DVD Review: CURSE OF THE MAYANS

CURSE OF THE MAYANS (aka Xibalba) was directed by Joaquin Rodriguez from a screenply by Alberto Haggar and Joaquin Rodriguez and stars Olga Fonda, Steve Wilcox, Bernardo Peña and Carla Ortiz. The movie was filmed on location at the sites of actual Mayan settlements.

Some places are not meant to be discovered. For eons, the Mayans prophesized that on December 21, 2012 – the end-date of the 5,126-year cycle of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar – there would be a cataclysmic, earth-shattering event. As it turned out, 2012 wasn’t the end, but the beginning in CURSE OF THE MAYANS, a chilling sci-fi thriller set in the dark jungles and unexplored cenotes of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

In present day, American professor Dr. Alan Green (Wilcox) discovers a manuscript that may hold the keys to the lost Mayan culture. After traveling to Mexico, he hires an expert team of cave divers, led by Danielle Noble (Ortiz), to explore a submerged labyrinth of ruins left behind by the ancient civilization before their mysterious disappearance. But when the team unwittingly stumbles upon an underwater prison and unintentionally frees the evil alien beings trapped within, they are forced to fight for their survival and prevent the extraterrestrial apocalypse predicted by the Mayans long ago.

The movie follows this group that goes on an expedition to explore some of the Mayan ruins – one in particular. It’s an uncomfortable trip because not all of these people get along and upon arrival bad things begin to happen to them. The warning signs present themselves but instead of retreating the group presses forward on this doomed adventure. What happens is, when they find this underwater prison, they accidentally free these amphibious ancient aliens and  these things aren’t friendly. These terrifying hybrid creatures begin to kill what’s left of the group until there’s only one survivor left and the only reason this one is still alive is the fact that the secret of the Mayans and what actually happened to them is ultimately revealed.

The packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The DVD disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Curse of the Mayans was a movie that I’ve split up into two halves. The first half spent way too much time with the boring characters getting to their destination so it’s an extreme slow burn and it might be hard for some viewers to stay interested. The seconed half is where things get much better because it focuses on this mysterious location and its dark secrets. Like so many people, I’ve always been fascinated with the Mayans and what actually happened to them and this half of the movie explores a pretty cool “what if” scenerio that’s tied to aliens. The story was okay but unfortunately the characters weren’t that interesting so you didn’t really care what happened to them. The fact that the movie was filmed on location at some of the Mayan settlements helped some plus there’s the payoff at the end that salvages the movie some and makes it worth sitting through. I thought this part was well done (the Mayans and aliens reveal) – if only there had been a little more of it. Curse of the Mayans will release on DVD on March 6th and is good enough for a one time watch.

Distributor: VMI Worldwide

Run Time: 88 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: N/A

Special Features: N/A

 

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