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10 Movies About Aztecs (And Documentaries) To Watch If You’re Interested In This Ancient Culture

Movies about the Aztecs

Just read about the strong indigenous groups of Mesoamerica? Or have you always been interested in stories about the Aztecs? We have curated a list of movies about the Aztecs (and shows) for you, check it out. 

As you may know, the Aztecs, also called the Tenochca and the Mexica and were the Native American people who dominated northern Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century. A nomadic culture, the Aztecs eventually settled on several small islands in Lake Texcoco where, in 1325, they founded the town of Tenochtitlan, modern-day Mexico City. The Aztecs were a powerful civilization that lasted more than two centuries. They created the precursors to some of the most popular and common things still used today. They also invented ingenious tools to help them expand their empire to become the powerful nation that it was.

List of Movies and Shows About Aztecs

  1. The Other Conquest
  2. Hernán
  3. Onyx Equinox
  4. House II- The Second Story
  5. Montezuma
  6. Yellow Hair and Fortress of Gold
  7. The Nameless Days
  8. Retorno a Aztlán 
  9. Tales of the Night
  10. I’m Dangerous Tonight

1. The Other Conquest (1998)

IMDB ratings: 6.6/10

Cast: Elpidia Carrillo, Damián Delgado, Honorato Magaloni

Director: Salvador Carrasco

The Other Conquest is a Mexican feature film released officially in 2000 and re-released theatrically in 2008 by Alliance Atlantis/Union Station Media. This film follows the aftermath of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico (the arrival of Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortés) from the perspective of the Aztec community. The film opens with the infamous massacre of the Aztecs at the hands of Spanish armies in command of Cortés’ which took place in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan (modern-day Mexico City).

While the sacred grounds are covered with bodies, a young Indian scribe called Topiltzin (illegitimate son of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma) survives. The Other Conquest rightfully broke box-office records upon its release in Mexico and is considered by top critics as one of the best cinematic explorations of the effects of colonisation. If you want to see movies about Aztecs then The Other Conquest is a great choice for you.

2. Hernán (2019)

IMDB ratings: 7.4/10

Cast: Ishbel Bautista, Óscar Jaenada, Mabel Cadena

Director: Julián de Tavira, María Jaén, Amaya Muruzabal, Curro Royo

Hernán, as you might have guessed, is about Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés. Hernán is a Spanish, Nahuatl, and Maya language television series. In the show, we not only see the Spanish’s lust for gold but also how they used indigenous tribal unique attributes to pit various communities local against each other. The story gives the viewers some idea about 16th-century Mexican and Aztec culture and their ways of life, exactly how they interpreted and understood the new people in their land.

You will discover just how physically and culturally developed the capital city of Tenochtitlan was. In addition, the show visualises fascinating aspects of Aztec history, like the causeways that connected this city in the middle of a lake with the mainland. Interestingly, the visuals were done by the same company that did the effects for Game of Thrones (which should tell how incredible they are). Watch this engaging show Hernán if you are in search of movies about Aztecs on Amazon Prime Video.

3. Onyx Equinox (2020)

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Sofia Alexander, Alejandro Vargas-Lugo, Olivia J. Brown

Director: Sofia Eugenia Alexander

Onyx Equinox is a Mexican American adult animated television series. The series is based on Mesoamerica’s mythologies and mainly features Aztec deities with Maya and Zapotec myths while also making references to the Olmecs. The story follows a young Aztec boy who is saved from death by the gods and chosen to act as ‘humanity’s champion. He has to discard his apathy toward his fellow man and prove humanity’s potential in a fight that spans across fantastical-yet-authentic Mesoamerican cultures. 

The settings and the animation of the series are unique. It is refreshing to see how surprisingly well-presented this depiction is to Mesoamerican mythology. Although Onyx Equinox is far from exceptional in terms of writing and dialogue, the show does explore a culture that is seen very little in a very intriguing way. If you want to watch movies about the Aztecs, give this good show, Onyx Equinox, a chance.

Also Read: Movies like 2012  

4. House II- The Second Story (1987)

IMDB ratings: 5.4/10

Cast: Royal Dano, Arye Gross, Lar Park Lincoln

Director: Ethan Wiley

The American comedy horror House II: The Second Story is the second instalment in the House film series. However, the film serves as a standalone sequel since the characters differ from the first movie. The story follows young urban professionals Jesse McLaughlin and his girlfriend Kate as they move into an old McLaughlin mansion.

Jesse returns to the old mansion for the first time after losing his parents at a young age. While going through the old things in the basement, he finds a picture of his ancestor in front of an Aztec temple holding a crystal skull with sapphire eyes. In the picture’s background is a man called Slim Reese, once a friend turned enemy, desperate to get the skull. As intense as the story may sound, the tone is highlighted with a greater focus on comedy. Are you bored and want to see fictional movies about the Aztecs? Give House II: The Second Story a try.

5. Montezuma (2009)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Dan Snow

Director: John Trefor

A British historian Dan Show visits a significant exhibition and various Mexican sites to illustrate the grandeur of the Aztec Empire at its glory under the rule of Emperor Montezuma II. He traces back the downfall of this large and powerful empire of Aztecs at the hands of their most bloody enemy, Hernan Cortez, and his Spanish military force.

Watch the Television film here: 

Dan also discusses precious sources and myths revolving around this legendary historical event. The documentary takes place at the heart of Tenochtitlan, once the world’s greatest city, showing how the empire works. At the same time, it tells us about their neighbours who had to pay heavy taxes to live in peace. Montezuma is a terrific documentary film if you are interested in movies about Aztecs. 

6. Yellow Hair and Fortress of Gold (1984)

IMDB ratings: 4.2/10

Cast: Laurene Landon, Cihangir Gaffari

Director: Matt Cimber

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold is a fictional Spanish western comedy adventure film. Blonde-haired Apache women known as the Yellow Hair and her sidekick, the Pecos Kid, are after a fortune in Mayan Gold. They have to face the Mexican soldiers and, and lethal tribe of Aztec warriors. 

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold is a typical Apache story full of action and silly plot points. However, the fantasy mystery of the treasure hunt has its exciting moments. This film received a mediocre rating, but if you are bored out of your mind and in search of movies about Aztecs on Amazon Prime Video, you can check out Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold. 

7. The Nameless Days (2022)

IMDB ratings: 4.1/10

Cast: Ally Ioannides, Charles Halford

Director: Andrew Mecham, Matthew Whedon

According to the film’s opening titles, the Aztec calendar contained five days that belonged to no particular month, and it was during these so-called ‘nameless days’ that Aztecs believed dead spirits could return to the Earth. Nameless days were also part of Mayan folklore too, so with them being a part of South American culture we already have a fascinating premise with a lot of promise.

Setting the happenings right along the U.S.-Mexico border and making its initial targets immigrants gives The Nameless Days more relevance than the standard horror fare. Mecham and Whedon bring parallels to what imperilled immigrants face when crossing and who Coaxoch is seeking and how. Watch this horror flick if you wish to see movies about Aztecs.

Also Read: Movies About Mayans

8. Retorno a Aztlán  (1990)

IMDB ratings: 7/10

Cast: Rodrigo Puebla, Rafael Cortés, Amado Zumaya, Socorro Avelar

Director: Juan Mora Catlett 

Return to Aztlán is a Mexican fiction film made in 1990. It was the first feature film filmed in Mexico spoken entirely in Náhuatl, subtitled in Spanish in exhibition. A very hard drought devastates an ancient Mexican empire. Warriors and priests fight for power while people are dying. A group of priests return to Aztlan, the mythological place where Mexican culture was born, to pray to the goddess Coatlicue and stop the drought.

In the Aztec territory governed by Moctezuma The Old, there is a grave drought. Advised by his priests headed by Tlacaelel, the ruler accepts going to search for the goddess Coatlicue, aiming to ask her help to avoid a catastrophe. A peasant, Ollin, participates in the research and finds Coatlicue, and while she recognizes that the Aztecs have been abandoned, she decides to help them. Watch this film if you are interested in history and want to see movies about Aztecs.

9. Tales of the Night (2011)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Michel Ocelot, Julien Béramis

Director: Michel Ocelot

Tales of the Night (French: Les Contes de la Nuit) is a 2011 French computer silhouette animation feature film. It is a compilation movie for movie theatres of five episodes of Dragons et Princesses. The Chosen One and The City Of Gold is the third story and is set in Aztec times.

The inhabitants of a city made of gold worship a being called the Benefactor who gives them gold in exchange for a human sacrifice of the prettiest women in the land. One day a stranger arrives in the city and after discovering this sinister act he resolves to break this cycle of killing. The man is convinced there is a way to stop the Benefactor, however, a prophecy says the city will collapse when the Benefactor falls. Tales of the Night is a great pick for movies about Aztecs. 

10. I’m Dangerous Tonight (1990)

IMDB ratings: 4.8/10

Cast: Mädchen Amick, Anthony Perkins, Daisy Hall

Director: Tobe Hooper

I’m Dangerous Tonight is a 1990 American made-for-television supernatural horror film. When Amy turns an ancient Aztec priest’s cloak into a dress, she discovers it’s cursed and whoever wears it comes under its evil influence. Loosely inspired by a novella by Cornell Woolrich, the film revolves around a cursed Aztec ceremonial cloak that possesses anyone who wears it. 

Young college student Amy (Amick) decides to make a dress out of the cloth. Once she dons the dress, she falls under the spell and becomes a remorseless killer. While the story is average, Mädchen Amick is lovely as always. Dee Wallace may be the standout as she proves that mixing drugs & ancient Aztec cloaks made into sexy dresses don’t mix well. A decent time-passer with some good moments if you want to see movies about Aztecs.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few movies that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. The Talent For Loving
  2. Eternals
  3. Guatemala
  4. The Power
  5. Apocalypse

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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