Sunday, September 12, 2021

Una Noche En Boyle Heights. “Recuerdos De Cine Mexicano De Culto!” highlights.

Last night was the opening of what was the first ever Trash-Mex event/exhibit entitled “Recuerdos De Cine Mexicano De Culto!” at Re/Arte Centro Litario in Boyle Heights. In this exhibit I presented some of my mass-collection of the most craziest, weirdest, trashiest and wonderful Mexican movies from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. This collection has been building up in the span of 10+ years and never did I imagine I'd have them displayed somewhere other than at home, but here we are now. The posters & lobby cards have settled somewhere nicely for a week. 

The exhibit will be on view till the 18th, so please check Re/Arte's website for business hours.

photo by La Cosecha Internacional

Me and Re/Arte owner Viva Padilla put together the exhibit on Friday night and really put our heart & soul and even some sweat into this since summer is still around & burning all of us hard. Viva did an amazing job of picking out what posters & lobby cards will truly capture the eyes of the viewers and she even knew where to display them perfectly in her exhibit wall and her shop all-around. We basically stayed up all night making sure we had it all up & ready for the following day’s opening.


front door display on the night before of the opening.


Then opening day came and when I arrived, my good friend Alberto (ebay seller midnightrambler37) was at Re/Arte ready to setup his table outside where he was going to sell some Mexican VHS tapes and other Mexican materials as well. I set up my tiny table of tapes for sale outside as well and the better & cooler tapes were displayed inside the shop in a wooden shelf Viva normally puts important books on there. 


some tapes for sale on table. Picture by Eduardo aka El Sapo.

Top of the shelf I set up 6 wonderful books for people to view and the first 3 books are the famous Rogelio Agrasanchez Jr Mexican movie poster books: “Cine Mexicano: Poster Art from the Golden Age”, “Mas! Cine Mexicano: Sensational Mexican Movie Posters” and “Mexican Horror Cinema: posters from Mexican Fantasy Films”. Then there’s “Taboada” which is a book about the career of Mexican horror master Carlos Enrique Taboada. That particular book was put together by JUS, Conaculta (IMCINE) and Morbido. 4th book is “La India María: Mexploitation and the Films of María Elena Velasco” by Seraina Rohrer and the last book that’s very dear to me “Narco Cinema: Sex, Drugs, and Banda Music in Mexico’s B-Filmography” by Ryan Rashotte. I did however lend this book to my good pal Monica Serrano who came by and definitely took an interest in the book when she saw it on display. I told her I’m somewhat in that book since I helped the author get in contact with El Rey De Los Videohomes Christian Gonzalez and that peaked her interest even more so. 


a fragment of the wooden shelf inside. Picture by Monica Serrano.

posters hanging above the wooden shelf. "Hot Summer Enrique Gomez Vadillo Days y mas".

6:00 pm came and while everything was ready, I ran to the nearest liquor store and bought a 24-pack of modelos for anyone craving a drink while viewing the exhibit. After all, we had to serve Mexican beer for a Mexican movie poster exhibit while Mexican music was being played by DJ La Cosecha Internacional (Andres Freyre) & his young son who he has dubbed “DJ Misterio” since he picks a vinyl by random, but it always turns out to be a good one. A really good one.


 

Another DJ also had a set and it was “El Sapo” aka Eduardo Camacho who also just happens to be in one of the coolest bands ever: Healing Gems


El Sapo in action. Picture by La Cosecha Internacional

As the exhibit was coming along, one of the early guests was an Instagram follower @nosferatu1334 who shares an interest in horror, VHS tapes & Mexican films and it was amazing to see him and his family taking a gander around Re/Arte. His enthusiasm in the exhibit really made me feel good; so I pulled out all the posters & lobby cards that didn’t get displayed up and he went through it all & loved every piece. He then bought some movies and I gifted him a lobby card of "La Banda De Los Panchitos" since I truly felt he had to own it and he wanted to share it with his mother who is quite familiar with the real-life panchitos. Amazing, isn’t it? 

La Banda De Los Panchitos lobby card before it went to its new owner.

The night was continually going well and I was there observing/attending to the guests looking at the exhibit. There was a nice couple who came through and the young lady who happened to be from Australia was very intrigued by what she saw and asking questions about whatever actor or title she saw on display. It was a good feeling to tell someone about these movies and for them to say they really want to check out these movies was so damn grand. I hope this young lady watches “Don’t Panic” since I told her it is a must see for her since she’s very into horror & cult films from other countries. She and her partner were also telling me I must screen these movies in theaters because they would gladly go to them and they felt it was something others should experience as well.


Don't Panic/Dimensiones Ocultas Mexican one-sheet poster before its framing.

Afterwards, I attended to a nice gentlemen by the name of Martin Avelar who brought his young son along and explained to him about these kinds of movies and their poster arts. His son was quite impressed by what he saw. It is a good feeling to see the younger generations take an interest in things of the past because it keeps them alive & remembered. Martin wanted a picture with me and to make the picture memorable; I picked out my one-sheet of Ruben Galindo's "357 Magnum" for us to hold, the camera then clicked and the hardest & coolest picture that night was taken. 


the hardest picture taken that night. Many thanks to Martin for sending over the picture.


A group picture of me, Viva, Alberto, Andres & Eduardo was then taken and the specially-made Chiquidracula standee was right in front of us. A fitting moment for all of us contributors.



As the night was coming to an end, I sat outside and felt some cool, relaxing breeze. I thought about what I saw earlier on and I felt happy and not just for myself, but to be able to see people interact with the posters & lobby cards was amazing. They remembered watching those Mexican movies growing up and others began to take an interest in wanting to watch them since it’s something they never really have done before. For someone to say “I gotta check out Ratas De La Ciudad and “Pedro Navaja” was a good feeling because they are going to see 2 amazing Mexican movies from the 1980's and definitely love them as much as I do.

photo by @sandeeclaws


I was telling the couple from earlier on how the Million Dollar Theater in downtown LA would be the perfect spot for Mexican film screenings because that is where they used to exclusively screen them and even premiere them. They said that would definitely be the best experience for that and that I must do it. With Mexican movie posters & lobby cards displayed all over the theater. 

Will I ever get to do such a thing? Will people really come and experience something that was done before in the past? I’m gonna say “yes” because if I managed to get this done, other things can be done as well. That’s a must do in my list. But for now, I hope the week of the exhibit goes by wonderfully and I’m already planning how a 2nd exhibit will be like when I get the chance to do this again. It will be bigger, louder, more pieces up on display and have some live action & suspense going. The sequel to “Recuerdos De Cine Mexicano De Culto!” Will be titled “Cine Mexicano De Culto: La Venganza”. Maybe. Sequels always get different titles after all. 



Saturday, September 4, 2021

Ambushed.

Cattle Rustling has been around since the ancient times. It’s a global thing and in the ranches of rural Mexico it is continually happening and taken very serious. Some get away with it greatly and some ultimately lose their lives brutally because of it.


In a rural ranch town in Mexico, herds of cattle are constantly being robbed by a group of armed men. Many of the cattle are being taken to the United States to be sold out there and some remain in the region in secrecy. The town leaders & ranchers debate on who could be doing this and while some say it’s people outside of the town, others like ranchers Fernando & Mario Tero (Mario & Fernando Almada) truly believe it is someone amongst them. Sure enough, it is someone in town and it is someone with power & lots money and his name is Rosendo (Eric Del Castillo). Rosendo just happens to be the arch-nemesis of Fernando Tero since they both are in constant competition and Rosendo is married to Fernando’s former girlfriend. After losing a race horse bet to Mario Tero; Rosendo is utterly pissed off for losing the race and thus he decides to kill Mario & his winning horse out of pettiness and all while fucking up his ranch as well. After the brutal murder of his brother Mario; Fernando decides to rid of Rosendo and his manipulative ways once & for all! 



Emboscada ("Ambush") was directed by Hernando Name and his filmography is rather impressive since he directed the epic martial arts flick Garra De Tigre (1989) and 2 amazing Susana Dosamantes movies: Rosa De La Frontera (1985) & one of my all-time favorites El Placer De La Venganzq (1986). Hernando had a natch at directing amazing action-crime movies and in Emboscada he yet again proves it with its well-crafted storytelling, perfectly coordinated action scenes and intriguing characters played by an amazing cast who know exactly what type of roles they’re about to get themselves into. 


The Almada brothers here play the typical brute & serious sibling duo and normally Mario is the leading sibling in the movie, but in Emboscada the tables have turned and Fernando this time around is leading the way and I love that since Fernando I feel is just as strong-minded & looking just like his brother is often to be said of. I also have to appreciate Eric Del Castillo playing one of the best & meanest bad guys all around. Eric here plays a powerful rancher whom has it all, but everything he has is practically stolen. This includes his wife & son. As much as you want Eric’s character to get what he deserves; you also have to admire his cockiness & confidence as well. Am I jerk to feel that? Maybe so, but sometimes you got to root for the bad guys too.


Emboscada is an amazing watch and others who have seen the movie can agree with me on that as well. Emboscada is entertaining all the way through with its great plot, intriguing characters and action-shooting scenes. It is a must see!



























Re/Arte & Trash-Mex Presentan: Recuerdos De Cine Mexicano De Culto!

Next Saturday (September the 11th) me and a good friend who runs the cool & cozy literature shop Re/Arte will be having an exhibition of my Original & Vintage Mexican Movie Posters & Lobby Cards. These will be on display at the shop till the 18th.

I'm very happy to finally be able to display my poster/lobby card collection of some of the most funnest, coolest, weirdest & trashiest Mexican movies I'm so dearly fond of. This exhibition is not only about remembering the movies, but also a look back to the times we saw them. "Recuerdos".




There will be an opening reception from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM where I'll be playing some movies & trailers on a screen and also be selling some of my Mexican VHS collection and some cool stickers of Mario Almada & El Santo. It's gonna be a good time! So come hang out, check out the collection and mingle.  


Another good friend of mine: DJ La Cosecha Internacional (you can read about him here:(https://www.latinxspaces.com/latinx-music/keeping-the-past-alive-a-conversation-with-andres-freyre) will be playing some amazing old Mexican music on vinyl. This too will be part of the "Recuerdos" theme of the exhibition.


 It's gonna be a good time, so come hang out for a Mexican nostalgia blast! 


If you can't come the 11th, drop by Re/Arte anytime during the week to view the exhibition! It's up until the 18th!


https://www.facebook.com/events/2967233483527905/


2014 1/2 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90033



Saturday, July 24, 2021

Salvame Mi Rey.

At the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, an oil painting by Hippolyte Flandrin is displayed there and it is of a lost, naked young man sitting by the sea, awaiting for salvation. That very same painting is often seen in Salvame! Una Luz En La Obscuridad (aka Save Me! A Light In the Darkness), a movie about a young man lost in a sea of drugs & alcohol and seeking salvation. 


Salvame Mi Rey. Salvame. 



After the murder of his beloved grandfather, Ricardo Maso (Roberto Palazuelos) has struggled through out his life. He really wants to be a singer, but he doesn’t really try to be one and instead just drinks heavily & takes drugs with all his other little rich friends (former close friends of Palazuelos: Pedro Moctezuma & Leonardo García). Ricardo resides in a giant mansion that his grandfather had left him and it's there where he does the most partying at and with the large fortune he was left with, it is mostly spent on alcohol & drugs. Ricardo’s estranged father (Hugo Stiglitz) tries to convince him that he has to do something meaningful with his life, but Ricardo doesn’t listen and continues with his party hard days. Ricardo still heavily traumatized by the death of his grandfather; decides to avenge his death as a way to cope and to “get even”. Ricardo manages to track down the man (Manuel Ojeda) who killed his grandfather and proceeds to blow his brains out. Ricardo thought this would end his troubling ways, but it only leads to more trauma and excessive drug & alcohol use. Ricardo is spiraling out of control until he begins to date a pretty girl named Natalie (Gabriela Platas). Natalie manages to keep Ricardo off his addictions but he later gives in to temptation and his once-promising relationship with Natalie sadly ends. Afterwards, Ricardo yet again recovers and finally takes his music career serious and becomes a famous singer in Mexico! Salvation at last! 


Roberto Palazuelos has been an interesting figure in Mexico for many years and his life has been a big interest for the media. Palazuelos has always spoke about his life in interviews and when he gained much more notoriety after his questionable portrayal in the Luis Miguel series, the media continuously spoke of Palazuelos’ intriguing life. Roberto Palazuelos is from an aristocratic family based in Acapulco, Guerrero. He grew up without his parents and solely raised by his big-time lawyer grandfather who was assassinated when Palazuelos was only 4 years old. The trauma from losing his grandfather, no real paternal figures around and just hanging around with a “bad” crowd, Palazuelos’ life was a complete mess and while he was trying to break out as an actor; his drug & alcohol abuse very much got in the way of it. Eventually, Palazuelos cleaned himself up and began to act again and later became an important businessman & attorney in his native Acapulco. He is doing quite well for himself these days and his notoriety is bigger than ever. He is admired for this and also because of his giant ego that he proudly flaunts.

 

Palazuelos seems to talk about everything he has ever done, but he doesn’t exactly go into what kind of acting work he’s done besides television. He doesn’t mention any of the movies he starred in and he especially doesn’t go into detail of the movie he made after becoming fully sober. It’s almost as if he is trying to forget it, which is peculiar since Palazuelos really enjoys talking about himself. The good or the bad. It was about 3 years ago when I first heard that Palazuelos had made a movie about his early life and how he funded most of the production, co-wrote the script, had his close friend (at the time) Pedro Moctezuma provide the music and Palazuelos even directed the movie alongside Adolfo Martinez Solares. Palazuelos put a lot of work into this “epic” movie of his, but since then nothing came about it. Its home video releases are very hard to find and it rarely to never airs on TV. It is a very rare movie and for me I had to get my hands on it one way or another. Patience & faith helped me with acquiring a copy, a Baja Films VHS release to be exact and under the title “El Que A Hierro Mata, A Hierro Muere”. This crazy retitling comes from a line said in the movie.


After finally acquiring a copy of Salvame and watching it twice; I was surely not disappointed by it, but of course couldn’t help but notice how truly bizarre the movie really is. It is bizarre because Palazuelos was really shoving his life story up the ass of this movie and giving it many money shots of cheesy drama, cheesy romance, cheesy as fuck music and it even has an anti-drug message thrown in as well. And I cannot forget to mention the movie’s obvious Coca-Cola product placements since there are Coke cans & Coke signs visible through out the entire duration, but what’s even more peculiar than the Coke placements all around is the music that Palazuelos’ former friend Pedro Moctezuma had recorded for Palazuelos to lip-sync over. They’re all very cheesy-sounding 1990's songs. One song is called “Salvame” and it is an ultra-cheesy ballad that plays during a scene where a “lost“ Palazuelos is at the beach thinking of his many fuck ups in life. In a nightclub scene, “Ven A Mi”  plays loudly and it sounds like your typical 1990’s club music but much, much cheesier.


Salvame! Una Luz En La Obscuridad is a heavily-bloated movie, but it is very entertaining. Yes it’s very cheesy and very bizarre, but its a fun time overall. It is a shame this movie is heavily ignored and very much forgotten since it honestly deserves attention, especially amongst the crazy fans that Palazuelos has. This is basically his memoir right here. His Scarface. His Gone with the Wind. His Diary of Anne Frank. Maybe one day Palazuelos will speak about Salvame, but until then it remains hidden away & forgotten except here at Trash-Mex where it is now proudly preserved and celebrated.


Recuérdate de tu pelicula, Mi Rey. Recuérdate.



"Salvame" song featured in the movie: