In almost every single movie from director Enrique Gomez Vadillo, there’s always a young & muscular guy that is completely shirtless for the entire duration of the movie. If not shirtless, then they get full-on nude for sure. No doubt Vadillo wanted the actors in his movies to show themselves off to spice up the already sexual-themed movie, but to also please him as well.
Based on a play by Rodolfo Rodríguez; In “Machos”, anything goes. You don’t enter the club just to watch men strip and have a couple of drinks, you can also sleep with the strippers if you surely desire to. The young men who work at Machos are all casual individuals working there for survival. A regular job anywhere else is out of the question since the owner of Machos is a powerful, rich woman named Brenda (Sonia Infante) whom pays her guys all very well, but she’s also very demanding & crude towards them. Brenda tells her guys that they must please their customers all the way after dancing. Kind of like a cashier pushing you to sign up for a credit card, but in this case it’s a single night of getting fucked by the male stripper who just danced for you. Brenda’s right-hand man and MC of Machos “Meztli” (Flaco Guzman) is always good to the guys of the club even if his cranky, flamboyance & sarcastic demeanor says otherwise. The white face makeup Meztli has on all the time truly hides away his inner demons. He’s fucked up in the past and that guilt never goes away, especially since he’s working alongside Brenda who just happens to be his ex-wife and mother of their very troubled son.
I came across Machos long ago in a VHS trailer that played off the movie as a sort of care-free drama, but when I finally watched the actual movie; it was far from being care-free. Machos is a deep drama with characters facing harsh bumps that are in everyday life, but they try to make the best of it and work hard. In the case of the new stripper “Miguel”, he joins Machos as a way to pay off legal fees for a good friend that got herself in a bad situation. Miguel later gets stuck working there since the money he makes dancing & prostituting is really good, but he has to deal with his boss Brenda often and she’s very bitter & manipulative towards him and to the others guys as well. The rest of the characters of Machos deal with their relationships & family life, growing debts and 2 of the guys are having a secret affair with each other which later leads to a conflict in front of everyone. Heartbreak ensues of course.
Machos has a lot going on and none of it is ever really dull. It’s all intriguing if anything. Director Enrique Gomez Vadillo had made plenty of interesting movies prior to Machos and all of them dealing with homosexuality, sexual awakenings & everyday life struggles, so this was nothing new to see from him; but yet again he brought a great movie for us to see.
If there is something I’ve learned about the notorious Enrique Gomez Vadillo, it’s that he really loved young guys. He was an exploiter of them as well. He always had his young male actors appear nude in his movies and naturally with Machos being a stripper movie, every guy in the movie gets naked. Full-on or just barely covered. We see plenty of muscular chests, muscular male butts and little bits of dicks wobbling around on screen. Vadillo must of been drooling over all this for sure and likely tried to get these guys in bed with him after filming. He was known for that and I’ve asked people that were close to him & have worked with him and it can be confirmed that Vadillo definitely was fucking around with his male actors. The famous ones and the not so famous ones. After Vadillo‘s death in 2017, Some of these actors have claimed they were sexually harassed by a career-threatening Vadillo and some have just casually said it was all “part of the job”.
Machos is an intriguing watch and I really enjoy it for what it is. I feel had it gotten a higher-budget & publicity, the movie would have been a big deal & beloved. Sadly though, Machos has long been forgotten and quite hard to acquire like several other Enrique Gomez Vadillo titles from the 90’s. If you’re already familiar with movies like Muerte En La Playa and El Chico Temido De La Vecindad, then you’ll for sure enjoy Machos right away. A definite must see if found.