The Zero Hour (2010 film)

The Zero Hour (Spanish: La hora cero) is a 2010 Venezuelan action film directed by Diego Velasco that takes place during a medical strike in Venezuela.

The Zero Hour
Directed byDiego Velasco
Written byDiego Velasco
Carolina Paiz
Produced byRodolfo Cova
Carolina Paiz
StarringZapata 666
Amanda Key
CinematographyLuis Otero Prada
Edited byOtto Scheuren
Music byFreddy Sheinfeld
Gabriel Velasco
Release date
  • 8 October 2010 (2010-10-08)
Running time
100 minutes



In Caracas in 1996, a medical strike takes place. Parca (Zapata 666), a self-described Grim reaper[1] and regular sicario,[2] brings a pregnant injured woman (Amanda Key) to his gang; the locals are unsympathetic to the doctors' reasons for strike and kidnap a doctor (Erich Wildpret) from the picket line, but the child is born in the back of a car. Witnessing this, Parca becomes invested in helping the needy, holding-up a private hospital and taking hostages to release in return for treatment of those from the slums.[1] Eventually, this violent scheme collapses on him and the people around him.[3]



The production mimicked the story of the film, facing troubles involving the kidnap of three crew members,[1] including its co-producer,[2] director Velasco being held-up at gunpoint, and the assassination of an actor shortly before recording his parts.[1][2] Despite the themes, a co-writer said that they "want viewers to digest and interpret the movie’s ideas, not to put ideas in their heads".[2]

By 2016, it was the highest-grossing Venezuelan national film,[4] getting $3.5 million in box office takings in Venezuela.[5]



The film was well-received in the Americas, both North and South.[5] It was given as an example in the book The Precarious in the Cinemas of the Americas of a "socially-engaged thriller [...] that [makes] use of mainstream cinema techniques, such as MTV-style, fast-paced editing and the inclusion of violent scenes to call attention to the collective responsibility for social inequalities".[6]





The film won three international awards, "Best Action Sequence Martial Arts Feature" at the US Action On Film International Film Festival (2011); the Audience Choice award at the Jackson Crossroads Film Festival (2011); and the Best Film at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (2011). It was also nominated for the Best Latin-American Film award at the Mexican Ariel Awards in 2012.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Zero Hour". Sounds and Colours. 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Matthew Aho (Winter 2010). "Film: La Hora Cero". Americas Quarterly. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  3. ^ Rotten Tomatoes, The Zero Hour (2010), retrieved 2019-03-18
  4. ^ Fedko-Blake, Varia (23 April 2015). "The 10 Best Venezuelan Movies Of All Time". Culture Trip. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  5. ^ a b Koehler, Robert (2011-08-23). "The Zero Hour". Variety. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  6. ^ Burucúa, Constanza; Sitnisky, Carolina, eds. (29 May 2018). The precarious in cinemas of the Americas. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan. p. 128. ISBN 9783319768076. OCLC 1038484498.