the women involved make a convincing show of being terrified and disgusted by what is happening to them. The film rather sleazily draws out these sequences, making them all the more disgusting and uncomfortable. The director failed to comprehend that a rape scene does not need to be drawn out to be shocking. Consider, for example, the rape in Abel Ferrara’s Ms. .45, which lasts for a minute at most but takes the viewer completely off guard.

The film also suffers from terrible special effects. Although there are not many effects scenes in the film, the few included are laughably bad. As part of his deal with SatanCher, Carlos gains the ability to shoot lasers out of his eyes. The “lasers” are obviously just red lines drawn on to the film. In some scenes, they don’t even connect to his eyes. In another scene where Carlos levitates one of his victims, you can just make out the harness holding her in the air.

Given the sleaziness and low budget of the film, you would assume it was populated with unknowns, but that is not the case. Carlos is portrayed by Noé Murayama, a Japanese-Mexican actor who appeared in over 150 films and numerous television shows. Princesa Lea, who plays one of the objects of Carlos’s affections, was a popular vedette, or cabaret entertainer.

In the end, this film is not worth the time it takes to watch, let alone without subtitles. If you’re determined to see it, it is available on YouTube without subtitles.

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