Thursday, July 2, 2020

Just Another Saturday.

The last time I wrote about a Pedro Fernandez movie, he was younger, singing sappy mariachi songs and in love with a little blind girl. Now, here he is much more grown & in love with the finest, sexiest, hottest, cutest, bestest Mexican pop star of the 1980’s. He also just happens to be fighting with the chubby younger brother of Valentin Trujillo. It doesn’t get any better than that, huh? Ahh!

In Un Sabado Mas (aka "Just Another Saturday"), we meet Martin (Pedro Fernandez); your typical teenage guy that owns an old motocross bike and has a neglectful alcoholic father who can’t get over his wife leaving him. Martin uses motocross as his escape from his troubling home, but even when he’s out riding his bike, he’s getting bullied by the town mayor’s son Diego (Gilberto Trujillo); a portly snobby fool with a brand-new looking motocross bike & a cute girlfriend named Tania (Tatiana). When Diego and his friends gang up on Martin all by himself; Tania dislikes what has happened to Martin and ultimately leaves Diego to be alongside Martin instead. Diego then challenges Martin to a motocross race to prove who’s the best in town! With the help of a retired pro motocross rider “El Grande” (Jose Elias Moreno) and his friends, Martin trains very hard so that he can beat his rival Diego and prove that he is truly the best! 

Un Sabado Mas came about during the mid-80’s when teen movies everywhere were thriving and naturally Mexican filmmakers wanted to get into this as well. Most of the movies they’ve had starring teenagers were usually sappy musical melodramas and nothing ever raunchy and definitely lacked having some exciting sport-themed movies just like they were doing over in Canada and the USA. Writer Kiki Galindo and director Sergio Vejar teamed up for a 3rd time writing yet another teen movie starring Pedro Fernandez, but this time around it would be an exciting sport-themed movie and the leading lady would not be Lucero again, but Tatiana; another very popular teen singer of that time.

With 2 very popular young musicians of that time in the movie, Pedro Fernandez and Tatiana sing several songs in the movie and they’re corny songs about young love & the theme song of the movie “Un Sabado Mas” is catchy & upbeat and very, very corny.

 The movie opens with Pedro Fernandez’s “Pidiendo Ride” (Asking For A Ride) and it’s all about Pedro wanting to dance rock 'n' roll with someone special, but instead only gets girls wanting a free ride from him in his Cadillac. It is so cheesy, but I still dig it a lot. Tatiana sings a couple of solo songs and one of them is called “Me Vuelves Loca” (You're Driving Me Crazy) and it’s completely cheesy as hell and the scene accompanying the song is like a music video with Tatiana singing around and walking with Pedro alongside. Ahhh, young cheesy love.. 

The most corniest song of the movie is “Manequi” (Mannequin) and the song plays as Martin longs for Tania’s attention while she poses around as a mannequin & ignoring him. “Manequi, Manequiiiiii, no te burles de miiii!!” (Mannequin, Mannequin, don't laugh at meee!!) Martin sings as Tania shows zero signs of movement & emotion. How metaphorical! 

Un Sabado Mas is a very enjoyable corny Mexican teen flick. Pedro Fernandez as always is great to see in action and this time around he’s riding around a motocross bike and simping over Tatiana’s character Tania since she’s the girl he really wants, despite her being with his rival. That’s one of the things I enjoyed about the movie actually because Pedro’s character Martin has a really cute girl all over him, but he tells her straight up he only sees her as a friend and then he rushes right away to Tania who right away runs to him after seeing what a complete dick Diego is. Such an unusual romance going on here, but it felt realistic at the same time since you know how most relationships are built up on peculiar moments like these. At least from my experiences that is (haha!)

What makes the movie truly enjoyable though is how positive it stays. It never goes unusually dark or unrealistic, it just tells a simple, cheesy story of a young guy achieving in his enthusiasm of motocross racing, getting the girl he wants and beating someone who thinks they’re better than everyone when they’re really not. It is a movie for aspiring winners & for the whole family to enjoy on just another Saturday. 

Un Sabado Mas was released on VHS and DVD and like with most Mexican movies these days, the physical media for it is getting harder to find now. Someone a while back tried to sell a Un Sabado Mas VHS copy for $200 on eBay, but of course nobody would ever pay that much for it. Not even weirdo me. The movie is worth a fair price I’ll say, but nothing to make a quick huge buck off of. It airs on cable tv often, so catch it on there sometime! 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Famous Gunmen.

When Lucio Peña (Mario Almada) gets word that his brother has been gunned down by bar goons; Lucio then grabs his father’s gun & fires away at his brother’s killers. Lucio now on the run from the law; meets up with his friend Zeferino (Fernando Almada) who just happens to be a hired gunmen for local mobsters. Lucio is then taken under Zeferino’s wing and goes along with the hits him & other gunmen El Coyote (Lorenzo de Monteclaro) & Generoso (Alvaro Zermeño) are hired to do. The quartet then become “famous” working together & often get hired by a big time mob boss (Roberto Cañedo) who just happens to be married to Lucio’s long lost love Mayra (Rossy Mendoza)

 When Pistoleros Famosos (aka "Famous Gunmen") was first released, it was a smash hit all over Mexico & the United States and it’s pretty obvious why since the movie features an all-star cast, a great story based on a very popular corrido and of course has lots of cool gun-firing action. This is a movie that is going to entertain you all the way through with no bullshit whatsoever. 

 Mario Almada really outdid himself as the newly gunmen Lucio Peña since he played this role so believably well. Lucio was once a man who at first had not much going for him & the only woman he ever loved disappeared on him. Once he avenges his brother’s death; his life changes to one of crime & he’s living it up and when he finds his lost love Mayra after so many years, he does whatever it takes to get her out of the hands of his boss. He found what he was looking for almost all his life, but sadly in the wrong places. Lucio is the kind of character all too familiar among regional Mexico. Another interesting character of the movie is Alvaro Zermeño’s Generoso since this man is full of emotions & straight up shows no mercy when it comes to his work. We are introduced to Generoso drinking away in a dive bar after getting his heartbroken by a woman. He talks about his fear of death, which to him will be in the appearance of an attractive young woman. This of course is introduced later in the movie and it’s so poetic & eerie. Generoso despite his tough appearance, just wants to be loved because he’s never truly found it from anyone he thought have loved him. Generoso is yet another kind of character all too familiar among regional Mexico. A man full of emotions & fears, but trying to hide it among drinking heavily & working hard. 

Every character in the movie is so interesting, but Mario’s & Alvaro’s have always intrigued me since they have so much to tell about and what is told is often something we have heard about before. In some cases, we have known people like this as well. 

 Next to its intriguing plot & characters, the music in the movie is wonderfully picked. The corrido that the movie is based on “Pistoleros Famosos” is played beautifully by the original Los Cadetes De Linares. I’m not 100% sure that these were based on real gunmen from Nuevo León, but more than likely they were since this was written by popular singer/songwriter Julian Garza who had often written songs about real criminals. “Pistoleros Famosos” had been around since the early 70’s and had been recorded first by the duo Carlos y Jose, but it wasn’t until the 80’s when Los Cadetes De Linares covered it that it became a very popular song that is still beloved to this day. It naturally plays in the opening credits & ending of the movie. Los Cadetes De Linares also appear in the movie performing “El Asesino” as our 4 gunmen arrive to the party looking so badass. As Los Cadetes perform El Asesino, we get glimpses of everyone at the party watching the performance & then we see our gunmen watching the performance & really getting into the song. They either smile & nod to the song as if they are agreeing with what’s being sung about, which is telling the story of a man who finds out his wife has deceived him with another man, so he then kills her and while he knows he has to pay for his crime, he will turn himself in only after he kills his wife’s lover. True machismo shit right here!

Popular mariachi singer Rosenda Bernal performs a sappy love song that goes perfectly well with the scene going on and that is when Lucio sees Mayra for the first time in a long time. They stare at each other and you can see the love & sadness they both have for each other. Another popular singer named Ramon Ayala performs in the movie as his girl dances away with a drunkard at the bar. "Chaparra De Mi Amor" is the song that plays and it's a very catchy song that is still adored to this very day.

I also cannot forget to mention how much action is in the movie! While it’s not crazy like Entre Hierba, Polvo y Plomo, we still get plenty of gun-firing action from our famous gunmen and we all love seeing the Almada brothers shooting away and Alvaro Zermeño just as well. The shootout between the gunmen and their boss is one of my favorite scenes since they kill all the guards & while it’s only the boss left standing, he lets Mayra go to Lucio and all the boss has now is defeat from the men he once relied on for his dirty work. Augh! Amazing.. 

Pistoleros Famosos is a movie that came from a popular corrido and brought to life perfectly. This is a movie that was so hyped up back in the day and you will see why. There have been plenty of movies like this for sure, but Pistoleros Famosos still stands out so much right next to La Banda Del Carro Rojo. It is a must see for Almada Brothers enthusiasts & action movie enthusiasts as well. Do not miss the most badass movie ever shot in Monterey, Nuevo León.