La Verdadera Historia de Barman y Droguin (Review)

La Verdadera Historia de Barman y Droguin

Directed by Gilberto de Anda
Written by Gilberto de Anda and Valentín Trujillo

La Verdadera Historia de Barman y Droguin is a Mexican Batman parody film, made in the wake of the Burton Batman film with a distinctly cantina feel. Because the characters are based out of a cantina and have alcoholic beverage themed logos. It betrays where the idea for the flick probably originated from.

For a Batman parody film, Barman y Droguin spends a good portion of the film dicking around before it gets to the point. And not even an origin story, the main characters go to a movies multiple times before things begin. Someone crams 50 pounds of Rambo parody in this 3 pound Batman sack.

Víctor Trujillo is a comedian and host best known for his character Brozo the Creepy Clown, but beyond being an anti-clown, Brozo is also a political crusader! In 2004, the Brozo show El Mañanero debuted hidden footage of corruption of political figures, including a tape of then personal secretary to former Mexico City mayor (and unsuccessful Mexico Presidential Candidate) Andrés Manuel López Obrador, René Bejarano (who was elected to the Mexico city legislature), accepting a $45,000 bribe. Mexican congressman Federico Döring aired the video on Brozo’s show, and Brozo crewmembers found Obrador in the same building and got him to agree to an immediate interview, where he was shown the footage for the first time and had to respond while shocked (he tried to play it off as a campaign donation from Argentinian businessman Carlos Ahumada Kurtz for another person’s campaign.) More bribery videos were released (it became known as the videoscandals) and more corruption was shown. Bejarano spent a year in jail before a controversial release, Carlos Ahumada Kurtz was arrested and fled the country, but was brought back and later acquitted and left Mexico for good. I can’t seem to find the video of the original incident, but here is part of a followup interview and you can see Víctor Trujillo as Brozo in all his glory.

A few years later (and no longer dressed as a clown, as Trujillo retired the Brozo show after his wife passed on, though Brozo makes occasional appearances) Trujillo once again made news taking down a corrupt politician, when he confirmed that there were inquiries into the fortune of Governor Arturo Montiel, a presidential precandidate. Montiel denied the charges, but his career was over. The evidence of corruption has only grown, despite another acquittal. Montiel has also been linked to a murder.

Mexican Batman is awesome. Christian Bale just yells at lighting guys.

We have a nice video toaster opening credits with all the characters drawn MSPaint style and run as a slideshow as the credits go by. Helps set up the non-serious tone.

Bruno (Víctor Trujillo) – Bruno runs a bar and has his hands full making sure his crazy friend doesn’t rob places. But then he dresses up as a bat and decides to fight crime. Weird. In the Mexican translations of the Batman comics, Bruce Wayne was called Bruno Diaz, and Dick Grayson was Ricardo Tapia. Hence the alter-ego names here.
Barman (Víctor Trujillo) – Barman wears a bat logoed Bacardi shirt. Fear the Barman! That cardboard batman figure above the name of the bar is totally not going to clue in anyone!
Ricardo (Ausencio Cruz) – Ricardo is a loser who tries to rope Bruno into his crazy schemes. But one scheme convinces Bruno, this Barman and Droguin scheme. Amazing. Ausencio Cruz was a longtime partner of Víctor Trujillo.
Droguin (Ausencio Cruz) – He’s not Robin, he’s Droguin! Get it right or pay the price!
Clown Guy (José Luis Cordero ‘Pocholo’) – This Clown Prince of Kidnapping takes the “kid” part literally and kidnaps a kid. Luckily, Barman and Droguin are there to also get kidnapped. There is no official name for the Joker knockoff I could tell, and he’s just listed as Secuestrador in the credits.
Female Reporter (Lizbeth Castro) – Hey, don’t yell at me, her character doesn’t have a name in the credits! All she gets is Periodista. So we’ll call her…Lois Lopez! Put on the Barman story, and helps Barman out of his car accident problem.
Pingüino (Ramiro Gómez) – Pingüino is just a dude who modifies cars and dresses up like the Penguin while doing so. It just makes sense!

Our two heroes go to see a Rambo-type film (Valentín Trujillo is Yo El Ejecutor!), only to go all MST3K on it in the theater. After ten minutes of this (!!!), the theater audience finally starts hissing them and tossing popcorn. Aren’t you glad you’re watching Rambo during what is supposed to be a Batman film? I sure am….because I’m reading a book. Someone give me a call when Batman shows up. In the film, Rambo is shot out of a plan, then kills a whole group of drug dealers, with giant knives, guns, rocket launcher, and even shoots a guy while leaping off a cliff into the ocean. Just like the real Rambo! Valentín Trujillo is an actual actor (who had started directing by the time this film was made), he had been working in cinema since infancy, and up until his death in 2006. He also cowrote the story and plays a cop later on.

Meanwhile, at La Bati-cueva Cantina, it’s closing time, one last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer. But bartender Bruno sees his idiot friend Ricardo (he calls him “animal” all the time) about to rob a convenience store. Bruno tries to talk him out of it, and while doing so actual robbers come in. So Bruno and Ricardo do what any sensible person would do, they beat up the robbers via plunger and Coke bottle!

The police arrive, including a detective who reads Batman comics. The story reaches the papers in a way that makes it seem Batman and Robin were running around saving the day. This excites Ricardo enough that he tries to convince Bruno to join him in actually becoming Batman and Robin. He makes the suggestion that as Bruno runs a bar, he should be Barman, and Ricardo should be Droguin!

Bruno is less than impressed. Ricardo begins to set things up anyway. He goes to a used car lot…where the proprietor looks just like Penguin….Hmmmm… Ricardo steals pieces needed to make costumes.

At the local newspaper, the editor decides this story is hot hot hot, so they send their hottest female reporter to find out more information about those two guys. This means she has car trouble and a gang of dudes try to get all grabby with her, so it’s Bruno to the rescue, wearing a mask over his face! The rush of saving the hot female reporter is enough to make Bruno agree to becoming Barman.

But first Bruno and Ricardo go watch another Valentin Trujillo Ejecutor film! This scene only lasts a minute or so until the duo gets freaked out by the violence. Ricardo and Bruno gather more pieces of their costumes, and a tear gas gag goes on far far gar too long. A hallmark of the film are gags going on far far too long. I’ve even avoided mentioning many of them. I could write a novel in the time it takes to finish the scenes. In fact, I did! Coming to bookstores this fall is Invasion of the Sex Helicopters!

At 52 minutes into this 90 minute movie, Barman and Droguin finally shows up in costume! Let’s pound on some crooks – It’s fight time—and they get cartoon word balloons as they fight! Holy throwback, Batman! I mean, Barman! The Dos de Dynamico even have their own Batmobile (the Barmobile??) as they leave.

Droguin spots a guy in clown makeup kidnapping a child, but Barman is stuck in traffic with some gangmembers harassing him and is late, causing Droguin to have to hide in the trunk of the kidnappers’ car. Barman is delayed even further by a fender bender, and the cops are called, so Female Reporter helps him get through this mess.

But Droguin is found..and shot! Huzzah! Cheers to this film for killing off Robin and..oh, wait, he has a bullet proof vest and is okay when Barman and Female Reporter find him a few minutes later. BOOOOO!!!! I demand blood. BLOOOoooOOOOoooOOOODDD!

Barman and Droguin track down the kidnappers, only to be captured themselves! Great plan, guys! They’re saved when the comic book reading cop bursts in with a gun and blows away some of Clown Guy’s gang. Barman and Droguin take out Clown Guy by disarming him, and the day is saved. I guess Barman and Droguin went on to fight crime and die of alcohol poisoning, broke and alone. But that’s for the unmade reboot, Barman Begins, coming soon to a imaginary cinema near you!

And we get bloopers during the credits.

Well, once it got started, it was an okay Batman sendup. It just took too freaking long to get to the Batman part!

La Verdadera Historia de Barman y Droguin is part of our Batmania series

Rated 6/10 (cutout time, Red Robin, wall art, Raúl Trujillo, pow time, the kid who was napped)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!