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Cold Sweat

Wanna see a terrific twisted thriller from Argentina? BAM!

Rod Lott January 12th, 2012

When Román (Facundo Espinosa, "The Motorcycle Diaries") tracks down his girlfriend to the apartment building of the guy she's been seeing behind his back, he isn't quite prepared for what he finds: two old guys menacing several young women with nitroglycerin, acid and other ridiculously volatile chemicals left over from a real-life 1975 uprising in Argentina.


One drop of the stuff and your head resembles a watermelon dropped from a skyscraper.

Certainly, this is among the most original concepts in modern horror, and indie director/co-writer Adrián Garcia Bogliano does not let the audience down. His pair of inglorious bastards — the mastermind having only one eye and requiring a walker — are truly evil characters that arguably could exist, in contrast to the Jigsaws of the genre.

At an hour and 20 minutes with credits, "Cold Sweat" doesn't waste time, wear out its welcome or complicate matters with needless subplots. Bogliano tells it with remarkable efficiency, wringing viewers as tight as a dishwasher squeezing a sponge dry. The music score is highly effective, provided the intent was to further frazzle the nerves. Tellingly, Román is wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of William Friedkin's 1977 film "Sorcerer," about trucks hauling unstable dynamite through the jungle — an appropriate, if overt homage.

Dark Sky Films must have known it had acquired something extra-special here, because the "Cold Sweat" DVD drips with extras, from a Bogliano commentary to a short segment with him explaining the true events that inspired the prologue, plus pages from a too-cartoony comic-book serialization, trailers, TV spots and behind-the-scenes footage. Highlight the "O" in "BONUS" to unearth the Easter egg of Camile Velasco's four-minute audition tape. She's the shapely brunette who has to disrobe in the film to prevent from blowing up. Better safe than sorry, hon! —Rod Lott

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