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.