Sunday, July 31, 2022

Ixchel Is A Dog From Hell.

Dogs are a man’s best friend and we’ve known this all our lives because most of us grew up with pet dogs & the mass media of yesteryear (and to this day as well) had often portrayed dogs as the superior choice of pet & often portrayed as the main protagonist in many children’s entertainment programs. In the attention-seeking digital world we live in today, we always see people posting their beloved pet dogs. The cute ones & even the ugly ones. Dogs are sacred to this world, but they can also be quite the vicious creatures and perhaps something not from this world awaiting to cause chaos to the Earth. Yes, I’m being dramatic right now, but this is to hype up La Perra ("The Dog")—a movie about a not so ordinary dog that’s probably from Hell or some shit.

Little miss “Ixchel” is an adoring mixed American Akita dog belonging to a man named Diego (Rafael Baledon) who lives a quiet ranch life alongside his wife Graciela (Lorena Alvarez). Graciela has grown tiresome of the constant attention Ixchel gets from Diego to the point where she’s even envious of it, but Diego however assures that he only loves her very much and simply only cares for Ixchel as a pet. It also seems that Ixchel acts up with Graciela whenever Diego isn’t around and that really makes Graciela both angry & terrified. Normally, the ranch town that Diego & Graciela live in is fairly quiet, but lately there’s been a lot of cops roaming around because of a series of murders being committed in & outside of the town. Ixchel tends to wander off the ranch and on several occasions she arrives back home drenched up in blood. This of course concerns Graciela & a certain police officer who’s been around the area—surely it’s all just a coincidence? One day, Graciela gets fed up with Diego’s constant attention-giving to Ixchel and decides to leave him for good. Graciela then heads off, but ends up stranded outside of town and tries to find salvation in some cave and there she just happens to meet the murderer of the town. Although, it is not who we expect it to be. It’s someone or something far more sinister than we could’ve imagined..

La Perra is a movie I knew about only because it’s in director Christian Gonzalez’s filmography and it’s part of the few titles of his that are hard to find. I eventually acquired a copy of it & I went in with small expectations for it and what a surprise it turned out to be because it truly exceeded my expectations. La Perra is an unusual movie in terms of storytelling & mood and all this is what makes it very special. The relationship between Diego & Graciela is the main focus of the movie and sometimes we see them on good terms, but most of the time Graciela is constantly nagging and mostly because of Ixchel. Ixchel—named after the Aztec goddessis presumably an innocent, ordinary pet dog through out this ordeal, but she’s no ordinary dog for sure and it’s quite obvious when we see her wandering out and later it becomes clear she’s the reason why several people are getting killed. The superstition angle of the movie is extremely vague, but its vagueness is what makes it so damn intriguing. The cherry on top of this sundae of oddity.

As much as I would love to speak of the superstitions of La Perra, I will do no such thing because I feel it’s worth going in on as a surprise. You just have to see it for yourself. La Perra builds up to something truly fucking weird, but also truly fucking amazing as well. Only the twisted mind of Rafael Baledon and the unique/wild direction of Christian Gonzalez could conceive such a movie like this. 

La Perra is an intriguing, superstitious tale about a dog that you won’t see anywhere else. It’s never been emulated by anyone else & nowhere else to be found. I love it. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022


When the opening credits of Mi Nombre Es Gatillo (roughly translating to "My Name Is Trigger") finish rolling, we are then given information on the main antagonist “Andrea” as the Tom Elliot/Ol Georg library track “Brain Bank” plays. It is soothing, eerie & total badass. A perfect mood-setter for the movie.

Pablo Moncada alias “Gatillo” (Alvaro Zermeño) is a Brownsville, TX cop hunting down all the usual criminals wandering around town and all the while being a great father & husband. It’s all very typical up until someone from Gatillo’s past has escaped from custody. That someone from Gatillo's past is “Andrea” (Ana Luisa Peluffo)—Gatillo’s ex wife & mother of his son. Andrea was locked away after getting busted for drug trafficking and while she was about to be transported to prison; a South American guerrilla group lead by a man named Rousseau (Eleazar Garcia Jr) has helped her escape and together they plan on selling more drugs so they can acquire all the high-end weaponry they need for their cause. It’s up to El Gatillo to put a stop to all of this and he won’t let the corruption amongst his superiors nor anyone else affiliated with Andrea & Rousseau get in the way.

Mi Nombre Es Gatillo was directed by Pedro Galindo III just after the big success of Siete En La Mira & Rafaga De Plomo. Pedro III obviously had a natch for making action-crime movies and here with Gatillo he does it again, but this one however feels a lot more limited than the others. The Galindo family—whom for many yearshad a large ranch in Brownsville, TX where they would film all of their movies alongside the actual town itself. Gatillo it seems was fully filmed on this very same ranch with the exception of the bar scenes & the police station. And with that, the movie feels very limited in resources—but regardless of its limitations; Mi Nombre Es Gatillo has plenty of badass action & suspense and mostly consisting of scenes with the late & legendary Alvaro Zermeño. Alvaro of course doesn't disappoint in any of his scenes since he talks tough and acts tough all the way through & has a variety of guns on hand. In one scene, he uses 2 machine guns docked on a truck and it is one of the coolest scenes of the movie! Now that particular scene lacked some exciting ol’ Georg library music there, but it's still so damn good. Ana Luisa Peluffo plays the antagonist Andrea, whom I’ve dubbed “the ex-wife from hell” and Ana of course can play one very mean ladyand a hard one at that. I truly loved her in this movie.

Mi Nombre Es Gatillo may not come off big & exciting like its predecessors; but it is still a very fun watch. It has plenty of action to keep you entertained, a plot that’s intriguing, and of course it features a cast that give great portrayals of the characters they play. Alvaro Zermeño starred in many great movies during the 1980’s and this one I feel is a standout of his. He really seemed to be into being Gatillo”.