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STUDIO: Dark Sky Films
RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes
• Commentary track
• Making of
• “Cold Blood: The True Story of Cold Sweat”
• Comic Book
• Trailer & Teaser
• TV & Radio Spots
A guy goes looking for his missing girlfriend and instead finds a pair of twisted elderly political radicals and their cases of unstable dynamite.
Written and directed by Adrián García Bogliano, starring Facundo Espinosa, Marina Glezer, Camila Velsco, Omar Musa, and Omar Gioiosa.
A clever, condensed thriller dipped in nitroglycerin.
The genius of Argentina’s Adrián García Bogliano’s Cold Sweat (Sudor Frio) is how insane the premise is. The elderly antagonists are wicked as hell and their modus operandi is so ludicrous you can’t help but enjoy the shit out of this film. Once we think we’ve got a grasp on the film’s direction, Bogliano throws in twists that are so bonkers, you can’t help but admire his unhinged approach to the thriller genre.
The story starts off straight forward: Roman (Facundo Espinosa) is on the hunt for his ex-girlfriend, who left him for someone she met on the internet. With the help of his platonic, tech-savvy female friend Ali (Marina Glezer), Roman traces his ex’s whereabouts to a decrepit, unassuming building on a quiet street. Turns out the hunk Roman’s ex thought she was talking to online doesn’t live in that building – the hunk doesn’t exist at all, in fact. She was actually conversing with two elderly war criminals from the Argentine military dictatorship from the 1970s.
The old bastards are a bit of a comedic odd couple – one complains about having to do all the housework while the other holds himself as the intellectual superior. They possess several cases of dynamite left over from the Revolution and they’ve been extracting nitro from the sticks and using it to torture, interrogate, and perform experiments on young girls. They also love shooting acid at people with hypodermic needles. Those rascals! When we first meet them they’re torturing a young woman to get her to solve some kind of equation. Bogliano never bothers to explain what exactly these old guys hope to accomplish with all of their twisted actions, but let’s be real. The audience doesn’t need an explanation when there are half naked girls covered in nitro crawling around who may explode at any moment.
It gets even more ridiculous when a basement full of zombie-like, rabid women are introduced. Oh and then there’s the drug-dealers who live next door wondering what all the commotion is. Bogliano manages to hold our attention throughout by hurling more and more mad scenarios at us. The structure of the film is almost like a survival horror game, with different baddies and traps inside one house. Adding fuel to the fire are some of the best uses of slow-motion I’ve seen in a while. There’s a lot of it, but it never feels played out or gratuitous. When nitro goes off in a small room, that’s something you want to see in slow motion.
Cold Sweat maintains its fun, thrill-ride vibe through each absurd set-piece. Bogliano knows how to give the audience what they want – even if it’s an evil old man dripping nitro on a bound and gagged woman’s forehead. The only issue I had with the film is the use of jarring butt-rock songs during moments of high action. The music is way too loud over some parts and managed to spoil the tension once or twice. But that’s my only complaint. Bogliano has given us a relentlessly ridiculous thriller that grabs you by the nuts early and keeps squeezing until the credits roll.
MAKING OF: This feature is essentially 10 minutes of on-set footage set to music, with spurts of interviews here and there. Not much insight.
COLD BLOOD: THE TRUE STORY OF COLD SWEAT: In this feature, Bogliano explains how the Argentine Revolution (1966-1973) influenced the film – most notably the kidnappings, tortures, and deaths that took place during the time. Bogliano says that he wanted to make a film set in contemporary times about how war criminals from the Revolution are still walking the streets. He states that the challenge was making this subject appealing to a young audience. The solution? Make it a genre picture! He also touches upon post-democratic cinema in Argentina. Good stuff!
In the commentary with Bogliano, he explains why they started with a black screen. Cold Sweat was the first film they made with the support of the Argentinian Film Institute. He hates how they make the filmmakers put several logos before their film, so he chose to be a badass and put in a black screen for a few seconds. He explains how they managed to shoot it in a real house, which saved them money but also made filming very difficult. When discussing the two villains, Bogliano addresses people who question why Roman didn’t just throw down with them. They’re just a couple of old geezers, right? He also covers the some of the same topics he does in the bonus feature “Cold Blood.”
COMIC BOOK: Pretty fun comic book version of the movie.
There’s also heaps of trailers, teasers, TV spots, and radio spots (en español).
Rating: Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars