Written and Directed by Omar Flores Sarabia
Released November 26, 2013
Review by Stephen O. Murray
April 15, 2015.
Peyote is a very slight—70-minute, two-character—Mexican movie now on DVD. It opens with Pablo [Joe Diazzi], a nerdy, smooth-chested 17-year-old in tighty-whities filming a sci-fi battle between a zucchini and a tomato. Unsurprisingly, the zucchini wins.
Then he takes his video camera out and covertly films a somewhat-older but still young man (one with chest hair) sitting in his car near a playground in an unnaturally deserted San Luis Potosí (filmmaker Omar Flores Sarabia’s native city). Marco [Carlos Luque] invites overt filming as he plays on a swing set, and then suggests going to get some tacos.
That misadventure (Marco runs to avoid paying) somehow inspires Pablo to agree to go with Marco 160 miles north to Real de Catorce (a real place name though seeming to me to be missing a word: it means “Royal of Fourteen”) a depopulated silver-mining town that is Marco’s native town. Its environs are where the Huichol Indians gather peyote (a hallucinogenic mushroom) for their rites. Marco says he will find some for the two to try.
They wander around the depopulated town, buy two six-packs of beer, and fool around. They are shown kissing and Pablo wakes up alone in the single bed in the room (still wearing tighty-whities). Marco is out with Pablo’s video-recorder.
They go out above town (the town is already at an elevation of 9,000 feet), fight (first verbally, then physically), and Marco has an epiphany out of the blue. And, almost as miraculously, Pablo is matured by his two days with the sly trickster.
The young non-actors are attractive and often shirtless, though the movie sports no nudity and is coy about whether they have sex in their drunken night in the motel room with its single bed. The high desert is photogenic. Such plot as there is is vapid, yet still hard to believe. As I began by saying, the movie is very slight, slighter than the somewhat similar 2012 Crystal Fair & the Magical Cactus with an uptight Michael Cera and Chileans who try to loosen him up in another desert quest for a hallucinogenic cactus.
first posted on Out In Jersey, 15 April 2015
©2015, Stephen O. Murray