Hasta el viento tiene miedo

In Exotic Nuts on April 28, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Titel: Hasta el viento tiene miedo (Even The Wind Is Afraid)
Production: Mexico 1968
Director: Carlos Enrique Taboada 
Cast: Marga López, Maricruz Olivier, Alicia Bonet
Run Time: 89 min
Circulation: NTSC DVDr
Generation/Source: DVD Master
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English

hasta el

Custom DVD with fan made English subtitles.

“If you want to see a beautifully made, atmospheric and suspenseful story then Even the Wind is Afraid could hardly be a better choice. Not only does it provide a few genuinely frightening moments, but watching this attractive cast in such an expertly crafted piece of work leaves one with the warm feel-good glow of satisfaction of seeing a job done almost to perfection.

Taking a closer look, the needs of school uniform fetishists seem well catered for. But at this establishment we find a situation, not uncommon in popular cinema, where the girls appear to stay on until their mid-twenties and have to squeeze into blazers at least two sizes too small. Never mind, at least the teachers are a believable age and will provide fantasy material for those amongst us with a headmistress fetish.

No-nonsense Miss Bernarda has a few choice words for this doctor’s advice.
The story opens with Claudia (Alicia Bonet) waking from a terrifying dream about a girl hanging dead from the rafters. And we haven’t even reached the opening titles yet. Did I say something about this being a feel-good film? Well, this is a ghost story after all, so you’ve got to expect things like this to happen from time to time.

Claudia is confined to bed to recover from the shock. But, doctor’s orders notwithstanding, headmistress Miss Bernarda (Marga López) won’t put up with girls lying around in bed just because they’ve had a nasty dream (the subtitles make her manner of expression unintentionally coarse) and orders Claudia back to her algebra classes where she belongs.

Not surprisingly, martinet Miss Bernarda is unpopular with the girls. They much prefer soft-touch Miss Lucia (Maricruz Olivier). And what’s not to love about a schoolmistress who takes the time to come and chat with a girl when she’s with her chums under the showers? If she did that for me then I’m sure I’d go all gooey about her too!

On with the story. It is revealed that this school has a haunted tower in the grounds. “So what?” you say, all good schools have one of those. In fact send your daughter to a school without a haunted tower and you might just as well have her declared educationally subnormal on the spot and hand her over to the social services. But it appears that tales of this haunted tower might just be for real and, the door being found unlocked one morning, a supernatural presence is conspiring to draw the girls within.

Even though it is forbidden, the schoolmates dare each other to climb the tower. In a deliciously creepy scene Claudia leads a crocodile of frightened girls as it winds its way slowly up the creaking wooden staircase. But – alas! – Miss Bernarda catches them just as they are reaching the top. The stern headmistress orders the half-dozen miscreants to her study and administers what she would probably refer to herself as a “bollocking”.

This is where the trouble really starts. To the girls’ horror, Miss Bernarda punishes them by keeping them at school over the half-term holiday. So we can safely blame wishy-washy liberal educationalists for the tragedy that follows. If only the school had maintained a proper regime of corporal punishment none of this would have happened. And this film, though rather shorter, would have had a much heightened audience appeal.

So the frustrated girls are left to stew in the oppressive hothouse atmosphere. Oh, and Josefina (Elizabeth Dupeyrón) decides she’ll be staying too. She’s obviously some sort of poor-as-a-church-mouse scholarship girl if her domestic circumstances are so wretched that staying at school seems tolerable by comparision. Josie is disliked by her classmates, but Miss Bernarda is fond of her and asks her to do her favours so that sort of makes up for it.

I won’t say more about the plot. Suffice it to say that this haunting is effective due to suspense and eerie atmosphere rather than blood and shocks. The wind gusting through the school gardens is a recurrent motif. A scene in the school chapel is a fantastic example of the Spanish gothic style. The only weakness is that the theme has become too familiar in recent times, and the conclusion, as is common with tales of the supernatural, seems a little weak in comparison to the build-up.

Even the Wind is Afraid is a classic piece of work. Made on studio sets in traditional style, masterful craftsmanship is evident throughout. This can seem artificial by today’s standards (even the outdoor scenes are studio-bound), but even a genius of the calibre of Alfred Hitchcock would have been proud of it.” [sea-of-sleaze.blogspot.com]


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