Ever wish for an animated series that combines 70’s grindhouse, kung fu, and Blaxploitation films set in Mexico?
Enter Seis Manos.
Co-created by known video game/TV producer Brad Graeber (Darksiders II, Castlevania tv series) and writer Alvaro Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), Seis Manos (“six hands”) centers on three grown orphans highly trained in different styles of martial arts, courtesy of their Chinese kung fu master, Chiu (Vic Chao, 24, Mortal Kombat X)
Set in the (fake) Mexican town of San Simon during the 1970’s, a town so dull, the lone female police officer Garcia (Angelica Vale, La Fea Mas Bella) can be seen lazily sweeping the ground in the town’s square. When she laments how “there is never anything to do in this town,” she gets exactly what she wished for in the form of murder, demonic possession, drugs, and a partridge in a pear tree on the same day Vietnam vet turned DEA Special Agent Brister (Luke Cage’s Mike Colter) arrives on a mission for the Bi-National Task Force. They then team up to battle a real mean motor scooter known as El Balde (Danny Trejo) who is not only the head of the cartel, he’s also WAY into dark magic.
Colter completely embraces his Blaxploitation persona and successfully serves up Shaft/Dolemite/Jim Brown/Black Dynamite realness while Trejo does what he does best when playing the bad guy: scare the crap out of everybody.
The animation itself is so much fun to look at and the “pops, dots, and scratch marks” you’d normally see in an old film help cement the time period; taking me back to a time in my childhood when I’d go to the movies every Saturday.
One of the aspects that cracked me up hard were the HUGE “cigarette burns” sprinkled throughout the series, right down to El Balde’s house (that closely resembles that of Moco’s lair in El Mariachi. Once when you learn writer/co-creator Alvaro Rodriguez was not only a musician in said film for his cousin Robert (yeah, THAT Robert Rodriguez) AND wrote the grindhouse classic Machete, it’s not hard to quickly fall in love with Seis Manos.
The writing and voice acting on Seis Manos is so good, I play it on my computer as background noise like a radionovela, and comes in dubbed in English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian (with Chinese available as subtitle only). And guess what? It’s friggin fantastic in ANY language, I myself became quite enamored with the Spanish and German versions.
THAT SAID, this is the part where I tell you there’s quite a bit of blood, scary images, and swearing, so use discretion when it comes to letting your kids watch.
So quit messing around, hit up the “Original Series” queue on Netflix and start watching Seis Manos (so you can be as excited for season 2 as I am)!