DVD Review By Angelina Licchelli & Sian Willmott:
El Luchador Implacable is a 2006 film by Amado Portillo starring Dos Caras Jr a.k.a. Alberto Del Rio a.k.a. Bert Rivers, and is truly an acting tour de force.
A summary that I copied from Rotten Tomatoes (because there were no English subs and we didn’t know wtf most of the time) goes a little like this:
” When a group of young hooligans make the fateful mistake of attacking a professional wrestler, their criminal careers come to a swift end in this action-packed crime thriller starring Dos Caras, Jr. and Paco Ibanez. ”
This summary fails to capture the pure magic of this film, however. It also fails to mention that it stars Mexican Tommy Dreamer, Mexican Damian Sandow and Mexican Samoa Joe/Pete Gas.
Before we begin I’d like to advise watching this film with a bunch of mates whilst getting very drunk.
**Warning** viewing could cause severe LOL’s, bleeding throats from laughter and stomach cramps of the highest degree.
We open with some very low quality, frankly suspect footage of a Dos Caras Jr match. As usual Bert is being his suave, magnificent self and kicking asses whilst the wordart opening titles scrawl onto the screen. Rey Misterio is listed as starring but we didn’t see him anywhere, so he’s either too small for the shot or has just been added in to troll Bert.
From here we move on to meet our group of badass rebels who are in the middle of having some kind of bike race on the side of a hill, because they’re hooligans and that’s how they roll. This film is from 2006 but the amount of denim on denim outfits suggest a serious regression in time.
The winner of said bike race is being congratulated by his team, and the losing side (feat Mexican Tommy Dreamer) are having a bit of a barny about the whole thing. They’re gonna have another race but this time in cars. I don’t know why, maybe they’re just being bitter betties.
Even in Spanish I can tell this acting is fucking terrible and I love it.
Anyway the same team win again and some skinny dude on Tommy Dreamer’s team starts mouthing off. No good can come of this! He is punched out and everyone has a lol. We cut to another angle and…Hang on, the guy that was just punched to the ground has magically teleported to his feet again. Fucking five stars, Mexico!
More arguing and hell no it’s on now! Everyone get’s into a mass brawl of choreographed, over exagerated fighting. One guy is stabbed! The effects are hollywood-esque. It was Mexican Tommy Dreamer that did it, cos he’s hardcore and all that. Another guy makes a run for it and is chased and run over in one of the cars. Everyone proceeds to get the hell out of dodge.
The only skinny guy in the group then proceeds to run away, and since he is so much faster than the car chasing him, it seems like a logical step. Oh no, he can’t keep up the pace and BAM! He dead.
Oh here’s Alberto Del Rio, and a ladyfriend on a Harley, now it’s important to point out here that the 87 minutes that this film runs, would be drastically sliced to some 55 minutes, if we removed all pointless footage of people riding and driving unimpressive vehicles around the rather hilly setting. Now it is unclear if these are a number of hills or if it is the same hill used for every driving scene. I jest of course, it is definitely the same hill.
Also, this serves as an interesting Travel Guide, because not only is Mexico an exceedingly hilly place, but their service stations are so much nicer than ‘WelcomeBreaks’ they have wishing wells and trees, however, after you’ve bought your Ginsters and had a wee, you may find that some guys will be using your vehicle as a bench, when you return to it. How rude… OH WAIT! It’s them! It’s the street-racing, stabby, running skinny guys over gang. What do they want with Biker Berto? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN???
Now I recall that when he discovered Edge jumping up and down in the back of his convertible, he was absolutely livid, but he doesn’t seem arsed that these guys are all over his bike. Is he harder now? Or does he just sense that these Banditos are bad news, and doesn’t mess? They are in an extraordinary amount of denim, I can only assume that he knows they are tough. He gets on his bike and rides off, his Girlfriend flashes some accidental thong and this is the single most erotic thing that the Dastardly Denims have ever seen. Add that to the Travelog, Mexicans dig accidental pants.
We also discover here why ADR is so rich, he is THE CHEAPEST date ever. He spends zero dinero on this woman, except for the the price of fuel for his needless bike rides. First he takes her to a bridge, which has it’s own theme tune, then to the woods to kiss near a tree. I have just realised that this is the same set as the service station, I can see the well in the background.
Uh-Oh! Here are the Dastardly Denims, did they follow, or simply wait for them to drive in a circle and return to the same spot? We may never know because it’s about to kick off.
Oh no, they are ruining the worst date further by attacking the young couple. Here we go! ADR has reached his limit, he is fighting now, and we discover that a drop toehold is a legit streetfighting manoeuvre. He continues to wrestle but is stabbed (along with his GF) before a Step-Up Enziguri can be hit from a tree stump. The Denims then chuck her off a cliff, we don’t see this but it is implied by them doing ‘a leg and a wing and a great big swing’ for about 3 minutes. Dunno where ADR is, but he’s slashed up, so we all (this includes the Denims) just assume he is dead too.
The next part is so much less lucid. First two schoolgirls discover the corpse of Ladyfriend and act less surprised than if they’d found an empty coke can. They muster the effort to alert the authorities, and then calmly explain that they have found a dead woman on a cliff face. Teenagers, eh? nothing impresses them.
Then an ambulance speeds around, does this contain the injured yet alive Alberto del Rio? is it to transport the dead woman? we don’t know. But it’s going up the hill. Of course.
We cut to some old guys in a cop’s office (they may be cops) getting guns out of a safe cleverly concealed by a huge police badge on the wall.
Next, a couple talking to some Doctors and looking concerned. Are they the girls family? are they ADR’s family? I don’t know.
Then the denims hanging out in a pool hall, drinking and watching Real Madrid. Then the start arguing. Then they go outside for a fight, then calmly come back in and carry on their evening. I don’t even know what is happening here.
We see a graphic informing us it is a month later, we see a masked wrestler training in a ring with another guy. It’s Dos Caras Jr, but he can’t wrestle and is frustrated. I am unsure whether we know that the masked wrestler and the stabbed guy are the same person, since nobody else does in the film. It seems like it’s an obvious correlation but maybe he is just learning to wrestle and not recovering. It’s unclear. But later in the film everyone acts like he is well known… plus, he was doing wrestling moves to his attackers. I’m just assuming we know, but the bad guys don’t. It is the least confusing way to view it.
Oh yeah, also, he’s the only person in THE ENTIRE TOWN that is above 5′ 8″, under 45 years old and the shape of a man, not a bag of sand wrapped in Wranglers. So that may have also tipped me off that the statuesque, athletic guy, might be the other tall muscular guy.
Oh he’s wearing a Dos Caras t-shirt to train in, so he has some merchandise, he IS famous. This results in the only decent acting in the entire film, when Dos Caras sits in the corner of the ring and explains how upset and determined he is to his trainer. It’s not that he’s especially gifted, but he’s like a masked Marlon Brando compared to everyone else in the production. I’m joking, he’s phenomenal. His trainer is portrayed here by the illegitimate son of Samoa Joe and Pete Gas from the Mean Street Posse.
The Denims are still arguing, but are now in a house which has rudimentary paintings of fruit on the walls. As an Italian I can understand a culture that loves food so much, they draw pictures of it and hang it all over their houses. This has accidentally made me empathise with the bad guys.
Dos Caras goes to talk to a promoter about going back for a wrestle. This further makes me suspicious as to whether we were supposed to know that Biker Berto and Luchador Berto are the same person as he has gone for a meeting in his mask. But perhaps this is a regular occurrence in Mexico, because Mexico is an amazing place where weird things are the norm. I suspect that we aren’t to realise his true identity yet though.
Mexican Tommy Dreamer is in possession of his victim’s motorcycle. We know it is the same bike because it has an atrocious decal of a roaring Polar Bear emblazoned across the fuel tank. He goes on an inordinately long bike ride, you guessed it, up the hill. This is interspersed with footage of a healthier Dos caras Jr being booked onto wrestling shows, and the Dastardly Denims arguing and playing pool. Hmm he is getting stronger as the gang gets weaker? ooh symbolism.
Now, MexiDreamer’s never-ending jaunt up infinity hill is spotted by an enraged and unmasked Biker Berto, but he’s in the car with Pete Gas so he must know they are the same person at least. Welcome to our side, Samoa Pete. Because he is unmasked he chases Dreamer to get his bike back and has to act his little socks off whilst finding inventive ways of hiding his face.
It makes you wonder why he chose a woodland to take his date as he obviously suffers tremendously with hayfever, he is constantly trying to kick some ass whilst touching his itchy nose to hide his lower face.
I forgot to mention that one of the Denims is dead, he stood up, someone pulled a gun and he slumped bloodlessly and silently onto a table. He died of shock at the betrayal of his Levis-clad amigo, I can only imagine.
So Dos Caras has his career, his health and his bike again, good for him, what a pro-active go-getter he is, congratulations. But he doesn’t have his lovely lady anymore, so it’s time to react in a healthy way and go to bereavement counselling. Nah, he’s going to go kill some bitches! YAY!
The Denims, meanwhile, have recruited some muscle. He’s a weird guy, he does suggestive workouts in front of his gang, and he loses his temper almost constantly. He’s either lunging or getting mad.
Dos is back in in-ring competition, meanwhile the guilt and fear is too much for MexiDreamer who has taken to the devil’s bathwater, he has a number of bottles indicating a high level of intoxication, yet he seemingly is only sipping one before opening a new one, he’s probably drank less than one bottle of Corona. He is, however, drunk as shit.
It seems dangerous having all those combustible bottles of alcohol lying around, I sure hope nobody sets fire to his house. Oh, too late, his drunken self is envisioning a harbinger of fiery death on a motorcycle. Is it real? is it his drunken haze? Nope it’s real, well sort of, the effects are atrocious but he really has been barbecued. Alberto Del Rio has a bodycount…
Back to his dayjob, his wrestling career is going extremely well, plus Rey Bucanero shows up, which is exciting. It seems the villains are big wrestling fans and guess who is their favourite? That’s right! Oh if only they knew what we all figured out after the first 10 minutes.
Next is murder number two. Y’see, Berto isn’t your regular killer, he isn’t very hands on. Now you may say that he doesn’t want to touch denim-clad peasants (pezzance), but that is purely conjecture at this point. So, he spots his next victim driving… UP THE HILL… naturally, and chases him. Merely following him and then riding beside him, briefly, is distraction enough for the driver to career his car into a metal fence and die.
Onto Number Three; A man committing triple denim is sitting, crying and drinking on a hill. ADR stares at him from his motorbike and this causes the man to fall off, what appeared to be a hill, but upon close up, is a cliff. He merely compelled the man to die through looking at him with disdain. A move he has since tried on The Miz. But the man survives. WHAT WILL THIS MEAN?!?
The Denims have a meeting at the house of painted fruit and temper guy rags his friends around. The next scene is the most puzzling of all. Without a great grasp of Spanish this is what appears to happen next;
After training ADR is getting into his car (a Volkswagen Passat, for shame!) and is propositioned in the multi-storey car park by angry-muscle guy, who proceeds to offer him the gift of a scared man in a horrific shirt. Maybe to replace the dead girlfriend, maybe a sacrifice, it is unclear. But he drives off, so I guess it was a ‘no’. Get someone better dressed next time you offer Del Rio a bum-chum.
Nobody looks mad though, so I don’t think they are mutually aware of each other. Surely, if they knew he was killing them in revenge, and he knew that they were members of the gang he wants to punish, then they’d all be mad? But no, was he asking him for help? It’s getting weird again.
We soon discover that the reason the Car Park liaison didn’t occur was because a fourth gang-member needed to die. So into an empty Circus Big Top they go, gang-guy on foot, Dos on his Polar Bear Bike. Now, sure, I have the power of hindsight and have never known the searing fear of being chased into a large tent by a vengeful Luchador, so I can’t really understand his reasoning, but the Denim Member sees his only escape as climbing a trapeze rope. He falls of to his demise, of course. Yet another death merely suggested by ADR’s presence. He’s like the Derren Brown of multiple Homicide.
I don’t know why Victim #4 didn’t run over the seats, under the tarp, or simply back out of the door he entered, since the cumbersome Harley would have had trouble getting back out before he was free. But I cannot judge. A man died, may he rest in peace.
Also, everyone in the film is called Charlie, Chris, Jeremy. It’s really sad, because the end credits are filled with the most beautiful Spanish names and we get this shit? I refuse to believe there are Pete’s and Dave’s knocking about in Mexico City.
Also there are no Rey’s either. We’re near the end now and not a single sighting of Rey Mysterio Jr. I am disappointed.
Right now is the reveal. Six months later Cliff Jumper wakes up and remembers that Dos Caras Jr is his assailant. One guy goes apoplectic, he loves Dos Caras Jr, he better not start bad-mouthing him and accusing him of murder. HE HAS A REALLY NICE GERMAN SUPLEX. FUCK YOU!. But Cliff (probably his name in this) is telling the truth and they believe him. So cliff limps and the others walk and confront Dos. Then Angry Muscle guy gets in the ring and fights him. He gets his ass kicked and then Cliff stops limping there’s some weird Usual Suspects swerve, that gets lost in translation, then everything’s ok. Dos Caras is in the training ring, happy, his life is good now. Then it finishes.
The best film I have ever seen in my entire life. 11/10