Summary of Talk by Dr. Richard Shupp, Lafayette College,
to The Pre-Columbian Society on February 14, 1998
"Perception and presentation of Mesoamerican groups by the film industry"

On Saturday, February 14th, the Society was pleasantly diverted by a trip to the movies with Dr. Richard Shupp, a professor at Lafayette University and member of our society.  Using clips from many obscure films, Rich showed the stereotypes and inaccuracies that pervade portrayals of  the
Pre-Columbian people of Latin America in  Hollywood films.  The Aztecs, of course, have been portrayed as the most bloodthirsty group.  The crazed Aztec priest was a favorite subject for such memorable films as "Q" (Quetzacoatl as a giant flying snake!), "Mardi Gras Massacre", and "I'm Dangerous Tonight ."  There was even a whole series of Aztec Mummy films (rush to the video store!)  The Inca have had a unique place in the annals of "B" films;  they seem to have become linked with extraterrestrials,  and of course,  Macchu  Picchu is the most photogenic backdrop!  Mexico has welcomed American filmmakers to their many Pre-Columbian sites, so one can find Mayan and Zapotec backdrops in the most unlikely places! Look for all of these on Richard's website: http://easdnet1.eastonsd.org/hdfric.
 
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