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Item - Testigo: Sobrevive o Muere



Series: Testigo
Alternate Title: Witness: Survive or Die (literal English translation of title)
Platform: DVD
Authors: Cordova, Rodrigo (script)
Pablos, David (script)
Wocker, Enke (director)
Date: 2008
Number of Endings: 1
User Summary: A teenage couple go camping in the woods, and a ghost starts haunting them.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

The short version: Oh dear.

The long version:

The covers of this boxed set (sold in the toy sections of retail stores) seem to be designed so you can play a game of "count the gratuitous Japanese horror film references." However, watching the enclosed DVD reveals that very little inspiration from either the Japanese or Mexican horror film traditions made it into the final product. The result is a film so poorly made that even Manos: The Hands of Fate can be said to be a masterpiece in comparison. It is, however, very much in keeping with the sort of kitsch horror for retards that a large sector of the Mexican population is fond of (and thus can be expected to generate good sales). Add a deck of cards whose only purpose is to provide an experience similar to that of a ouija session, and voila: another turd added to the interactive gaming tradition, as if we hadn't enough of them already.

The hefty price tag is unjustifiable. This thing costs more than an imported Criterion DVD, and significantly more than a copy of Monopoly, Risk or Clue (which in Mexico are very expensive games). Viewing the contents of the disc made me puke at the quality of the sets, special effects, wardrobe and makeup (the whole thing looks like it was financed by high school kids for a film class). The locations are so reminiscent of Chapultepec Park (a common destination for recreational visits) that it's unlikely that a Mexican will feel uncomfortable, much less horrified. And if I had to describe the acting in one word, that word would be unpronounceable. Need I add that the story is completely illogical and ridiculous, or that the film experience is not in the least bit scary?

Gameplay is a joke. It seems someone was not content with letting the true masters of pointless randomness (such as Livingstone and Thraves) keep the title, and so this interactive garbage consists of looking for different items in a series of locations, without any logic or strategy involved. The game is programmed so that the objects are randomly assorted each time. Adding Hell to Purgatory, this thing claims to support one to four players. What happens in reality is that if more than one player plays, they take turns looking for the same object (the object will be in a different place for each player), complete with viewing the same cutscenes each time one of the players finds the required item. Disastrous.

About the only good thing I can say about this is that it's mercifully short. Five choices and it's all over. Still four choices too many.

Oh wait, but if you complete the game (you cannot fail, so it's not too hard to do), you can view a bonus material track. Aren't you excited? Neither was I. However, it consists of a sequence of still pictures from the making of the, ahem, movie. On it you get to see the girl who plays the ghost, in a swimsuit and without makeup. It was stupid not to make her the protagonist instead; that might have made this thing watchable.

I know reviewing crap is an apostolic vocation and that I should not expect any sort of worldly satisfaction from it, but if you're willing to reward my sacrifice, my Yahoo account is linked to a Paypal account. Thanks very much.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary and cover scans.

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