“Carne: The Taco Maker is an ultra low-budget satire fed by hunger for horror. The film is directed by Rene Rodriguez and deals with cannibalism, urban cultural disparity and twisted family dynamics. “Carne” stars Director Rodriguez himself, Mario Valdez Juarez, Rosemary Soto Rodriguez, Claudia Vazquez, and Eric Felicano. It is described as the first Chicano slasher/ comedy.
The story is basically “Motel Hell” in the inner city. It is an odd tale that features a family that kills and dresses human meat for a curb side taco stand. Don Taco has the best tacos in town, and makes some sweet cash feeding the communities taco cravings. Without spoiling the film, there is a seedy criminal element addressed, as well as inequality that inner city residents deal with on a daily basis Rodriguez explores in “Carne: The Taco Maker”. The effects blending such pleasant communal revelry between the people, laid against the disturbing reality of what is happening behind closed doors, gives us a dark satirical parable.
The acting in “Carne: The Taco Maker” is pretty weak, almost all characters flub their lines at one time or another, and none of them seem to really understand the characters they are playing well enough to make you believe completely. I had a hard time connecting or relating to them on a personal level. With that said, the way they deliver the lines, the situations that unfold, and the mental break-down style of surreal story telling Rodriguez produces somehow creates a bizarre that is entertaining. It comes together more like low-budget trash cinema. The off-beat atmosphere, Thorazine inspired character interactions are reminiscent of “Motel Hell”, and “ The Gay Bed & Breakfast Of Terror”. It will no doubt lend itself to the list of indie cult classics.
The kill scenes and special effects are on the cheap. I don’t think there was much of a budget for this film, and it shows. However the scenes are unapologetic, and straight forward, there is no pretense about this film being b-movie/ trash cinema on the cheap. “Carne: The Taco Maker” starts out rough, makes you question whether it is worth viewing at all, but but twenty minutes in I found myself enjoying the campy characters, ridiculous premise, and fun kill scenes. Overall “Carne” becomes an entertaining flick, filled with madness, satire, and a body count. It isn’t going to be a film for everyone, but there is a place for ultra low-budget trash cinema in indie horror and “Carne: The Taco Maker” has earned a spot in that cult movie list.