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.