“I’m so proud of the film we made with The Black Demon,” says Latinx filmmaker Adrian Grünberg. “Every generation has a great creature feature—some are lucky enough to have a few. The best of these films make us jump and scream and sometimes cry, but beyond that, the creatures are stand-ins for something larger than entertainment and larger than ourselves as filmgoers and filmmakers.”
With The Black Demon we set out to tell a story about a family coming together to survive an
existential threat. But more than that, it is a movie about how we’ve mistreated the earth and put ourselves in this very predicament—we’ve made our bed, and now we must lie in it,” says Grünberg, who directed the film from a screenplay crafted by Boise Esquerra.
“The titular creature is not a hellbent, unkind predator, but rather a physical embodiment of retribution. The Black Demon is an emissary acting on behalf of Tlaloc (the Aztec god of rain and fertility) to reclaim an ocean that was laid to waste by human greed and desire. At the core of this film is this very tension of who is right and who is wrong; who are the real monsters of our time?”
The menacing force of the Megalodon
“Our demon takes the form of a Megalodon, a terrifying, giant shark that lived millions of years ago, and some legends say it still lurks in our oceans today,” Grünberg.
El Demonio Negro, also known as the Black Demon, is a figure from folklore and legend in Latin America. The Demonio Negro remains an enduring symbol of mystery and terror in Latin American folklore. It’s
dark presence continues to fascinate and frighten people to this day.
In Latino folklore, Tlaloc is a deity from the Aztec religion who was worshiped as the god of rain, thunder, and agriculture. He was believed to be responsible for providing the essential rains that were needed to nourish crops and sustain life.
In Aztec mythology, Tlaloc was considered one of the most important gods, and his worship was widespread throughout Mesoamerica. He was often associated with the rainy season and was believed
to control the cycles of drought and rainfall.
As well as his role as a provider of rain and agriculture, Tlaloc was also associated with death and the underworld. It was believed that he could bring both life and death, and that he had the power to control
the fate of humans. In The Black Demon, the Tlaloc fiercely defends the natural bounty of the earth.
“Many Latinos in the United States live in areas that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as coastal regions and low-lying areas that are prone to flooding and storms. This makes them particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.
Moreover, Latinos have a strong cultural connection to the natural environment and are often more attuned to changes in the climate and the impacts they have on their communities. Many Latinos come
from countries and regions that have already experienced the effects of climate change, such as droughts, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and are therefore more aware of the need to address climate change.
There is also a growing movement within the Latino community to address climate change and environmental justice issues. Latino environmental organizations and activists are working to raise
awareness about climate change and its impacts on their communities, and to advocate for policies
and practices that promote sustainability and environmental justice. The Black Demon hopes to add
their voice to growing movements, and inspire audiences to consider the positive impacts they can
make to curb the effects of climate change.”
The Black Demon Paul’s (Josh Lucas) idyllic family vacation turns into a nightmare when they encounter a ferocious megalodon shark that will stop at nothing to protect its territory. Stranded and under constant attack, Paul and his family must somehow find a way to get his family back to shore alive before it strikes again in this epic battle between humans and nature. The primeval species of shark that represents the overwhelming power of nature. Paul is ultimately unable to outsmart the megalodon. His fate underscores the theme of man’s vulnerability in the face of nature’s power.
Adrian Grünberg is a Latinx screenwriter and director who has worked on more than 25 feature films and television projects both internationally as well as in his adoptive country of México. He attended film school at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and would later make the move to Mexico City where he continued to grow his career. He got his start in the business by working as a first Assistant Director in highly acclaimed movies alongside such notable directors including John Sayles on Men With Guns, Julie Taymor on Frida, Peter Weir’s Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World, Tony Scott for Man On Fire, Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits Of Control, and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. In television he has worked in close collaboration on the shows Narcos, Narcos: Mexico, and the Wachowski’s Sense8. But it was his close creative relationship alongside Mel Gibson which marked the dawn of his directorial career. He co-wrote Get The Gringo with Gibson and longtime partner, Stacy Perskie, which he then went on to direct with Gibson starring in the lead. Since then, he has directed on the Netflix television series, Narcos, Narcos: Mexico, Luis Miguel and in Gael Garcia Bernal’s Aqui En La Tierra (Here on Earth), for which he was nominated as best series at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. He also directed the latest instalment of the Rambo franchise, Rambo: Last Blood.