Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Desnudate para Vadillo.

Enrique Gomez Vadillo began his career in entertainment through all aspects of theatrical work and he was very successful at it. When he switched on over to movies & TV, he just got even better at his job and more well-connected considering he was given whatever he wanted for his projects and this included a lot of wonderful actors to appear in all of them. 

It was around the late 80’s & early 90’s when Vadillo was solely casting a certain group of actors for all of the independent movies & plays he was making in Mexico & the United States. These certain actors were all loyal to Vadillo because he was making them “stars” and giving them plenty of work. One actor who has wished to remain anonymous told me as much as he enjoyed working in these movies and the plays, he regrets heavily on getting involved with Vadillo on a "personal level" since he was “very demanding & an all around weird man”. The actor lost touch with Vadillo during the mid-90’s and it wasn’t until late 2003 when he received a phone call from an agent of Vadillo’s asking if he was interested in starring in a big budget movie he was making. The actor agreed to meet with Vadillo to personally discuss the role and rather than talk about the role he was to play; Vadillo wanted the actor to strip for him like he used to do many moons ago. The actor of course did not do such a thing since he was now a happily married man & wanted to leave his past “mistakes” behind. He of course didn’t take the role in the new movie and it went to someone else instead. This new movie I speak of is Desnudos. A costly movie directed by Vadillo and produced by Ruben Galindo and Rene Cardona III

In Desnudos we meet “Pablo” (Rafael Amaya), a handsome & talented painter living a peaceful life with a really pretty girlfriend alongside him. Their relationship seems great at first, but later on they drift apart after she enters a career in online pornography through a sleazy acquaintance. We then meet "Diana" (Karma Lozano), who’s trying to please her shady boyfriend so bad to the point where she dresses & pretends to be a whore for him. She gets "pretend" raped by him and she cries. Her boyfriend is awful.

What I just wrote above is what the movie is literally about. It’s literally 98 minutes of two 30something year olds in relationships that eventually severe in peculiar ways and talk a lot. That’s it. And while our main characters live in the same apartment building; the characters never really meet whatsoever (up until the end), but to make it "artsy" and showing how relatable these characters are—they're all filmed together in the same room. For example, you will see both couples having sex at the same time & right next to each other. Metaphorically. It is completely fucking weird. 

In the DVD interview with Enrique Gomez Vadillo, he mentions how the movie was based on a play called “XXXX” (Cuatro Equis) and it was very successful in Mexico and in the United States. Vadillo and an American agent friend of his really loved the play and they thought a movie portrayal would be amazing to see. Sure enough, Vadillo got 2 legendary movie producers to back him up on it and the budget was high enough to shoot the movie beautifully and cast a lot of attractive young actors from that time. Most coming fresh off novelas & theatrical plays. While the cast looked good and the cinematography is beautiful—the movie overall is completely terrible. What happened? Why did this promising sounding/looking movie turn out to be so bad? It seems that Desnudos was heavily rushed in filming and the common change of (terrible) directions came about as well. Desnudos has a good story, but it ultimately fails to tell it since they fill the entire duration with so much boring talk scenes that go absolutely nowhere. The acting in the movie is also pretty atrocious. While these actors are eye candy known for novelas & plays, they clearly were not ready for a full-length feature. It’s like they thought it was going to be just like anything else they’ve done before, but never once thought that this was going to be something much more big & different. 

When Desnudos was released in 2004, Enrique Gomez Vadillo was in decline. He was not the talented director & writer he was once before and this being his last movie ever was very appropriate for him. After a successful run in the 80’s & 90’s and with the novela La Casa En La Playa being his biggest project prior to Desnudos —it was time for this weird old man to let go. He had his fun while it lasted especially since he had all the guys he could ever want. 

Desnudos is not a movie to care for, but a must see if you really enjoy Vadillo’s other movies. Do not expect something remotely decent or a “so bad it’s good” kind of thing because it’s none of that. It’s awful. Truly awful.

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Worst Boy In Town.

During the day, Pepe (Raul Buenfil) is hanging out happily & carefree with his close buddies. They watch a neighbor girl showering through the rooftop of their rundown apartment building, fondle a woman walking by them, singing around in the streets with a guitar, and even head to the local theater to see a certain cult Spanish movie. Right after this usual daily routine of doing nothing and sodomizing a girl; Pepe gets dressed up for the night and it’s quite a twist. You see, Pepe is a transvestite prostitute. He dresses up as a woman and heads out to a small cabaret where men specifically seek sex from other men who dress as women. There’s also some shows going on like a Veronica Castro look-a-like singing a hit song of hers. After the weird show and a few drinks—Pepe calling himself “Emmanuel” fucks a creepy-looking dude who talks too much. 

I watched El Chico Temido De La Vecindad (aka "The Worst Boy In Town") twice and I wondered both times what exactly was director Enrique Gomez Vadillo trying to show us here. Was this hour-long movie trying to send out a social commentary on poverty, homosexuality & transvestism? Something ill about those certain things perhaps? And I say this because most people think Vadillo had portrayed homosexuality in his movies very negatively and I can see why considering Muerte En La Playa is a bitter/psycho-toned movie about a self-hating young gay man, but in Chico Temido it’s just kind of portrayed weirdly. It doesn’t feel negative at all, but it is rather bizarre and even surprising since you don’t expect Pepe to be what he is at night. Pepe comes off as a typical male chauvinist with a high-competitive streak & an eye for women who are easy to get with. I guess you can say Vadillo here was just showing how people really aren’t what they seem. They might just be someone completely fucking different. Pepe also seems to be prostituting himself solely for the income since near the end of the movie he mentions about making money (money made from fucking dudes), and how the money will go to his mother & their bills. With that, it seems there is a poverty/social commentary in this movie as well. A reminder of how many young people in poverty unfortunately resort to sex work. Tragic, but oh so common. 

But aside from whatever commentary/idea Enrique Gomez Vadillo had in mind, he of course got all the guys in the movie completely naked for pleasurable reasons. Vadillo must of had a joyous time filming Chico Temido considering the movie has an infamous shower scene with many dicks flopping around and manly buttocks getting wet. Remember I mentioned the guys go see a certain cult Spanish film? Vadillo puts on a small nod for his first-produced movie which is Navajeros (Dulces Navajas). The guys are watching this movie in the theater and the scene that is playing on the screen is with Isela Vega & José Luis Manzano fucking around. More shots of dicks appear here of course. 

El Chico Temido De La Vecindad is an intriguing little watch and very fucking weird as well. And for it to be super loosely based on a comical folk song makes it all the more fucking weird & intriguing. Maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad. Whatever the case, it is worth a watch for the very curious people in dire need to see all of Enrique Gomez Vadillo’s movies. After all, he was a fascinating filmmaker and a notoriously weird & deranged man, so who would not want to watch movies made by such an intriguingly crazy person like this?