But Manuel has problems: A monkey-suited PR maven, he is in the closet and must repress any signs of his mourning to prevent his wealthy mom (Evangelina Elizondo) and family maid (Virginia Valdiviezo) from discovering his sexual proclivities.
Juan’s cousin and Manuel’s friend Marcos (Miguel Angel Ferriz) is also gay and has trouble coping with the death. The latter, a self-loathing fellow, takes a sleazy ex-con hustler to Juan’s apartment to ease his pain. Manuel arrives just in time to keep Marcos from being sliced open with a broken bottle, but then somehow manages to get the hustler in his car and go with him to the slum hovel the hustler occupies with another lowlife. Setup here already tests one’s patience with incredible plot points, but when Manuel uses the gun Juan had kept in case he wanted to take his own life, the story shifts gears. Manuel goes on the run, motivating his movements among Monterrey’s down-and-outs.
Fortunately, the nocturnal scenes have a violent, visual force that makes this paranoid pic worth watching, despite the tiresomely overworked gun metaphor. Manuel wanders through a club where women performers work onstage on exercise machines, then into a depressing gay bar with a bad talent contest. He hooks up with a female junkie hooker, Bruma King (Claudia Frias, a standout), who gets him out of a jam with crooked cops but who comes on to him against his will. (There is something extremely distasteful about Manuel’s continued horrified reactions to female sexual aggression). Ultimately, he resurfaces into the light, meets up again with Marcos and cleanses his soul with a symbolic act.
The mainly operatic soundtrack is top-notch, and other technical credits are fine.