Saturday, June 29, 2024

Gossiping in the Hot Land.

In Hembras De Tierra Caliente (roughly translating as "Women of the Hot Land"), a lot of gossiping goes on in a small town in Veracruz. And while the gossip does consist of actual things happening, it is also full of exaggerations as well. 

Several days before the first day of lent,
Carmen (Angelica Chain) & her younger sister Anita (Leticia Alarcon) head out to the city of Veracruz with some of their neighbors for the annual Carnival. Another local heading out to Veracruz on the very same day is the young priest Father Diego (Alejandro Ruiz) who is still trying to commit to his practice & not give in to any temptations. At Carnival, Father Diego is randomly kissed by a masked woman who kind of looks like Carmen, but also looks kind of like Anita. Father Diego takes this random act of lust badly to the point where he asks his mentor Father Alfonso (brief appearance of Mario Almada) for forgiveness. 

When Carmen & Anita and everyone in their group come back home, all seems to be well until the well-known neighbor “Bracamontes” dies in a car accident after drinking too much. One of the town ladies claims to have seen Carmen drinking with Bracamontes prior to the accident and this leads to more women in town gossiping about Carmen flirting & sleeping around with men in town. As Easter Sunday approaches, the gossiping in town gets worse for Carmen & this will all lead to several terrible consequences.

Hembras De Tierra Caliente comes freshly from 1990 and like many erotic melodramas of its time, it features a familiar tale of hypocrisy & much lust. While the film features no nudity at all, there’s still lots of eroticism to see with Angelica Chain’s character Carmen sweating away in her little dresses & showing off her legs, and Father Diego’s much attentiveness towards Carmen’s lips & cleavage. Surely the production really had to have Angelica Chain front & center in the erotic department. 

There’s also of course a religion aspect in Hembras with the word “blasphemy” being said around a lot and near the end the film, the women of the town throw rocks at Carmen as a symbolism of the Bible verse “Let he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”. Father Diego is in the center of all that’s going on and the film tries to focus on his own personal demons with keeping true to his faith, but also feeling like he’s losing himself through lust. I will say though that at times Father Diego felt rather pointless to have around, especially with the film focusing far more on the town’s hypocrisy. Perhaps the character of Father Diego was just added in to “spice” things up? Maybe so. 

Overall, I enjoy Hembras De Tierra Caliente for what it is and trying to be. The vibrant small coastal-town setting is wonderful to look at and Angelica Chain is also always wonderful to look at. This appears to be her final film as well with both filming & release timing. 

Hembras De Tierra Caliente is an interesting adios for Miss Chain. 

Stream Hembras De Tierra Caliente on Picardia Nacional