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Just read about the strong indigenous groups of Mesoamerica? Or have you always been interested in stories about Aztecs? We have curated a list of movies about 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
- The Other Conquest
- Onyx Equinox
- House II- The Second Story
- Yellow Hair and Fortress of Gold
- The Nameless Days
- Retorno a Aztlán
- Tales of the Night
- 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: https://www.documentarymania.com/video/Montezuma/
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.
Here are a few movies that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- The Talent For Loving
- The Power