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Writer/director Angel Mario Huerta’s SERES: GENESIS, opening this Halloween in the States after premiering in its native Mexico last week, marks the first installment in a trilogy of apocalyptic alien invasion flicks (with SERES: EVOLUTION and SERES: EXTINCTION to follow) based on Huerta’s popular Spanish-language graphic novel. GENESIS promises to dish out a Latin-flavored sci-fi thriller experience, while delivering a fresh take on those tired conspiracy theories of 2012’s dreaded doomsday prophesies. See exclusive pics and comments from SERES: GENESIS below the jump, as well as the film’s trailer.
SERES: GENESIS adds some twinges of paranormal phenomena to the mix, including a range of strange disturbances in THE FOURTH KIND/X FILES fashion for South American fans otherwise deprived of extraterrestrial things to explore. Fango spoke with GENESIS’ Huerta to discuss producing his ambitious FX-fest south of the border. SERES: GENESIS hits theaters in Arizona, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, LA and New York on October 29 from independent company 24 Frames.
GENESIS centers on the power game of warring conglomerates, following Owal Tec, the world leader in technology. The company now seeks to up their stake by making contact with other planets, the idea being that if technology is located from elsewhere in the galaxy, they’ll find themselves leaps ahead of the competition. Taking their leads from some deadly accurate ancient premonitions, Owal Tec’s team begins to investigate the paranormal occurrences that are now rampant throughout Mexico.
“When they discovered Mayan King Pakal’s tomb, he had a calendar with some predictions made,” Huerta says. “The amazing part with the predictions was, it wasn’t, ‘It will happen someday,’ but ‘It will happen this day, at this hour, at this minute.’ That to me was very cool and very impressive to see that someone 500 years ago started to make that prediction. And it’s actually looking that it’s gonna come true!”
Apocalyptic dread remains the focus of the SERES franchise, with each film encompassing a different aspect of the surmounting chaos. “What the trilogy is about is that something will happen in 2012,” Huerta says. “What will happen, we don’t know. A lot of people talk it’s going to be the end of the world. The movie talks about cycles in life, and every time a cycle ends, it starts all over again. We say that it’s going to be a cleaning process, that we’ve reached the top of technology, and everything we live with right now, suddenly it all vanishes and starts from the beginning. EVOLUTION [the second installment] will talk about how we evolve as human beings. In EVOLUTION we have a war, and then in EXTINCTION [the finale], we have the ultimate war. We’re enjoying it. We’re making heroes with something that has never been done here in Mexico. We actually have a Mexican hero!”
With this much hanging in the balance, Huerta had to ensure his FX provided the kick he’d need to get distributors jumping on board. “We created the effects company, so we had control of it 100 percent,” he says. “We didn’t show the film to anybody until it was 100 percent finished. If there was one small missed detail in the visual effects, I wasn’t going to show it. I didn’t want people saying, ‘Oh, see I told you, you see?’ ”
The common ground Huerta’s three-part sci-fi epic shares with his first project (2001’s romantic comedy INSPIRACIÓN) comes as an otherworldly surprise, though it defines the helmer’s counter-culture approach just the same. “When we finished [INSPIRACIÓN], a partner of mine came to me and said OK [to SERES: GENESIS], because we did something big for Mexico that had never been done. It was a romantic comedy, and at the time no romantic comedies were done, not in the slightest bit. Now we’re bombarded with rom-coms, but 10 years ago they didn’t make them. We were talking about how the next step should be four times what we took on the first movie, and he said, ‘Well what happens if we do a sci-fi film?’ ”
Huerta has consistently kept the stagnant landscape of Mexican cinema in his crosshairs, though getting business people and distributors to believe that GENESIS could succeed proved at times to be about as hard as convincing them aliens exist. “Here in Mexico, all the films that are coming out—for example, we have a big party going on for the bicentenary, that’s 200 years of Mexican independence, and every single director wanted to make something about that. We have films all over the place about our independent heroes, stuff like that, but even in those films, the Mexican films having loose, long sexual scenes, having drugs all over the place... I know that exists, and that’s good and it’s in almost every single movie, but you want to give spectators something different for them to choose when they go to the theaters.”
Only time will tell what his film’s reception will be, but Huerta remains optimistic about GENESIS’ debut outside the southern hemisphere. “We have the problem here where they’re telling us, ‘You’re putting Mexico off, Mexicans won’t like that,’ ” he says. “When the film is released, then we will know if that’s true or not. In the U.S. they’ll be more open-minded to our kind of story.”
To find out more about SERES: GENESIS, go to the official website here.
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