Guillermo del Toro says his grandmother used to physically torture him for the good of his soul

Guillermo del Toro was recently a guest on Visitations, the podcast hosted by Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah. During the two-part interview, del Toro briefly discussed his movies, but mostly focused on his upbringing, which reads like a Series of Unfortunate Events. Among the anecdotes:

-He used to be skinny but put on weight to defend himself from bullies, including one who threatened to throw him over a railing. -His father was paranoid of being robbed, and would wake del Toro and his young brother in the middle of the night, telling them to watch for invaders. -After his uncle died and del Toro inherited his room, the uncle haunted him.

But most disturbing of all was the abuse inflicted by his “grandmother.” Del Toro’s mother was frequently absent, and thus his maternal great aunt served as his primary caretaker. She was “very Catholic” and would tell del Toro that upon his death he literally would burn in hell for hundreds of years, if not longer. She believed mortifying the flesh was important as atonement. Accordingly, del Toro explained, “she used to put upside [down] bottle caps on my shoes for my feet to bleed. And I was a child, a little child. And she would say this would amortize your time in purgatory. So you get a sense of spiritual danger at all times.”

During the interview, Del Toro also reflected on his brother's advice about needing to accept their father despite his flaws: “He’s not the flu. He's not going to get better.” Read the rest

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collections

If you were one of the lucky Del Toro fans who got to see the At Home With Monsters show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this year I hope you found the photo-mural of his house on the way out and took a selfie there — it looks like YOU are right there inside Bleak House, Del Toro’s home of monsters! (see my pic above). Seeing that show was about as close as any of us will ever be to getting inside to see his collection. If you missed the show, then this book is the next best thing.

Any fan of horror, sci-fi, and Del Toro films like Hellboy, will love this handsome book designed to go along with the museum show. The legendary film director’s collection of original art, movie props and extraordinarily realistic life-size figures is truly amazing. His appetite is omnivorous and wide-ranging from low- to high-brow and everything in between: William Blake etchings, pulp novels and comic books, Japanese woodblock prints, Simpsons vinyl collectibles, Phillip Guston paintings to Todd Browning Freaks stills, and much, much, MUCH, more. Also included, are pages directly from Del Toro’s own notebook with sketches and notes for his films, including Pan’s Labyrinth and Blade.

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters: Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collections by Guillermo del Toro (Author), Guy Davis (Illustrator), & 3 more Insight Editions 2016, 152 pages, 8.0 x 0.8 x 10.0 Read the rest

Like monsters? You'll love the Guillermo Del Toro exhibit at LA County Museum

I was unprepared for the magnitude and quality of stuff on display at LACMA's exhibition of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro's monster memorabilia collection. This just might have been the best museum exhibition I've seen. Read the rest

A quick Q&A with Chuck Hogan, co-author of The Night Eternal

Chuck Hogan is the co-author, with Guillermo Del Toro, of The Night Eternal, which concludes their best-selling Strain trilogy. He is also the author of Prince of Thieves, recently filmed as The Town.

Q: Now that the Strain Trilogy is finished, is there anything that you would change about it if you were starting again?

A: Not realistically. Books and movies are never finished, only surrendered. There are always things you wish you could insert after the fact, but nothing about the trilogy feels lacking. We had a plan and we executed it, with many unforeseen twists and turns along the way. Read the rest