Thursday, January 28, 2021

Chicanonautica: Aztech: The Movie—Hecho en Mexico

by Ernest Hogan

First of all, it has nothing to do with my novel High Aztech. I’d seen things about Aztech: The Movie a while back, did some checking, but my novel doesn’t have any spaceships in it, so no Ellisonian lawsuit seemed necessary (Google “aztech,” and you’ll get a long list of businesses who use the name), so I went on to other business.

Then Daniel Salvo, a Peruvian science fiction writer, called my attention via Facebook to a poster with an image of the Grand Coatlicue constructed of machine parts that could be used as High Aztech. Hmm.

“Online gratis,” it said. There was as also a link where you could VER the film. I clicked.

The site seemed to be a Russian (“.ru”) video sharing site. Could be risky, but my curiosity got the best of me. I started the video. It was a low-res copy, but a widescreen and professional-looking production, and there was this impressive state-of-the-art space opera with Mexican characters going on . . . I was amazed.

is an anthology. Nine stories, ten directors, fourteen writers. They span the entire science fiction/fantasy/horror continuum. It uses meteors, the influence of dioses oscuros, and Mexican culture to tie it all together.

It even touches on postmodernism with one of the stories being about a the making of a movie with a similar theme.

Another story presents some impressive post-apocalyptic Aztecoid (shot in and around Teotihuacán) futurism of the sort that I’ve been doing for decades. Maybe it’s finally beginning to catch on.

And after the credits there’s an action-packed sequence about hackers using smart phones, the Internet, and cars to track meteors as they rain down on an urban Mexican landscape, that ends with a TO BE CONTINUED . . . (Yes, in English.)

An ambitious project that shows that Mexico can be a major science fiction producing country.

2020 is listed as its release date. It has played at a film festival and has a Facebook page.

I’m not sure why it’s having this freebie, low-res, online manifestation. COVID-19 has smashed the movie business. Also, I know what it’s like to have to keep one foot in the underground just to survive.

But the people who made this film, and want to make at least one sequel, don’t seem to be the sort to give up easily. I expect to see it in a hi-res, with subtitles for the Spanish-impaired, version on streaming services, and even theaters, in the near future. Be on the lookout!

Meanwhile, my computer doesn’t seem to have any weird viruses . . .

Did I ever tell you about the idea I have about one morning we all wake up to discover that the entire World Wide Web has been translated into Mayan hieroglyphics?

Ernest Hogan, author of High Aztech, Cortez on Jupiter, and Smoking Mirror Blues keeps finding it more and more difficult to tell where his life ends and the science fiction begins.

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