Dr. Thorpe: Las Calenturas de Juan Camaney: the most shocking and disturbing horror movie in Mexican cinema history.
Zack: My theory on this one is that there were two brothers in Mexico. One of them went to college in the United States and the other became a movie director. The one who went to the United States wrote a letter back to his brother in Mexico telling him about reading Fear and Loathing Las Vegas. He described it vaguely and with imperfect memory. His brother then immediately began filming a version of it.
Dr. Thorpe: I think the best part of this cover is the gay midget scornfully poo-pooing the contents of the girlie magazine. That kind of political incorrectness would never fly in modern American movies.
Zack: This is the kind of movie that gets an "X" rating at the border just to serve as a sort of cultural preservation safety valve. If an impressionable American kid got his hands on this tape his life would be forever tarnished.
Dr. Thorpe: You know what? All these movie covers have been kind of pissing me off, because they make me realize how boring our movies are. Seriously, there was like a five-year window in the 80s when Americans produced movies like this, but they dried up when Steve Guttenberg wore out his welcome and they've never made a comeback. Things like American Pie are just sad attempts at the sort of artistic excellence that Mexico has been producing for decades without slowing down.
Zack: Yeah, I know what you mean. We had like a window starting from the late 70s blaxploitation and then breaking into mainstream in the 1980s. Just constant explosions and sex in the action movies and constant sex and slapstick in the comedies. Where is the Porky's of 2006? Hell, we don't even have a Porky's 3 of 2006.
Dr. Thorpe: Do you want to hear a sad story, man? One time I rented a movie called "Black Sping Break," which had a picture of a hot, scantily-clad black woman on the cover. I was thinking "finally, this is it, America produces a movie on par with Mexican comedy cinema." And I watched the thing and it was just a bunch of young people having frank discussions about credit card debt and relationship problems. It had none of the rambunctious booty-shaking that you would expect from a movie called "Black Spring Break." It might as well have been called "Black Credit Ratings."
Zack: "Black Fiduciary Realism"
Dr. Thorpe: Yeah, it's as if some filmmaker was given $30,000 to make "Black Spring Break," and he had some sort of difficult moral struggle and decided to make a Black Spring Break with a message, but he fucked it up because he was only barely smart enough to film a proper Black Spring Break, so a Black Spring Break with some kind of socially relevant content was waaaaay beyond his grasp.
Zack: The closest thing to this sort of movie we have had in the past decade are the Ernest movies and even those had only suggested sex. With Jim Varney rotting in the ground all is truly lost.
Dr. Thorpe: At least Jim Varney had a nickname.
Zack: I had a similar experience to your "Black Spring Break" incident when I watched Barbershop 2. They had a perfectly serviceable late 1980s "new slick competitor with no heart coming to the neighborhood" plotline and then they had to add a bunch of weird shit about racism and murder flashbacks.
Dr. Thorpe: Yeah, if it were a real comedy, they would hire scantily-clad women to operate it and call it "Bikini Barbershop." Everyone knows that's the REAL answer to saving a failing family business.
Zack: Barbershop 2 didn't even have fat girls in thongs washing cars or a woman taking her top off and yelling "wooooooo!" with total abandon.
Dr. Thorpe: In real comedies, drunkenness is funny, women are objects, gays are swishing nancies, and no situation is too serious for a wacky sound effect.
Zack: And every conflict can be resolved in the span of a three-minute montage followed by a climactic confrontation. The best comedies managed to work all of the elements you mentioned into that three minute montage for an information-dense movie-within-a-movie.