Short of the Week: Watch Guillermo del Toro’s early film, ‘Geometria’, created in 1987
In 1987, prior to his major cinematic breakthrough, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro created a series of short films as he cut his teeth as a budding director.
In total, Del Toro shot ten different shorts on numerous different formats which included Super 8, 16mm and 35mm. Of the short film collection, only the last two creations were made available; Doña Lupe and Geometria.
On reflection of Del Toro’s filmography, coupled with the fact that he studied special effects and make-up from early in his career, it should come as little surprise that Geometria is a fantasy horror. While the short does have a comedic edge, it successfully planted the foundations of what was to come from the now Academy Award-winning filmmaker.
The story, based loosely on Fredric Brown’s short story Naturally, was shot in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Del Toro’s native Mexico. After completion, he was unhappy with the results and shelved the project until picking it back up years later. Teaming up with composer Christopher Drake to create a score for the short, Del Toro eventually released a director’s cut of Geometria in collaboration with the Criterion Collection.
“I was finally able to finish it for these discs; this is the first time ever that it’s going to be seen in its proper form,” Del Toro once said. “It’s a really gory and crazy little movie, done in the style of Dario Argento/Mario Bava/colour-saturated horror.”
The film tells the story of a Mexican widow who receives a letter from the high school attended by her son. According to the synopsis, it “informs her that the boy is about to fail his geometry exams for the third time. The woman berates her son, then turns on the television, refusing to speak to him.
“The boy resorts to using black magic in order to pass the exam. In a dark room, he reads from a tome of sorcery, which states, ‘As a protection for the invocation of a major demon, place yourself inside a pentagon drawn with your own blood. This pentagon will be your only protection’.