While these days Chilean director Pablo Larraín (who I interviewed years ago) is known for award-winning biopics such as Jackie and Spencer, earlier in his career it was his Pinochet trilogy (Tony Manero, Post Mortem, No) that built his filmmaking cred. After quite a bit of time away, Larraín is returning to his primary focus, dictator Augusto Pinochet, for El Conde, a film that reimagines the despotic ruler as a bloodthirsty vampire.
Well, when one considers how Pinochet sucked the lifeblood from the Chilean people for years during his authoritarian regime, the jump to turning him into a vampire is a small one.
Jaime Vadell, who starred in Larraín’s films Post Mortem, No, The Club, and Neruda, takes on the Pinochet role.
Here’s the synopsis: El Conde is a dark comedy/horror that imagines a parallel universe inspired by the recent history of Chile. The film portrays Augusto Pinochet, a symbol of world fascism, as a vampire who lives hidden in a ruined mansion in the cold southern tip of the continent. Feeding his appetite for evil to sustain his existence. After two hundred and fifty years of life, Pinochet has decided to stop drinking blood and abandon the privilege of eternal life. He can no longer bear that the world remembers him as a thief.
Larraín not only directed the film, he co-wrote the screenplay with playwright Guillermo Calderón.
El Conde hits Netflix on September 15th, following a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.