Sunday, August 18, 2019

Border Bitch.

There are movies you watch and you see the potential it had at being something pretty good, but then suddenly you realize despite all this work coming from a decent cast & crew—it ends up being a confusing & very weird mess. That is how I describe the 1993 shoot-em up drunken/cocaine-induced action movie La Perra De La Frontera (aka "Border Bitch").

When LA police detective Valerio (Salvador Pineda) finds his wife Cecilia (Patricia Rivera) doing cocaine with her lover Tim (Roberto Palazuelos)he calls her a “Perra” (bitch) and makes it clear he’s done with her. Tim & Cecilia are a match made in hell since they both love doing drugs & selling it back & forth from Tijuana. Tim has a huge cocaine deal coming up—so him, his brother, Cecilia, and a weird ponytail guy rob a bank to acquire the money for the drugs. When Valerio finds out from pornstar turned drug trafficker Ron Jeremy that a huge drug deal is about to happen at Perris airport—he then heads out there to capture the criminals that just happens to be Tim & Cecilia and Tim’s brother & the weird ponytail guy! While getting away in an airplane—the weird ponytail guy tries to rob Tim of the stolen drugs & money, but ultimately fails to. Tim & Cecilia manage to get away via skydiving and hideout in a cabin where they proceed to have the most awful sex ever. After Valerio is hospitalized from the gunshot wound he received in Perris—his cop buddies acquire surveillance video from the bank robbery and this is when he finds out that the criminals he was after are none other than his ex-wife & her lover!!

“It was never my intention to make this movie, but I was sucked into it and couldn’t back out because of the money invested & my friend Tony really wanted to be in the movie.” says executive producer Peter Hamilton as we spoke about La Perra De La Frontera. It was him who actually brought the movie to my attention because of some of the wild stories he shared with me about the making of the movie and how it ended up being the way it is. It turns out the movie was originally set to star a popular Mexican-American pop singer from that time (I promised to keep her name a secret), but ultimately she backed out after 2 days in production because she wanted to go out & get wasted instead of working on the movie. So then the production team got Patricia Rivera casted with the help from leading casting agent Blanca Estela Limon. Filming at first seemed to be going well, but heavy/weird conflicts ensued between the cast & crew, then there were also changes in the movie done by director Roberto Schlosser. With the drama happening amongst the cast & crew and the drastic changes in the movie happening—La Perra De La Frontera, with its once (presumed) promising production—turned into a really fucking weird & confusing mess. Hilarious as well. Unintentionally of course. Did the movie make profit at least? Nope.

La Perra De La Frontera is a mess because the movie doesn’t really make any sense. If you’ve seen The Room and Miami Connection, then you’ll know what I mean. The movie goes from one thing to another and most of the time it doesn’t ever really connect. The movie is shorter than most movies since it’s only 72 minutes and not 90 minutes. It’s obvious so much was cut & shortened because of what was going on behind the scenes. There was something Mr. Peter Hamilton told me about how bad the movie is and that is how certain characters appear & then disappear, then some other characters have more input in the movie than others do, thus making the viewer question what the fuck is going on. For example: Edgardo Gazcon’s character, a doctor treating Valerio—comes out of nowhere and he seems to have more lines than he should have & his input in the movie just seems so unnecessary. I get that he was a big name during those days, but his minor role of a doctor just should of stayed minor.

Famous Mexican actor Jorge Rivero makes an appearance in the movie as a Latino detective and he just looks totally lost. When the leading detective asks him & the others what are they saying in the bank robbery surveillance video, Jorge Rivero puts his arms up in confusion and it’s totally believable because he seriously looks confused. “what the fuck am I doing here?” Is what Rivero most likely said to himself while filming. He seriously looked that lost & confused! After Rivero’s confusion, he doesn’t appear for a while, then surprise! He’s back all of a sudden near the end doing nothing relevant to what’s going on. Then it seems the movie was setting up a romance between Valerio and his partner Laura (Rosalinda Risso) but it immediately ends when Cecilia “La Perra” kills her. The romance between Valerio & Laura was weak anyway. They never once shared an intimate moment, but a few times it seems they had some kind of thing going on & building up, but they never once touched or even uttered a word of romance. Was this just supposed to be a platonic bond in the style of “In the Mood For Love”? Doubtful. A script change amongst the producer fucked this “romance” up.

I mentioned the movie is hilarious unintentionally and that is because a lot of scenes have more humor than they should have. Any movie has a right to be funny at times, but good lord does La Perra De La Frontera milk this so much. For example: Patricia Rivera & Roberto Palazuelos wear the worst bank robbery disguises ever, which consists of a big red afro wig and cowboy hat with fake mustache. Patricia Rivera also holds a baby that we later find out was stolen off the streets (haha??). Once the robbery is done with, the security guard let’s go of the baby walking and says out loud “señora, your baby?!”  I laugh too much at that scene. It’s incredibly weird and just a big “what in the fuck just happened” moment. The other weird & what in the fuck just happened moment is the cameo of porn legend Ron Jeremy. Ron plays a fictitious version of himself and when he’s being harmed by Valerio to squeal, he says “this is police brutality!”, Valerio responds with “but you’re not Rodney King.” Did I mention this takes place in a strip club? Well it sure does and it is such a weird place with men dancing along with strippers & mud wrestlers. Does this place still exist? I wonder.. I doubt it as well..

I also cannot forget to mention the sex scene between Cecilia & Tim. They’re in the cabin having what’s supposed to be steamy sex, but it is the most awkward & most horribly, funny sex scene I’ve witnessed in quite a while. There is zero chemistry between Patricia Rivera and Roberto Palazuelos. It’s not sexy even in the slightest bit, Palazuelos looked like he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and Patricia seemed way too into it & trying her best, but Palazuelos' awkwardness & his dead eyes ruin it all. The pushing is going hard, but it’s so hilariously bad. I guess I was supposed to be turned on by this “steamy” sex scene and not laugh hard, but I still laughed hard anyway.

La Perra De La Frontera is definitely a weird messy movie, but it does at least have entertaining scenes that aren’t all comedic, such as the “famous” skydiving scene and all the scenes where the guns are firing. I mean sure it’s all fake as hell looking, but it tries to be fun & cool at least! The skydiving scene was a big must for the movie since Peter Hamilton’s friend Tony (who plays Tim’s brother) was heavily into skydiving & doing crazy stunts, so he was able to really show off his stunt talents here. Despite how very unusual everything is, I still liked the characters in the movie. Even the minor ones. As confusing, weird and unnecessary as some of them were, they were all entertaining in their own little weird fucking way. Edgardo Gazcon playing the doctor with too many lines was also entertaining to see. It’s almost like he shouldn’t be there at all, but there he is talking too much & appearing more than he should be. That can also be said of the nurse who treats Valerio, she’s funny & appears too much as well.

Oh, and the cabin & ranch in the movie is presumed to have belonged to the late David Carradine. He was a close friend of the producers and was happy to provide his Sunland ranch for the movie.

After the 3 times I’ve watched La Perra De La Frontera—I  have wondered how much better it could of been if things had went well in production and if the original actress didn’t bail out to go out & get high. Maybe it would of been a cult classic then, maybe it would of been bigger than intended; whatever the case, La Perra De La Frontera is what it is and that is a sloppy, weird and somewhat of an entertaining mess. La Perra De La Frontera for me is a movie that’s worth a look if you’re very curious and heavily into cheesy 90’s action movies. It was entertaining for me overall, despite all the confusion & weirdness and unintentional comedic parts.

Maybe someday someone else will like La Perra De La Frontera as I do and maybe even more. Is it a movie awaiting to become a cult classic 26 years later? Probably not. But hey, you never know though. Some badly-made movies receive the strangest attention & favoritism. Maybe one day it will gain some kind of notoriety. A big, giant fucking maybe though. For now though, La Perra De Frontera lays buried in obscurity circa 1993 under the Film-Mex Entertainment video label.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

An Outrage.

When you spend most of your time watching many, many movies, you feel like you’ve seen it at all. Nothing else you watch next won’t feel much different or make you go “wow!” or some shit like that. Sometimes though, those rare little moments, you might just find a movie that’ll surprise & excite you because it was just so fucking cool & unexpected. That’s pretty much how it felt when I watched Ultraje (also known as "Ultraje De Una Mujer" & "Outrage") for the first time via a copy my good friend Quentin had sent me. Ultraje surprised the fuck out of me and I’m so happy for that. This was a real gem for damn sure. A “wow!” moment in def.

College professor/painter Danny (Troy Donahue) suffered a terrible car accident that has perhaps caused severe head injuries. Ever since the accident, he goes through mood swings and goes off at a couple of his students, one being a young beauty named Kathy (Alicia Encinas) who is very smitten over him. When Danny finds out he has no severe damage to his head from the accident; his doctor does however tell him he should get psychological help for his mood swings & any more injury to his head can definitely lead to some dire consequences. Danny feeling well after his doctor visit; goes to Kathy and they both propose their undying love for each other. Danny & Kathy then marry, have their honeymoon in Acapulco and decide to live together at a secluded cabin in the mountains away from civilization and where Danny plans to just paint for a living.

Time goes by, Danny and Kathy now have a daughter & live in peace in their secluded home up until the arrival of construction workers whom are around the area to build condos & such. When 3 scumbag wood-cutters watch Kathy and her daughter bathe in the river; the scumbags chase after Kathy & then violently rape her. Danny tries to save Kathy, but he suffers a brutal beating that leaves him in a frozen state. After Kathy is raped and Danny still unable to move: their home is accidentally set on fire by the scumbags, Kathy commits suicide, their little daughter is nowhere to be found and when Danny regains conscious, he’s not the same... Danny is now out for revenge for losing his family & life at the hands of “outsiders” of the woods. Danny wanders around the mountains with a hatchet & kills anyone in his way and of course definitely out to kill the men responsible for his shattered life. No one gets in Danny’s way. No one.

When a movie surprises the fuck out of me, then it’s probably gonna be an automatic favorite. Ultraje is that kind of movie for sure! Ultraje has a runtime of 73 minutes, but those 73 minutes are not wasted at all since my eyes were glued to the screen all the way. The movie begins with a romantic ballad playing as we watch Kathy and Danny embracing each other in all white clothing. It seems like the movie is going to be so romantic & peaceful, but this romance between student & professor is shattered away at the hands of ugly evil people. Don’t fall for its depiction of romance & happiness. It’s gonna go away & become a story of tragedy & brutality!

Ultraje is brutal for sure and when I say brutal, it’s because the rape scene is fucked up to see and before that even happens, we watch Kathy & her little daughter in the river trying to fight off the main assaulter, whom by the way doesn’t technically rape her since he couldn’t get his chode hard. Kathy then all of a sudden commits suicide and it’s just so fucked up to see that after everything that has happened. Once Danny is out in the woods chopping people up with his hatchet, it’s pretty damn creepy. The music & POV scenes make it so fucking good and it’s basically proto-slasher stuff right here. There’s not much blood sadly, but then again who needs to see lots of blood when we have some of the music score from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre playing as Danny hunts & chops his victims. Ugh, I loved that so much.

I would never imagine watching a rape/revenge & proto-slasher starring the famous Troy Donahue and Alicia Encinas, but here we are with Ultraje. Which by the way was directed by Raul Fernandez, the man behind all the Rosa Gloria Chagoyan 80’s/90’s epics. His son Rolando, Stars in the movie as the main scumbag and it was quite the surprise to see him. This would be considered his 3rd feature as an actor.

Ultraje is such an usual, brutal movie, but so fucking fascinating as well. I wouldn’t exactly call it a unique movie, but the overall tone of the movie feels so unique & eerie. It’s like a nightmare come true. This is a movie buried in obscurity for whatever reason, but it definitely needs to be out of the dark & known more by all. Ultraje is a special movie and a must see for fans of the rape/revenge genre and even the slasher genre since it comes off like one when Danny is out in the woods for revenge. I can’t recommend this movie enough. Seek it out and you will not be disappointed at all.