Gilberto Martínez Solares is known as one of Mexico’s most prolific filmmakers. As national cinema grew in the 40s and 50s, Solares was one of the names behind the growth, wearing a multiplicity of hats that included actor, director, cinematographer and screenwriter. While he wrote and directed almost every genre conceivable, I think Solares’ legacy is specially important when it comes to latsploitation. Sadly, not all of his latsploitation films are on the same level.


Mexico, 1986, Gilberto Martínez Solares

3 Mexicanos Ardientes (Three Ardent Mexicans) tells the story of a married man who meets Lina, a sexy woman that drives him crazy. When he proposes becoming lovers, Lina agrees, but in return the man will have to buy her a car, an apartment, clothes, and give her money to spend. The man’s job is not enough, so he brings in two of his best friends and they strike a deal: if they contribute money, they’ll get to spend two days a week with Lina. Unfortunately, both friends are also married and soon all three wives become aware of what’s going on. In the end, no one gets to have sex with Lina. Instead, the friends have sex with each others’ wives.

There are many things that are so wrong with 3 Mexicanos Ardientes that they feel almost right. For example, the movie is basically about a very successful prostitute who gets everything she desires and doesn’t have to work for it, but that’s never addressed or explored. Also, there are three scenes in the movie that start out as rape and turn into beautiful, consensual lovemaking. Despite those wonderful/awful elements, this film’s importance comes from the fact that it’s one of the clearest examples of how Mexploitation started cannibalizing itself in the late 80s. The humor is nonexistent, the slapstick comedy is just an attempt to cover up the mediocre writing, and the acting is at times painful to watch (especially when it comes to plethora of naked ladies that decorate most scenes). However, the film is still fun to watch simply because its weaknesses allow the rampant nudity and oversexed scenes to take center stage.

So, just how oversexed is 3 Mexicanos Ardientes? For one thing, the film is one of the top five latsploitation titles when it comes to sheer quantity and on-screen time of wild, bushy pubic hair. Then there’s the collection of large breasts that show up at regular intervals (please, keep in mind that this is Mexico in 1986, not Los Angeles in 1996, which means getting women with large breasts on screen was a tad more difficult). These breasts are there when folks are talking, they show up because women insist on combing their hair while naked, and they pop out of closets (yes, you read that right: they pop out of closets). Last but not least, there’s the perennial latsploitation element of random, unpredictable, unexplainable sex scenes. We’re talking raunchy, eyes-rolling-to-the-back-of-the-head, underwear-ripping, fall-down-on-the-floor-and-keep-at-it sex. See? You don’t always need a story or talented actors to make a film interesting.

By the time the 90s rolled around, the best years of Mexploitation had come and gone (until the revival, that is). Seen within that context, 3 Mexicanos Ardientes is a great example of a genre trying to survive after it had pushed all the buttons. Just for that, it’s worth a watch.