Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Discotheque Weekend at Boccaccio 2000.

During the 1970’s, the disco music scene was dominating the United States. Movies like Saturday Night Fever and Roller Boogie were cashing in big on the disco fad & the youth that were heavily part of all this. In 1979, producer Rogelio Agrasanchez (along with his family) and director José Luis Urquieta conceived their own Saturday Night Fever-styled movie entitled Discotec Fin De Semana (roughly translating as "Discotheque Weekend" & also released on VHS under the title "Los Reventados") and it starred quite a few young Mexican actors & actress’ that later in time became huge stars and one of them being Fernando Saenz in his first ever leading role. This would also be one of Sergio Goyri’s first movie roles but his role was very minor.

In Discotec Fin De Semana, we meet High school seniors Ricardo (Fernando Saenz), his girlfriend Lucy (Patricia Rivera) and their friends Susana (Silvia Pasquel) and Chucho (Alfonso Munguía). When Lucy’s ex-boyfriend Luis (Arsenio Campos) is home from college, things get a bit uneasy since Luis feels that Lucy still belongs to him, but Lucy has moved on with Ricardo since Luis has been seeing other girls at college and never keeping in touch with her. This of course causes a conflict between Ricardo and Luis. When the weekend officially begins after a dreadful week at high school: all our characters meet up with each other and head out to Boccaccio 2000, the local nightclub where all the cool kids hang out at and dance the night away. After the club, we then yet again see all our characters together hanging out around town, drinking alcohol & making out in their cars and there’s even some good ol’ drag racing around town. Whoever loses the race has to pay the Boccaccio 2000 cover charge for the winner and their group. Clever, right? Another character we are introduced to is named Armando (Alejandro Agrasanchez) who DJ’s at Boccaccio 2000 and he's an all-around typical teenage guy hoping to be looking good, loves the music he plays & dances to and he's even gotten the attention of a beautiful girl named Lulu (Anais De Melo) who thinks Armando looks kind of like John Travolta (hahah). They eventually begin dating and their first ever date is at the Drive-In where the movie "Mojados" (a Rogelio Agrasanchez production) is playing on the big screen. From then on, Disctotec Fin De Semana leads up to an epic dance competition where the winner will receive a huge cash prize & a brand new car. Will Ricardo win or will his nemesis Luis win?

While it's obvious that Discotec Fin De Semana was somewhat trying to emulate Saturday Night Fever, it did however feel more like all those teensploitation movies that Crown International Pictures released back in the 1970’s. All those movies are so fun and so laid back and that’s how Discotec is basically, but of course it differed; such as being set in south Texas rather than Southern California and all the characters are of Mexican origin. This movie captured that era and the raza so well that it truly puts a smile on my face. It’s so fascinating honestly. It is almost like when you open a photo album and seeing all your relatives back in the old days enjoying themselves in a certain time that was so different & long ago. The movie for me was a reminder that our raza were enjoying the intriguing culture of the 70’s just as any other American was. Most Mexican movies from this era & set in the United States were often about discrimination, crime and the struggles of poverty, but Discotec differs. This movie was just all fun & a portrayal of most Mexican-American youth hanging out with friends and dealing with growing up & relationships.

 Now of course the movie's main topic is the Disco scene and it portrays it fairly well. It even has a pretty great soundtrack with songs such as “Boogie Nights” and “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel”. The characters dance to the music pretty good and it makes me wonder if they were trained to dance or already knew how. Either way, they all did a pretty good job at it. I honestly really liked the dance scenes despite not being a dancer myself, but it's very intriguing to watch. I also have to note that Boccaccio 2000 was a real nightclub in McAllen, TX and it became the setting for a popular urban legend where a young girl defies her religious parents by going out to the club, dances with Satan and ends up being killed by him. This urban legend has come up many times before and in different parts of the country & even the rest of the world, but it’s funny when I looked up online for info on Boccaccio 2000, I could only find an old newspaper article talking about this scary death happening at the club. If only such a place still existed...

Discotec Fin De Semana is tons of fun and I can’t believe how buried & forgotten this movie is. It really needs to be standing out as other Mexican movies from the 70’s because the movie is such a fascinating time capsule of this era and it is an all around good time watch. As I said before, this movie captured the Mexican-American youth so well in this certain part of time. This movie didn’t give into becoming yet another depressing & overly dramatic movie about poverty & discrimination & crime; Discotec Fin De Semana showed the other side of Mexican-Americans’ lives. It showed the positive parts and the fun part of their lives. Perhaps I’m overly-exaggerating, but it’s honestly how I feel when I watch the movie. I’m sure people who lived in that era and have never seen the movie before would definitely appreciate it a lot. Any other individual fascinated with 70’s culture would appreciate the movie just as much as well. Discotec Fin De Semana gets my highest recommendation. This movie for me is really special. A hidden gem awaiting to be buried up again and treasured. 10/10.

Being the biggest nerd that I am, I compiled the 7 songs that were featured in Discotec Fin De Semana in a Spotify playlist. Most of the songs in the movie are covered by generic sounding artists, not the original artists that made the song popular. However though, these "covers" sounds almost identical to the original songs themselves. Didn't find all the cover songs on Spotify, so instead I put the original songs in the playlist. Good enough! Enjoy it!