Papi Ramirez vs. Giant Scorpions

11/11/2020 05:50

Film: Papi Ramirez vs. Giant Scorpions

Year: 2020

Director: Leslie Rivera

Writer: Leslie Rivera

Starring: Leslie Rivera, Aris Mejias and Lee Miriam



This is another of the Midnight Features from the Nightmares Film Festival. The title seemed cheesy and I figured out that this was in part due to the writer/director and star, Leslie Rivera’s love 1950’s and 60’s B horror movies. It has a short running time of 48 minutes or so, so I was in even more. The synopsis here is a low budget stuntman and future father has a fight for survival from a family of mutant, giant, talking scorpions.

We start this movie off with two smaller scorpions as they’re looking for food. I believe their names are Jennifer and McCracken, both voiced by Rivera from what I’m guessing. They go to their mother, which is a much larger scorpion and begging her for food. The mother is also voiced by Rivera. She tells them that they’ve already ate and they will again after they sleep.

The movie then introduces us to Bruce Ramirez (Rivera). He’s at home with his pregnant wife, Aris Mejias, before work. He looks pretty excited to be a father and we get an odd scene with a baby doll and showing us inside of the womb. The baby looks pretty happy as well. He is a stunt person for a movie called Hip Hop Samurai vs. Red Neck Werewolf. The director wants him to do something more than he’s capable and he needs to find a new job.

As he goes to return home, he stops off to urinate. He’s attacked by the mother scorpion while she’s looking for food. He tries to flee in his car, but can’t get away. This chase causes him to crash into a canyon where it becomes a night where he has to fight to survive if he wants to see his child born. He will have to take on the likes of these three scorpions in order to do so, but the problem is that they feed on humans.

Since this movie is really more of a short, that’s where I’m going to leave my recap. That really gets you what this movie is about and I hate to be downer, but this isn’t really for me. After the movie, there was a featurette that I’m glad I watched as it gives me much more appreciation for what this movie is doing and the work that went into it.

First I do want to break the story down. I do enjoy the 50’s B-horror films where you’d get things like giant scorpions, grasshoppers, spiders or anything like that. We never really learn what causes these scorpions to be as large as they are or why they can talk. It doesn’t really need to be fleshed out though either, they just are. It is funny that they carry on like a normal family with teenagers. We have a single mother trying to raise them, but they’re annoying and defy what she asks at times. This does draw duality with Bruce as well.

There is a really good idea that he’s about to become a father. He’s terrified, as I feel most people are before their child is born. That child though becomes the driving factor for him to become the hero that he needs to in order to survive. I also like the change that comes over him, because it does correlate with a story that Rivera tells in the featurette with making this movie thanks to his daughter.

This isn’t my style that everything is green-screen. Rivera filmed this in a storage locker that he had and just inserted all of the things that we see. The scorpions are toys that he manipulated to do different things. I give so much credit here to the time and effort that went into doing all of this. I do think going comedy really does help with taking it in as well. It is absurd so that helps it for me.

Since this is paying homage to these lower budget movies of the past, the acting is cheesy and it makes sense there. It is interesting that Rivera brings up we never really see people of color in those films and for the time period they were made, I get why. His performance is over top and it really fits for what the movie is going for. There aren’t really a lot of other actors, but their performances match his. Not really my style personally. I can’t harp though as it fits for what they’re going for.

That’s really all I wanted to delve into with this movie. It is a lot of fun and even more impressive to see what went into making this. We are really getting a movie paying homage to those giant monster movies of an era past and this is a whimsical in nature to go with it. This is all done with green-screen, which normally I’m not the biggest fan of. It is part of the premise of the movie though so I do have to give credit there. The acting is over the top, which matches the style. If you like lower budget efforts, you really do need to see it. Overall though I have to say this movie is just over average for me and a lot that is the care that went into making it. It really is a passion project with I respect.


My Rating: 6 out of 10