Prostitution, AIDS spreading, hopeless romances, brutal criminals taking advantage of the poor, & people living on the streets. This movie directed by Lazaro Morales George has a lot going on and a lot of it is very rough stuff and it all feels so damn trashy, too. And you know what gives it a more trashy feeling? Its opening/closing credits song that consists of a Casio keyboard playing & a man singing about loving a prostitute. All obviously done in one crummy take.
Martha (Andrea Aguirre) and her boyfriend (Raul Araiza) are approached by corrupt police captain Robles (Claudio Baez) after its found out that Martha's boyfriend had stolen & lost a truck belonging to Robles which contained a ton of cocaine. To repay for the lost drug shipment, Martha’s boyfriend robs people of their money and Martha becomes a waitress/shitty dancer at one of Robles' cabarets. Robles begins to get a hard-on for Martha and he wants her all to himself and so badly that he rids of her boyfriend by having him killed and even going as far as getting Martha’s parents killed so she is left all alone. Robles then takes in Martha and has her work as a prostitute alongside others he has. We are then introduced to prostitute "Rosita" (Rosario Escobar) who ends up falling in love with a regular customer of hers (Omar Fierro) and their relationship gets more serious as they spend more time together. When Robles takes notice of this, he gets the boyfriend killed and gets Rosita infected with AIDS. Rosita then leaves to another part of town to “die” and is taken in by various homeless guys whom genuinely take care of her with whatever little means they have.
Mujeres De La Calle: Prostitucion y SIDA is one of the several titles that was part of a sort-of rumbera/prostitute movie revisal that happened during the late 1980’s & early 1990’s. The formula for these movies were rather simple & always the same: A woman works as a dancer, cabaret singer, or forced into prostitution & always becomes an object of desire for the leading male characters (2 of them to be exact) and many conflicts ensue of course. Mujeres De La Calle is a lot like its inspirations from the past (1940’s-1960’s), but clearly updated with the current troubles of the time—in particular the AIDS epidemic. The movie of course isn't always serious despite its heavy conflicts—it also tries to be funny at times and mostly when it comes to the prostitutes getting with customers. There’s one scene with a little person trying to get up in the bed while Martha awaits for him in amusement. Then there's also light-hearted moments and mostly with the blossoming romance between Rosita and Omar Fierro's character. Could it work out? Will it work out? Cleary not, but the little hope of it all is there.
Mujeres De La Calle was shot on location and clearly in an actual rough Mexican neighborhood with working-class people, prostitutes & homeless people. This all made the movie look & feel genuine and this of course alongside a wonderful cast playing their roles perfectly—In particular Gerardo Zepeda, whom plays the big-hearted homeless man. Now the best character/most realistic of Mujeres De La Calle is the main antagonist who’s played by Claudio Baez. Claudio Baez can play one mean ass dude and here he does it 100% well & does many fucked up things to prove it. Claudio had always got into his bad guy roles and what a natural he was at it! Jorge Ortin as well naturally plays an evil-motherfucker and one who takes pleasure in beating & killing people. He’s also in the peculiar “erotic” scenes of the movie, which makes it even more hilarious. At least to me that is.
Mujeres De La Calle: Prostitucion y SIDA is neither an epic nor a bad movie, but it is quite enjoyable for what it is. It is a rude, cheap & trashy melodrama that can be enjoyed whenever. That opening credits song will haunt you though. Haunt you in cringe that is.