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.