Friday, October 29, 2021

All The Love In The World is in Veracruz.

 I was 13 years old when I first heard the 80’s love song “All The Love In The World” by The Outfield and I was very into it since it would make me think about a girl in my English class that I had a huge crush on. As the song would repeatedly play on my portable CD player; I would fantasize going out with my crush and experiencing many precious moments with her. Later on, I was crushing on another girl from a different school and another from my PE class. 3 crushes at 13? Typical for an awkward & hormonal teenage boy. I certainly wanted “All The Love In The World” then and to this day I still do. From 13 to now 31, All The Love In The World is a song I still listen to, but during cleaning mostly or commutes home while listening to it on several classic rock radio stations in Los Angeles. 

One day I was watching a movie I’ve never heard of before & made by someone I’m beyond clueless of and that very same Outfield song I obsessed over as a teenager plays in the movie! Muerte Brutal ("Brutal Death") is the movie I speak of and the cinematographer seemed to be such a big fan of the song that you can actually hear them singing along to it. It is incredible. Unprofessional filmmaking skills? Maybe so, but you can’t blame them for wanting to sing a long since it is such a great song. Shit, I'd do it as well. 

Muerte Brutal begins in Veracruz’s “Sapos Discothec” where 2 young ladies are chatting away about life and proceed to dance to All The In Love The World with some young fellows. Later on, one of the young ladies walks home but takes up a ride with a man whom she seems to be familiar with. They then end up at the beach to make out, the man tells the young lady that he “loves” her and when she rejects his “romantic” advances; he proceeds to strangle her with a piece of rope and laughs very manically. After this murder, more young ladies are murdered by the same man with the same motive and on that same part of the beach! Who could be doing this and why all the sappy romantic bullshit beforehand? It’s obvious this man is truly deranged and 2 local cops are hard at work to capture this guy and things of course complicate when they have to keep up with suspects, one in particular since he was connected to the first victim & he also just happens to be a big-time criminal as well. 

Muerte Brutal is a movie with many obvious flaws and before you even think this begins with the cinematographer singing, well you’re wrong there because them singing All The Love In The World is not a bad thing at all. That part can be overlooked for sure, but what cannot be overlooked is how the movie focuses a little too much on the big-i criminal character as if he really fucking mattered. I mean sure, he is a suspect in the string of murders and loves to party with girls younger than him, but he’s not an interesting character at all and the sole focus should've been on the actual killer instead. 

The actual killer’s identity isn’t necessarily hidden either by the way since we meet him half-way through and he seems kind of normal despite wearing a stupid newsboy cap that all the aging/balding male punks wear. His motive for the killings aren’t exactly all clear, but he seems troubled by a past love of his & has a strong hatred towards women because of it. Now going more deep into that would've been far more interesting to see rather than that big-time criminal whining & complaining. The cops chasing after our antagonists are played by Antonio Raxel & Roberto “Flaco” Guzman. Flaco here has no mustache and it was a big distraction for me since I’ve rarely seen him without a mustache. What was going on here? Is this yet more proof to me that Mexican actors were often wearing fake mustaches in movies?? Did he have to shave it maybe? Whatever the case, Flaco looked way too different here and I was just not into this look at all. He does however dress in drag in a couple of scenes and that was quite amusing to see at least.

Muerte Brutal is beyond being the best movie ever, but despite its flaws with focusing heavily on boring characters, Flaco Guzman’s lack of a mustache, and that stupid newsboy cap the killer wears; I still think it’s worth a watch or two. It is dull at times, but the scenes with the killer are quite amusing since his mannerisms & repetitive lines of romance/hatred are believable. It truly feels like a psychopath is right on the screen, not an exaggeration nor a poor portrayal. Again though, I only wish the killer was solely focused on. 

I long to know what became of director Alfonso Sanchez Olmos because he directed 3 movies in the late 1980’s and that was it. Not another movie afterwards. The movie he made before Muerte Brutal is called “Un Asesino Anda Suelto” and I found it interesting because it sounds like yet another psycho killer flick. At first I thought it was just a retitling of Muerte Brutal, but the IMDb listing has 3 actors whom don’t appear in Muerte Brutal at all, so this is for sure a completely different movie and one that needs to be found ASAP.  

Muerte Brutal wasn’t ever released on DVD and the VHS by Mex-American Video Corp isn’t easy to find either, so digging for it will be a challenge just as finding all the love in the world. If you do find it, then you’ll probably enjoy it for what it is—just don’t expect a full-on slasher or anything like that. This is a straight up crime-thriller that just happens to have a serial killer on the loose. It was also shot on videotape, so that weird raw energy that most SOV movies have is also in Muerte Brutal as well.