Last updated
El Mariachi (1992) is a noted Mexplotiation film El Mariachi 01.jpg
El Mariachi (1992) is a noted Mexplotiation film

Mexploitation (sometimes called Cabrito Western [1] or Mexican video-home) [2] is a film genre of low-budget films that combine elements of an exploitation film and Mexican culture or portrayals of Mexican life within Mexico often dealing with crime, drug trafficking, money and sex.


Mexican narco-cinema

The Mexican narco-cine (Spanish for narco-cinema) [3] or narco-películas (Spanish for narco-films/narco-movies), [4] are a subgenre of the Mexploitation style films, [5] focused solely on the violence and luxurious lives of drug lords and cartels. [6] The title and the storyline of these films are usually inspired by popular narco corridos (drug ballads, drug songs), [7] and are marketed as low budget [8] tie-in merchandising to the narcocorrido songs. [9] Sometimes these films feature famous narco-corrido singers on them, [10] and are rumored to be financed by drug lords themselves. However, only a few such cases have been proven. [11]

Common qualities

The typical Mexploitation film takes place in major cities and drugs, sex, and crime are nearly always involved. These movies are usually low-budget and are filmed in a couple of weeks. They typically feature one or two B-movie actors in major roles with the rest of the cast being played by unknown actors.

Mexploitation movies made in the 1960s and 1970s in Mexico were closer to their American exploitation film counterparts, with low-budget science-fiction films that often starred Mexican luchadores such as El Santo and Huracan Ramirez. However, in the early 1980s and 1990s there was a notable change with films increasingly dealing with real-life issues such as drug cartels and the murders of their rivals. Notable actors in these films include Mario Almada, Hugo Stiglitz, Sergio Goyri, Valentin Trujillo, Jorge Reynoso, Rodolfo de Anda, Fernando Almada, Rosa Gloria Chagoyán and David Reynoso.[ citation needed ]

The director Robert Rodriguez has been considered a pioneer of Mexploitation in the United States. His first film, El Mariachi , contains many Mexploitation elements and his 2007 film, Planet Terror , contained a fake trailer which developed into a feature film called Machete (2010), which contains many familiar elements of the genre.[ citation needed ]

K. Gordon Murray

An exploitation film producer and distributor named K. Gordon Murray created a unique collection of horror films in Mexico which began to appear on American late-night television and drive-in screens in the 1960s. Ranging from monster movies clearly owing to the heyday of Universal Studios, to the lucha libre horror films featuring El Santo and the "Wrestling Women" alongside the 1959 Christmas classic "Santa Claus", these low-budget films are still notably campy and inspired a small cult following.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">María Elena Velasco</span>

María Elena Velasco Fragoso was a Mexican actress, comedian, singer-songwriter and dancer. She is best known for creating and portraying La India María, a comical character based on indigenous Mexican women.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cinema of Mexico</span>

Mexican cinema dates to the late nineteenth century during the rule of President Porfirio Díaz. Seeing a demonstration of short films in 1896, Díaz immediately saw the importance of documenting his presidency in order to present an ideal image of it. With the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, Mexican and foreign makers of silent films seized the opportunity to document its leaders and events. From 1915 onward, Mexican cinema focused on narrative film.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Corrido</span> Mexican musical tradition of setting narrative poetry to song

The corrido is a popular narrative metrical tale and poetry that forms a ballad. The songs are often about oppression, history, daily life for criminals, the vaquero lifestyle, and other socially relevant topics. Corridos were widely popular during the Mexican Revolution and in the Southwestern American frontier as it was also a part of the development of Tejano music and New Mexico music, which later influenced Western music. The corrido derives largely from the romance, and in its most known form consists of a salutation from the singer and prologue to the story, the story itself, and a moral and farewell from the singer. It is still a popular genre today in Mexico.

A narcocorrido is a subgenre of the Regional Mexican corrido genre, from which several other genres have evolved. This type of music is heard and produced on both sides of the Mexico–US border. It uses a danceable, polka, waltz or mazurka rhythmic base.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Los Tigres del Norte</span> California-based norteño Mexican band

Los Tigres del Norte are a norteño band from San Jose, California. Originally founded in Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico, with sales of 60 million albums, the band is one of the most recognized groups in the genre, due to its long history and its successes within the Mexican community in the diaspora. The band is famous for its political corridos, some of which have been censored, even in its own country. The band is the only Mexican group to win 6 Grammy awards and 12 Latin Grammys. In addition, the band has made 40 films alongside the Almada brothers among other well-known Mexican actors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marga López</span> Mexican actress

Catalina Margarita López Ramos, known professionally as Marga López, was an Argentine-born Mexican actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Omar Chaparro</span> Mexican actor

Omar Chaparro Alvarez is a Mexican actor, comedian, television host and singer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mario Almada (actor)</span> Mexican actor

Mario Almada Otero was a Mexican actor with a career lasting over seven decades. He appeared in over 300 films. He was most known for his roles in urban westerns, narco peliculas and action pictures. He was the brother of actor Fernando Almada.

Aurora 'Rory' Martínez, usually credited simply as “Rory,” is the credited director of at least 72 publicly released movies. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois and is happily married to Christian Guajardo and owns a dog.

Agustín Bernal was a Mexican actor, film director, writer, and producer, mostly known for his frequent appearances in Mexican urban westerns, action films, and crime thrillers. He is sometimes credited as Augustine Bernal. He died at the age of 59 in Pharr, Texas.

Narcoculture in Mexico is a subculture that has grown as a result of the strong presence of the various drug cartels throughout Mexico. In the same way that other subcultures around the world that are related to crime and drug use, Mexican narco culture has developed its own form of dress, music, literature, film, religious beliefs and practices and language (slang) that has helped it become a part of the mainstream culture in some areas of the country, mainly among lower-class, uneducated youth. Narco culture is dynamic in that there are various regional differences within Mexico and among those who participate in it.

<i>El Americano: The Movie</i> 2016 Mexican film

El Americano: The Movie is a 2016 3D Mexican-American animated family film produced by Animex Producciones, Olmos Productions, and Phil Roman Entertainment, and is directed by Ricardo Arnaiz and ex-Disney animator, Mike Kunkel. The film features an ensemble voice cast of mostly Hispanic American and Mexican actors led by Rico Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Kate del Castillo, Paul Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Erik Estrada, and Lisa Kudrow.

Bernabé Melendrez, aka "El Gatillero" is a Mexican action film actor and, after his directorial debut in 2012, film director. He is also a singer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marco Pérez (actor)</span> Mexican actor and writer (born 1977)

Marco Pérez is a Mexican actor and writer. He began his artistic career working in experimental theater in Jalisco. After moving to Mexico City he was cast as Ramiro in the film Amores perros directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu in 2000. Pérez has worked extensively on TV series, including Capadocia (2010), El 8° Mandamiento (2011), El Señor de los Cielos (2013), Señora Acero (2014), Caminos de Guanajuato (2015), and the El Señor de los Cielos spin-off El Chema (2016).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Noé Hernández (actor)</span> Mexican actor

Noé Hernández Álvarez is a Mexican actor. Following his studies of Dramatic Arts at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, he became a high school teacher and founded an experimental theater group. After relocating to Mexico City he was offered little roles on several films, including Propiedad Ajena and Sin Nombre. His first lead role was Lino Valdez in Miss Bala, gaining popular recognition and earning a nomination for an Ariel Award for Best Actor.

Francisco Denis is a Venezuelan actor and director.

The Mexican animation industry is a part of Mexico's domestic film industry. It utilizes primarily the flash, CG, and traditional animation formats, typically produced on a small budget. It began in 1915 with the first animated film of the country, Mi Sueño, and continues decades later.

<i>Ana y Bruno</i> 2017 film directed by Carlos Carrera

Ana y Bruno is a 2017 Mexican computer-animated horror-comedy-drama film based on the novel, Ana by Daniel Emil. It is produced by Altavista Films and Lo Coloco Films, and co-produced by Ítaca Films and Ánima Estudios.

Narco pelicula, also known as narco film or narco filme, is a sub-genre of Mexican cinema's action film and Mexploitation genres. It deals with movies about drug trafficking and drug cartels, usually but not exclusively fictitious ones.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marina Stavenhagen</span>

Marina Stavenhagen is a Mexican screenwriter, writer, and film director. She is the daughter of anthropologists Rodolfo Stavenhagen and María Eugenia Vargas. Her family arrived in Mexico after escaping Nazi Germany.


  1. "Pistoleros famosos revela la identidad regional". Milenio.
    - "El Cabrito-Western". Archived from the original on 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
    - "El cine cabrito". CONTRALINEA.COM.MX - Periodismo de investigación. April 2011.
  2. "Sangre, apuros y chingadazos: ¡viva el videohome mexicano!". VICE.
  3. "Mexican Narco Cinema - VICE - México". VICE.
  4. "El Universal - Espectáculos - Millones de latinos compran narcopelículas". El Universal. 11 August 2015.
  5. Rashotte, Ryan (23 April 2015). Narco Cinema. ISBN   9781137489241.
    - "Cinefagia y Cinegarage te invitan al taller "Bizarre cinema. El lado oscuro del cine", en Cine Tonalá. INSCRIPCIONES ABIERTAS".
  6. "BBC Mundo - Noticias - México: la violencia del narco, al cine".
  7. Micaela Arroyo. "Tijuana, la meca del 'narcocine'". Milenio.
    - "CorridosAlterados.Net".
    - "Narco Peliculas".
  8. "Actué en una película de 'narcotraficantes'". 18 January 2017.
  9. "Fabián López - IMDbPro".
    - "El Universal - - Pozolero y Muletas, estrellas de narcofilm". 18 June 2013.
  10. Alex Tieleman (25 September 2011). "Alfredo Ríos, "El Komander", la voz de los narcocorridos mexicanos".
  11. "El Universal - Espectáculos - 'Narcos fueron actores'". El Universal. 3 September 2015.
    - "'La Barbie' habla de otros capos y de la película inspirada en él".