Is The Black Demon Based on a True Story? Was the Megalodon Real?

Adrian Grünberg’s thriller film ‘The Black Demon’ revolves around Paul Sturges, a security inspector who leaves for a crumbling oil rig located off the coast of Baja California to decommission the same. After arriving at the rig, Paul learns that the region is affected by a killer megalodon shark, which is locally known as the Black Demon. When Paul’s family ends up at the rig, he confronts the need to kill the monster shark and save his loved ones. Since alleged sightings of enormous sharks are popular in contemporary times, the viewers must be wondering whether the film has real-life connections. Well, let us provide the answer!

The Black Demon is Based on a Mexican Legend

‘The Black Demon’ is not based on a true story. However, it is based on a Mexican legend that revolves around the titular shark, which is locally known as “El Demonio Negro.” While Paul, the rest of the characters, and his company Nixon Oil are fictional, the existence of the enormous megalodon has been puzzling the people living in Baja. There are several accounts of people who allegedly saw a shark that is forty to sixty feet long in the Gulf of California, which is also known as the Sea of Cortez. The legend states that the shark is black and it overturns boats, attacks whales, and eats other sea creatures.

First of all, no piece of physical evidence has been discovered to confirm the existence of the Black Demon. There aren’t any verified witness accounts or photographs that ensure the presence of the killer shark off the Baja peninsula. Having said that, a group of people living in Baja still believes that the entity really exists. “I looking back, you know, see a big tail come up but that’s only a couple of seconds, that’s it,” an alleged eyewitness said about the shark, as per the seventh episode of History’s ‘MonsterQuest’ season 3.

“[My boat] hit something just out of nowhere. The whole boat lurched forward and I almost fell to the deck. […] I could see this tip of a tail just come up and whip around real quick. I mean, it was probably five feet out of the water. It was real scary. It was one of the scariest things that’s ever happened to me on the ocean,” an alleged eyewitness named Erick Mack shared, as per ‘MonsterQuest.’ Although a group dived into the depths of the Sea of Cortez to find the shark as part of the ‘MonsterQuest’ crew, they were unable to click a photograph of the creature that allegedly lives in the sea.

Boise Esquerra penned the fictional movie, developing a story written by Carlos Cisco, based on this Mexican legend. He integrated the legend of the Black Demon into the myth of Tlāloc, the god of rain in Aztec religion. Followers of the Aztec religion feared him due to his power over hail, thunder, lightning, and rain. Esquerra used this mythological detail as the mythical backstory of the shark for Chato to believe that the shark was created by Tlāloc to punish the humans, who have been destroying nature and other living beings. Through this integration of the legend of the Black Demon and the mythology of Tlāloc, Esquerra succeeds in providing a critique of capitalism that ignores environmental concerns.

Although the movie is fictional, multinational companies destroying nature and ignoring environmental hazards are part of our reality. Through the fiction/legend of the Black Demon, Grünberg’s film tries to invite the viewers’ attention to the same.

Read More: Where Was The Black Demon Filmed?