Carlos Atanes
CARLOS ATANES (b. 1971) is a Spanish film director and playwright. But he is also a pornophilosopher, an enfant terrible, a rebel and a maverick. The prestigious website Underground Film Journal has stated that he is the Spain's underground master.

He has directed a lot of dystopian, weird and disturbing films known as atanic films. If you wish to enter his world, you can't miss the shortfilms anthology Codex Atanicus (1995-1999), the book Aleister Crowley in the Mouth of Hell and the feature-length movies FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions (2004), PROXIMA (2007), Maximum Shame (2010) and the newest one, Gallino, the Chicken System (2012), all of them available on DVD and Video On Demand. Go for a walk through this website and you'll enjoy other atanic works, texts and interviews.
CARLOS ATANES - Photo by Jacobo Medrano    
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Gallino, the Chicken System   Aleister Crowley in the Mouth of Hell   Maximum Shame   PROXIMA



«Gallino, The Chicken System is an entire universe of creativity.
It’s more of an art experience than a simple film,
and you will feel more than a little dirty after watching it.
Mark Bell, Film Threat


Carlos Atanes and Eva García-Vacas
CARLOS ATANES and EVA GARCíA-VACAS - Photo by Jacobo Medrano
«Atanes, already Spain’s underground master
(Mike Everleth, Underground Fillm Journal)

«There is a reason why Carlos Atanes is one of the premier underground filmmakers. He makes utterly insane, funny and thought-out pieces of works that will never fully leave your mind.»
(Ronny Carlsson, Film Bizarro)

«Atanes' films are disturbing and provocative piece of art
(Esa Linna, Extraordinary Movie & Video Guide)

«Atanes is known for his incredibly weird underground films. Where he gets his ideas from? I don’t know. I really don’t know. But what he creates is fantastic.»
(Frank Schonewille, head programming of the BUT Film Festival)

«The most compelling visually styled directors out there in the underground film scene today.»
(Anthony Thurber, Film Arcade)

«Total artist who sells his soul to the devil and his actions outside our borders, because it is not a Prophet in his own land, but that will end up imposing his Liber Legis and his style
(Astrum X, La Caja de Pandora)

«One of these authentic, different filmmakers, dedicated to creating his own expressive tools.»
(Alejandro Yamgotchian, Arte 7)

«The next David Lynch with a little bit of David Cronenberg thrown in for good measure.»
(Gorehounds Unite!)

«One of the few directors who can mix the surreal and real together and have neither seem out of place. He is quickly becoming a favorite here at Film Fanaddict and you’re encouraged to check him out as soon as you get the chance.»
(David Carter, Film Fanaddict)

«Carlos Atanes makes completely strange scenarios very interesting with his powerful visuals
(Verislav Kucan, Evil Dread)

«Original, bizarre, provocative, Atanes' principal influences are Bunuel, Arrabal, and Jean Cocteau as well as Greenaway, Lynch, Cronenberg, Ionesco, Stanislaw Lem, Philip K. Dick, and Boris Vian, among others.»
(Rob Smart, Bright Lights Film Journal)

«It’s impressive how far Atanes goes with so little money.»
(Andreas Stoehr,

«Carlos Atanes seems to be an uncompromising director, who doesn't take the easy way out. That is the big part (along with the bunch of great actors and actresses) of extraordinary feel that gushes from Atanes' intriguing films.»
(Esa Linna, Extraordinary Movies & Video Guide)

«Carlos Atanes broadens your mind.»
(The Angry Princess, This Is Some Scene)

«Behind Atanes' stories there is an underworld of beauty and anti-poetry that deserves attention from fans of weird.»
(Luca di Manteca, Almas Oscuras)

«Saying that Carlos Atanes is an odd filmmaker is a slight euphemism
(Jérôme Spenlehauer, Cinetrange)
Maximum Shame
March 7, 2014

«After watching it twice now, I still really do not know how to feel about ‘Maximum Shame’ as it is purely visual art rather than a real narrative a dreamlike mind-fuck of philosophical musings. It is not a question of whether it is good or not as it does not conform to cinematic conventions. Therefore, I will not be giving a rating for this review, as it is hard for me to judge it on such terms. Whether you like the film or not you will ultimately more likely all reach the same conclusion that it is at least a unique work.» Read the review at Cinematic Shocks.

February 2014

interview by Ronny Carlsson for Film Bizarro

«Carlos Atanes has been popping up on our site a number of times since the discovery of his short film collection "Codex Atanicus" much due to his strange style of filmmaking. We've gone through much of his work in reviews, praised them in Best of-lists, but this is the first time we're interviewing the man. Where do you even start with a guy like this? It's hard to know where he gets his influences from, what makes him tick, and so forth, so we've tried to pick his brain a little bit in this following interview!» . Read the interview at


Gallino, the Chicken System

December 28, 2013

ONE OF THE 2013 BEST FILMS according to Film Bizarro

«Carlos Atanes is a name that pops up in my mind the second I think of underground filmmaking. He has surprised, shocked, repulsed, confused and amused me in the past, but with Gallino, the Chicken System he brings his very best. It's hard not to be amazed at how he can tie together a fistfucked roasted chicken with anything remotely philosophical, but that's essentially the key with Gallino, the Chicken System! His movie is visual, surreal, philosophical, comedic, futuristic (equally dreamlike) and far from good taste, and it's exactly why we love it and Carlos Atanes himself. There's nothing quite like it.» - Entire list at


July 17, 2013

«In the age of loud and bombastic, it is a tremendous breath of fresh air to find an SF movie that dares to be quirky, intelligent and defiantly its own beast. Perhaps the best Phillip K. Dick movie that has nothing to do with PKD, you might get a hint of what it's like if you think Primer by way of Alejandro Jodorowsky, with bursts of Repo Man absurdity, a hint of Tarkovsky's Stalker, and a truckload of cheap sci fi tropes. If a foreign language art film with secret powers, black clad commandos, weird cults, deprogrammers, tons of nerdy SF geek references and, yes, even spaceships, sounds like your thing, then give PROXIMA a try.» By M.T.C. (A comment on


Eva García-Vacas stars in the music video directed by Carlos Atanes
for Finnish musician Esa Linna's song Meat Market.


| ©2009 The Estate of Carlos Atanes