"I do love horror movies, but I also love people's love of horror movies," said Fred Armisen about the inspiration behind his new HBO series, Los Espookys. "I thought that it was its own genre in a way."
Los Espookys, which premiered tonight at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, follows a group of horror-loving friends in Latin America who stage hauntings and exorcisms. But part of the reason there's a demand for such things in the world of Los Espookys is the supernatural undercurrent that quietly emerges over the season's six episodes.
"One of the things that went around the time of the pitch was that it was the other side of Scooby-Doo," said Armisen to the crowd after the screening, which included SYFY WIRE. "The part of Scooby-Doo we never get to see until the unmasking."
In addition to co-writing the series with stars Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega, Armisen plays Uncle Tico, a dedicated (and world-class) parking valet, who encourages his nephew, Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco), and his friends to pursue their love of horror for a living. To further ingratiate the show into the realm of horror, they patterned the characters after some of the genre's most iconic entities.
"I was into the idea something that was half vampire and half C-3PO, like a little robot vampire," said Torres of his bewitching character, Andrés. Other supernatural templates included Renaldo as the Wolf Man, while the practical-minded Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) was the witch. Armisen then pointed out that this made the ineffectual, seemingly indestructible Tati (Fabrega) into Frankenstein's monster.
Along with the unconventional premise, the series is largely in Spanish, with English subtitles. Partly, Torres explained, because it takes some of its vibe from "the magical realism" that's prominent in Brazilian telenovelas. Ultimately, it was a creative decision that HBO was supportive of from the get-go.
"[Just] because it's in Spanish, it doesn't mean it is only for people who speak Spanish," said Fabrega. "Hopefully a lot of non-Spanish speakers watch — and Spanish speakers alike."
You can catch the delightful weirdness of Los Espookys when it premieres Friday, June 14, on HBO.