Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rage (El mal) (1966) Mexican Film Soleil Neo Noir

Director Gilberto Gazcón fashions an interesting Neo Noir that feels like a Western, is part InfernoWages of Fear and Guilty Bystander mixed with a bit of the anxiety of both Panic In The Streets and The Killer That Stalked New York.

The screenplay was jointly written by Gilberto Gazcón Teddi Sherman, Fernando Méndez, Guillermano Hernández, and Jesús Velásquez. The cinematography was by Rosalío Solano and the Soundtrack was by Gustavo César Carrión.

The film's vivid color palette gives it a pulp-ish paperback cover look, it's similar in that respect to the color Noir Slightly Scarlet (1956).

The film stars noir vet Glenn Ford (Gilda (1946), Framed (1947), The Undercover Man (1949), The Big Heat (1953), Human Desire (1954), Experiment in Terror (1962)) as Doc Reuben, Stella Stevens (Man-Trap (1961)) as Perla, David Reynoso ( Presage (1974), Que viva Tepito! (1981), El último túnel (1987)) as Pancho, Armando Silvestre ( La Impostora (2014), Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)) as Antonio, Jose Elias Moreno (Santa Claus (1959)) as Fortunato, Dacia Gonzalez (The Shark Hunters (1963)) as Maria, David Silva (Los Fernández de Peralvillo (1954), Campeón sin corona (1946) Espaldas mojadas (1955)) as Bus Driver and Isela Vega (Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)) as a prostitute.

Wages Of Fear quote

supply truck 

Perla (Stella Stevens)

The prostitutes

Doc Reuben (Ford) runs a medical clinic in a small Mexican village. The village is booming with the influx of construction workers who are blasting a new road across the backcountry. Except for practicing medicine, Doc is a bit alienated from normal human contact outside of his medical duties, and obsessed with drinking himself to an early grave. You see, Doc blames himself for not being able to save his young wife and baby during childbirth. He drinks to forget. His main companion is his german shepherd dog.

Fortunato (Moreno) and his cat Princesa

Doc Reuben (Ford)
the village

Doc (Ford) and Maria (Gonzalez)
Pancho (Reynoso) is a local who got a job on the road crew as a dynamiter. He learned his trade in the mines. Pancho and his wife Maria (Gonzalez) are going to have a baby, and Doc is happy to check Maria's progress, but tells Pancho that she will need a specialist when the time comes because she will need a caesarean section.

Pancho (Reynoso) and Doc Reuben
Pancho's friend Fortunato (Moreno) is a dozer operator on the road crew. His pet cat Princesa is acting strange. When the crew drives back to town Pancho's cat jumps out of his arms and attacks Doc's dog. The general consensus is that Princesa is pregnant. A few days later Doc gets bit by his own dog.

 Princesa and Fortunato

cat dog fight

Dog bites Doc
At the end of the week the supply truck brings a load of prostitutes to entertain the road crew. One of
prostitutes is Perla (Stevens), and at the "fiesta" she is very attracted to Doc who is quite drunk. Doc sneaks off to the clinic with a couple of bottles of booze and Perla follows. Doc throws her out and starts to hallucinate in a very graphic noir-ish sequence. In the morning a very hung over Doc finds Perla asleep upon his examination table, she has missed the truck.


Perla at Docs

The next day Fortunato drug into town by ropes, he is delirious and foaming at the mouth, he has rabies. Perla and Doc get to know each other but Doc is still standoffish. Doc explains about the death of his wife. Ten days later the supply truck arrives and Perla leaves town.

Fortunato dragged  into town


Pancho arrives in town on his donkey cart early the next evening and tells Doc that Maria is contracting, Doc tells Pancho to hurry back and he'll follow in a company jeep. On the way back to his place Pancho runs into Doc's dog, the dog is bloody and foaming at the mouth and snarling at the Donkey's legs. The dog is rabid.

Doc drives up sees the situation and shoots the dog. He now realizes that he was bitten ten days ago and that he is also infected. He counts the days back to when he was bitten and realizes that he has 48 hours to get treated. When Doc tells Pablo that he has to get to the nearest big city to get shots Pablo grabs Docs gun and threatens to kill him. Doc says OK but floors the Jeep leaving Pablo in the dust as he speeds off in the growing darkness to Noirsville.


The bite

Doc Reuben and his wife

Glenn Ford is compelling as the weathered Doc Reuben even though haunted by his failure to save his wife and child and drinking himself to death he can still keep his skills sharp and show compassion and kindness towards Maria. Stella Stevens at 30 is at the height of her beauty, she is the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold looking for a way out of the life. She is sexy, sassy, and sweet.
David Reynoso is great as Pancho he holds his own with Ford and displays his acting chops. The rest of the cast is very good and the landscapes around Durango are beautiful. Very entertaining, This film needs a good restoration. Café con leche noir. 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment