Transnational Reception of El espinazo del diablo (Guillermo del Toro, 2001

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Lázaro-Reboll, Antonio (2007)

Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's cinematic trajectory has already taken him from his native country in Cronos (1992) to the big budgets of Hollywood in Mimic (1997), Blade II (2002), and Hellboy (2004), and to Spain with his Mexican-Spanish co-productions, El espinazo del diablo and, more recently, El laberinto del fauno (2006). With particular attention to El espinazo del diablo, my interest lies in examining how the transnational status of this film generated a certain set of readings of the text. Three specific contexts of reception (Spain, Mexico and Hollywood) articulate my analysis of film critics' responses to del Toro's first 'Spanish' film. The final section of the essay offers a localized reading by examining del Toro's distinctive articulation of the horror genre in an established tradition of film-making on the subject of the Spanish Civil War and his inscription of the comic book Paracuellos in the filmic text.
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