May 30, 2013

Jorge Rivero Dates a Drag Queen

Speaking of Hispanic beefcake, we find very few bodybuilders in Mexican movies before the 1980s.  Even the luchadores enmascarados, masked wrestler-superheroes like Santo and el Demonio Azul, had beefy wrestler physiques.  So producers didn't know quite what to do with the magnificent physique of bodybuilder Jorge Rivero (seen here in the Mexican version of the 1950s Physique Pictorial, Muscle Power.  

So they put him in Westerns (Pistoleros de la frontera), Santo movies (Operacion 67), and comedies (Como pescar un marido, How to Fish for a Husband).

But his big break came in El pecado de Adan y Eva (The Sin of Adam and Eve, 1969), in which he and his costar, Candy Cave, were nude throughout.

Offers from American, Argentine, German, and Italian productions came pouring in, and though Jorge still starred in many Mexican Westerns, dramas, and thrillers, he began appearing on the big screen in the U.S. as well:  in Rio Lobo (1970), he starred opposite John Wayne and Robert Mitchum as a former Confederate soldier turned train robber.

He was required to demonstrate lots of heterosexual interest in such softcore porn as Eroticofollia (The Evil Eye, 1975), Erotica (1979), and Profesor eroticus (1981), but at least he had a lot of nude scenes, including full-frontal.

And there was still room for buddy-bonding, as when he played the Western antihero El Payo.

Or in Priest of Love (1981), where he played Tony Luhan, the Native American who hosted bisexual writer D. H. Lawrence (Ian McKellan) during a visit to New Mexico.

Or in Conquest (1983), a sword-and-sorcery epic about a man with mystical powers (Jorge) and his buffed sidekick (Andrea Occhipinti).

He even got a boy sidekick, similar to Tarzan and Jai, in El nino y el tiburon (The Boy and the Shark, 1978).

No gay characters, but some homophobic content.  Noches de cabaret (1978) is a Mexican comedic take on the Victor/Victoria theme.  Jorge falls in love with a woman (Sasha Montenegro), but he thinks she's a drag queen.  Upset over the idea of being in love with a man, he plans suicide.  But Sasha reveals her true identity for a "happy" ending.

Quite a career for someone who started out getting beat up by Santo.