Caribbean Monsters: Gothic Migrants in the “Hot-Lands”

  • Gabriel Eljaiek-Rodríguez


Eljaiek-Rodríguez analyzes how the figures of the vampire and the zombie (the undead) are used in horror cinema of the Caribbean. Considering that the cannibal and the zombie are figures created by Europeans in Caribbean contexts, the author analyzes how contemporary Cuban and Puerto Rican horror films reappropriate them. This reappropriation is read as a way directors suggest the complexities of historical and political events relevant to Cuba and Puerto Rico. Through this analysis, the author problematizes the colonial principle in which the hot-lands of the Caribbean are synonymous with Otherness and barbarism.


  1. Aparicio, Frances R., and Chávez-Silverman, Susana. Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad. Dartmouth, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. Badley, Linda. “Zombie Splatter Comedy from Dawn to Shaun: Cannibal Carnivalesque.” Zombie Culture. Autopsies of the Living Dead. Scarecrow Press, 2008. 35–53.Google Scholar
  3. Bishop, Kyle W. The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture. McFarland & Company, 2010.Google Scholar
  4. Braham, Persephone. From Amazon to Zombies. Monsters in Latin America. Bucknell University Press, 2015.Google Scholar
  5. Burton, Tara Isabella. “#RaptureAnxiety Calls Out Evangelicals’ Toxic Obsession with the End Times.” Vox. 12 Dec. 2017.
  6. Dawn of the Dead. Dir. George A. Romero. Dawn Associates, 1978a.Google Scholar
  7. Dayan, Joan. Haiti, History, and the Gods. University of California Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  8. Díaz-Zambrana, Rosana. “Zombis y chupanalgas en la Isla del Espanto: La comedia de horror en el cine de culto puertorriqueño”. Horrorfílmico. Aproximaciones al cine de terror en Latinoamérica y el Caribe. Isla Negra, 2012. 211–229.Google Scholar
  9. Dorfman, Ariel, and Mattelart, Armand. Para leer al Pato Donald. Comunicación de masa y colonialismo. Siglo Veintiuno Editores. 1984.Google Scholar
  10. Eljaiek-Rodríguez, Gabriel. Selva de fantasmas. El gótico en la literatura y el cine latinoamericanos. Editorial Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2017.Google Scholar
  11. Groen, Rick, and Lacey, Liam. “Our critics’ picks: 10 films at TIFF you should see.” The Globe and Mail. 7 Sep. 2011.
  12. Gruzinski, Serge. The Mestizo Mind. The Intellectual Dynamics of Colonization and Globalization. Routledge, 2002.Google Scholar
  13. Halberstam, Judith. Skin Shows. Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters. Duke University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  14. Hoberman, J., and Rosenbaum, Jonathan. Midnight Movies. Da Capo Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  15. Hulme, Peter. Colonial Encounters. Europe and the Native Caribbean, 1492–1797. Methuen, 1986.Google Scholar
  16. Jáuregui, Carlos. Canibalia. Canibalismo, calibanismo, antropofagia cultural y consumo en América Latina. Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2008.Google Scholar
  17. Katzew, Ilona. Casta Painting. Images of Race in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. Yale University Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  18. Kee, Chera. “‘They are not men…they are dead bodies!’: From Cannibal to Zombie and Back Again.” Better Off Dead. The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human. Fordham University Press, 2011. 9–23.Google Scholar
  19. Leverette, Marc, and McIntosh, Shawn. “Giving the Living Dead Their Due.” Zombie Culture. Autopsies of the Living Dead. Scarecrow Press, 2008. vii–xiv.Google Scholar
  20. Mendible, Myra. “Embodying Latinidad. An Overview.” From Bananas to Buttocks. The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture. University of Texas Press, 2007. 1–28.Google Scholar
  21. Moreiras, Alberto. The Exhaustion of Difference. The Politics of Latin American Cultural Studies. Duke University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  22. Murphy, Berenice M. “‘All that Zombies Allow’ Re-imagining the Fifties in Far from Heaven and Fido.” It Came From the 1950s! Popular Culture, Popular Anxieties. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.Google Scholar
  23. OXFAM. “Despite Desperate Shortages, US Fails to Mount Robust Response in Puerto Rico”. 2 Oct. 2017.
  24. Padrón, Juan. Vampirenkommando. Casa Editorial Abril, 2008.Google Scholar
  25. Paravisini-Gebert, Lizabeth. “Colonial and Postcolonial Gothic: The Caribbean.” The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction. Cambridge University Press, 2006.Google Scholar
  26. Pérez Mejía, Ángela. La geografía de los tiempos difíciles: escritura de viajes a Sur América durante los procesos de independencia 1780–1849. Medellín: Editorial Universidad de, 2002.Google Scholar
  27. Pratt, Marie Louise. Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation. Routledge, 1992.Google Scholar
  28. Quiroga, José. Tropics of Desire. Interventions from Queer Latino America. New York University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  29. Radford, Benjamín. “Chupacabra.” Benjamin
  30. Randall, Stephen J., and Mount, Graeme S. The Caribbean Basin. An International History. Routledge, 1998.Google Scholar
  31. Robinson, Timothy M. “Octavia Butler’s Vampiric Vision. Fledgling as a Transnational Neo-Slave Narrative.” Vampires and Zombies: Transcultural Migrations and Transnational Interpretations. University Press of Mississippi, 2016. 61–82.Google Scholar
  32. Santana Zaldívar, Ernesto. “Un sobreviviente entre los zombis cubanos.” Cubanet. 3 Oct. 2012.
  33. Salvatore, Ricardo D. “The Enterprise of Knowledge. Representational Machines of Informal Empire.” Close Encounters of Empire. Duke University Press, 1998. 69–104.Google Scholar
  34. Skal, David J. The Monster Show. A Cultural History of Horror. Faber and Faber, 2001.Google Scholar
  35. Sheller, Mimi. Consuming the Caribbean. Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar
  36. Subero, Gustavo. Representations of HIV/AIDS in Contemporary Hispano-American and Caribbean Culture. Cuerpos suiSIDAs. Ashgate, 2014.Google Scholar
  37. “Zombie Horror-Comedy Hopes to Bring Cuban Film Industry Back to Life.” The Guardian. 20 Apr. 2011.


  1. Celestino y el vampiro. Dir. Radamés Sánchez. Radolcam, 2003.Google Scholar
  2. Dawn of the Dead. Dir. George A. Romero. Dawn Associates, 1978b.Google Scholar
  3. Fido. Dir. Andrew Currie. Lions Gate Films, 2006.Google Scholar
  4. I Walked with a Zombie. Dir. Jacques Tourneur. RKO Pictures, 1943.Google Scholar
  5. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. Dir. Neil Jordan. Geffen Pictures, 1994.Google Scholar
  6. Juan de los muertos. Dir. Alejandro Brugués, 2010.Google Scholar
  7. Más vampiros en la Habana. Dir. Juan Padrón, 2003.Google Scholar
  8. Night of the Living Dead. Dir. George A. Romero. Image Ten, 1968.Google Scholar
  9. Salem’s Lot. Dir. Tobe Hooper, 1979.Google Scholar
  10. Shaun of the Dead. Dir. Edgar Wright. Universal Pictures, 2004.Google Scholar
  11. The Green Inferno. Eli Roth. Worldview Entertainment, 2013.Google Scholar
  12. The Walking Dead. Cr. Frank Darabont. American Movie Classics (AMC), 2010–2018.Google Scholar
  13. Vampiros en la Habana. Dir. Juan Padrón, 1985.Google Scholar
  14. White Zombie. Dir. Victor Halperin. United Artists, 1932.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Eljaiek-Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.The New School of AtlantaAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations