March 5, 2018 Curse of the Mayans (Movie Review)
Set for release on DVD Tuesday, March 6, 2018 through Cinedigm, Curse of the Mayans is the latest film from Joaquin Rodriguez (Time Warrior 2012, Decadencia 2015), who also co-wrote the bizarre and harrowing screenplay alongside Alberto Haggar. This subterranean Thriller will submerge viewers for a 88-minute-long deep dive into a mysterious, Ancient Mayan water-world of caves, resulting in the discovery of a sinister secret better left alone; it is most certainly an engrossing, fantastical tale about the Mayan prophecy of the apocalypse.
Curse of the Mayans is a needle-sharp, cinematic stalactite that penetrates the primal brain with the swift, heart-pounding accuracy of an expertly thrown arrow designed to activate the superstitious side of man; that portion of man that is hardwired to a nervous system ready to mass produce adrenaline molecules for a turbo-charged exodus with feet moving so fast that the eye merely registers a blur. Superstition was designed as a survival mechanism for the preservation of mankind from malevolent forces.
Alas, for those hellbent on satisfying their innate curiosity despite the dire warnings glaringly depicted in black-and-white or, in this case, glyph writing on the wall, are bound to suffer dire consequences as a result of inadvertently releasing a Pandora’s box full of unimaginable evil. Keeping this evil under wraps is no easy feat, especially when you have fame-hungry professors wanting to explore subterranean caves at any cost.
The movie springs to life with a detailed account about the prophecy of the apocalypse, as described by the Mayan Book of Creation and given voice by Danielle Noble (Carla Ortiz: The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincente Fernandez 2012, Forgotten 2014), an expert cave diver. Noble embodies a strong-willed nature and is perceptive beyond her years; she is driven by her passion for cave-diving and is a get-it-done-now type of person. Despite a recent loss in her personal life that haunts her dreams, she strives to move forward one step at a time.
The beginning of the end of starts in a hole near Convento San Bernardino De Siena in Valladolid, Yucatán, México. Fast forward to the fateful day that Danielle Noble is enlisted to head a cave-diving expedition by American Archaeologist Dr. Alan Green (Steve Wilcox: I Remember You 2015, El Muerto 2017). Dr. Green has gotten wind that a parchment was found with Ancient Mayan writing and that was all it took for him to set his sights on discovering further ancient treasures; Green is a man with a single-minded purpose who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to archeology and, thankfully, he has a benefactor with deep pockets.
Thus, Green attempts to entice Noble to join him with a life-altering sum of money for her time, and when that does not work he uses the tactic that he knows will not fail; he reminds Noble of the fame that is sure to come along with this unique discovery.
Once the expedition team is assembled, they all head out into the forbidding and dark jungle. On their way, they encounter (El Brujo Luis Felipe Tovar: The Fifth Commandment 2011, Ruta Madre 2016), a blood-curling visage of a foul-mouthed drug-runner who in no uncertain terms lets them know that payment is to be rendered to him in order to pass his checkpoint with their lives intact. To the rescue comes Many (Mark Tacher: Verano de Amor 2009, Abyss of Passion 2012) who has a politician’s Teflon temperament, and is able to defuse the hot-blooded Brujo lickety split.
The camaraderie and chemistry among the crew members is exemplary until superstition rears its head upon the arrival at the archaeological site, causing some division amongst the ranks. Though once the GPS location is secured it is ready, set, dive; taking a headlong plunge into the Mayan world of mystery. The interior of the cave and the Mayan glyphs on the walls paint a spectacular visage, placing a hearty sparkle in the eyes and an ear-to-ear grin on the faces of viewers as they absorb the beauty of it all.
That said, the team should have heeded the warnings on the wall and left things the way they were. If that chance encounter with Brujo left one feeling weak-kneed, that pales in comparison to the face-to-face encounter with a lizard-like, alien species that can easily navigate the waters and were set free in a freak accident. When all is said and done, how much of the team will survive this exploration to claim the promised riches and fame?
Throughout the film, the tribal musical score by Torrey Desmond Rogers drifts in and is carefully-orchestrated throughout each scene; the eerie sounds and the prevalent, rhythmic drum-beats set a mood of suspense. As the audience lets out a collective sigh of relief and mops their foreheads free of sweat, Danielle Noble delivers a contemplative narrative that leaves the viewer with mouth agape, with a mystical revelation to cerebrally chew on; she readily shares her epiphany after all the interlocking pieces of the Mayan mystery puzzle come together.
Everything is truly and carefully-orchestrated in this dance of life and happens for a specific reason: the preservation of life from the clutches of evil. Towards this end, we are not alone. This is why CrypticRock gives Curse of the Mayans 5 out of 5 stars.