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Directed by Nacho Vigalondo (Mongrel Media)

Lesson One in low-budget Spanish thriller Timecrimes (Los cronocrímenes): "Don't be a creep." It's creepiness that leads married Héctor (Karra Elejalde) to peer around his neighbourhood with binoculars, thereby spotting a pair of bare breasts in a nearby thicket---and to go snooping through the woods in search of the boobs and their owner. Héctor finds the object of his affection naked and unconscious; a dude with a macabre pink-bandaged face stabs Héctor in the arm with scissors, and various shenanigans lead him to seek refuge in a vat in a nearby laboratory. (Spoiler: bandage guy turns out to be future-Héctor). Actually, the full version of the aforementioned lesson is: "Don't be a creep, in case your neighbour is conducting secret time-machine experiments."

Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo (playing the bearded guy) has made his time-puzzle reasonably engaging and suspenseful; it's fun to watch Héctor turn into a guy in a pink bandage willing to brutally attack...himself. Once various alternate versions of Héctor finish their journeys, viewers are left with the paradoxes and nagging questions inherent to the time-travel genre---and perhaps a desire to watch 2004's Primer, a low-budget time-travel jaunt with more to say.

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Vol 26, No 39
February 21, 2019

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