It’s no secret that LatinX or Latinos (people of Latin-American descent) are underrepresented in American (U.S.) mainstream media, despite being one of the largest minority groups in the United States. Our Planet Nestor Hispanic Heritage Month Post for 2018 will celebrate notable Latino talent in front of the camera and behind the scenes in the Horror genre!
“They’re coming to get you Barbara.”
It might not be commonly known, but Director George A. Romero, creator of the Night of the Living Dead (1968) movie series and godfather of the modern Zombie movie, is Spanish/Cuban on his father’s side.
“Nah, I always wanted to see how the other half lives.“
George A. Romero continued to subvert the Zombie movie sub-genre by infusing social commentary with frights and gore. He cast the incredibly versatile Colombian/Puerto Rican actor John Leguizamo in Land of the Dead (2005) as Cholo DeMora.
“It’s Not Wolves, it’s Wolfen.”
Legendary Mexican-American Actor Edward James Olmos appeared as a Native-American activist named Eddie Holt in the Horror-Thriller Wolfen (1981).
“There was… there was this guy… he had knives for fingers.“
Cuban Actor Jsu Garcia went by the stage name Nick Corri when he starred as Rod Lane in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
“Ok, I told you this isn’t funny.”
Dominican-American Actor Miguel A. Núñez Jr. had a memorable bit part as a guy called Demon in Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (1985).
“Jake, New York is filled with creatures.“
Cuban-American Actor Elizabeth Peña played a supporting role in the mind-bending Psychological Horror-Thriller Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
“Isn’t that by Sting?”
It’s a very short cameo, but worth noting that Mexican-American actor Raymond Cruz (who you might remember from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul) is seen as a messenger who can’t get Gizmo’s song out of his head in the Horror-Comedy Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
“This bar is for bikers and truckers only. You, get out!
Mexican-American Director Robert Rodriguez cast Mexican Actor Salma Hayek and Mexican-American Actors Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin in key roles in his crime-horror flick From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Move over, Peter Sellers, Cheech played THREE different characters in the movie. Cheech Marin also appeared in the Horror anthology TV series Tales From the Crypt, hung out with Horror Host Elvira in Elvira’s Movie Macabre “The Devil’s Rain” and had a “Titanic” cameo in Ghostbusters 2.
“From Dusk Till Dawn The Series (2014)”
Robert Rodriguez adapted the From Dusk Till Dawn franchise into a TV series for his network, El Rey and it starred Eiza González as Santánico Pandemonium, Jesse Garcia as Freddie Gonzalez and featured Wilmer Valderrama as Carlos Madrigal. Esai Morales and Demi Lovato also guest-starred. The series was applauded for diversity in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes and ran for three seasons.
“This film was supposed to be my big break. But it turned out to be a big disaster.“
New York-Puerto Rican superstar Jenifer Lopez was the lead role in the giant-snake movie Anaconda (1997).
“I came to help you.”
Jennifer Lopez starred as Catharine Deane, a Child Psychologist who enters a serial killer’s mind in the visually spectacular The Cell (2000).
“I’m afraid to close my eyes, I’m afraid to open them.”
Cuban Director Eduardo Sanchez Co-directed the found footage movie The Blair Witch Project (1999).
“She bit me, man. She took a chunk clean outta me.”
Puerto Rican/Dominican-American Michelle Rodriguez played Rain Ocampo in the Action-Horror movie Resident Evil (2002)
“You could, spend ALL your money… in there.“
Before he became the new Magnum P.I., Mexican-American Actor Jay Hernandez starred in the gruesome Torture/Horror film by Eli Roth, Hostel (2005).
“…When you hunt roaches, you don’t blow up your house, you send in an Exterminator.”
Mexican-American Actor Danny Trejo has appeared in both versions of the From Dusk Till Dawn franchise and often appears in Rob Zombie’s films, notably The Devil’s Rejects (2005) and Halloween (2007). Danny will reprise his role of Rondo from Rejects in the upcoming 3 From Hell.
“Did you just hit a boat?“
Puerto-Rican-Cuban-Native-American Actor Rosario Dawson starred in the Death Proof segment in Grindhouse (2007) and was in a scene that was cut from Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects (2005), but she would later return to work with Rob Zombie as a voice actor in The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009).
“I will kill all of you.”
Academy Award winning Puerto Rican Actor Benicio Del Toro starred in the atmospheric and underrated The Wolfman (2010).
The Walking Dead (2010)
Christian Marie Serratos, Mexican on her Mother’s side, began playing Rosita Espinosa on AMC’s The Walking Dead in season 4:
It is vital that we mention Mexican Academy Award winning Director Guillermo Del Toro for all of his achievements in the Horror/Fantasty genre, including his work on Graphic Novel turned TV series The Strain (2014).
“Evil brought to life.”
You might be more used to seeing Dominican-American Actor Zoe Saldana in Science Fiction movies, but she produced and starred in the Horror-Thriller TV mini-series Rosemary’s Baby (2014)
Fear the Walking Dead (2015)
Panamanian Singer & Actor Ruben Blades plays Barbershop owner Daniel Salazar in the Walking Dead spin-off series, Fear The Walking Dead. Mexican Actor Patricia Reyes Spíndola plays Daniel Salazar‘s wife Griselda Salazar, Puerto Rican Actor Elizabeth Rodriguez plays nurse Gabriela Lopez and Cuban Actor Danay García plays Luciana “Lucy” Galvez.
“I’m afraid there is something very wrong with this place.”
As I’m writing this Post, the Horror movie The Nun is taking over the Box Office with Mexican Actor Demián Bichir in a leading role!
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 until October 15!
I think it is important for us to continue to strive for our creative voices to be heard in all genres of entertainment and to push for better representation in TV and Movies. I also think it is important for us to know our history and celebrate the work of LatinX Actors and Creators who came before us.