Vertical Love

This film is *b*o*n*k*e*r*s*.

Do you remember films from the 90s that you loved as a kid, and when you rewatch them as an adult, you’re like, this is problematic as fuck? Of course you did, that describes every movie from the 90s. I’m thinking of something like Overboard, which I laughed my head off at as a kid, and then as an adult was like, the plot of this is about a man who uses a woman’s brain damage from a head injury to have sex with her and use her as his personal maid out of spite. Like, what the fuck? Vertical Love is like that. You’ll have a great time as long as you just don’t think about it too much.

The meet-cute between the two characters is when a low-level orderly poses as a psychiatric doctor to a suicidal patient because he finds her very fuckable. Yeah.

Estela is a willful architecture student in Havana. Havana in the 90s had major housing problems, with there not being enough quality housing to go around, so multiple generations were effectively living in one room shacks. This situation is pretty much what is being lampooned in Vertical Love, with there being no privacy for a shag, especially for young people dealing with parental disapproval.

Estala has a dream house she wants to build, but is caught up in red tape, and gets so frustrated at the government office she slits her wrist. If this sounds unhinged, just understand that in the world of this film, this merely shows a passionate nature.

Ernesto is an absolute dog. A part-time projectionist, and part-time orderly, he is meant to be in a relationship with this woman Lucia, who he treats like dogshit throughout the film. He uses her for food and board, cheats on her and gaslights her, and goes back to her back and forth giving her hope. He uses his job at the hospital to fuck attractive patients (which is like, wow), egged on by his mate who is a doctor, and seems to live vicariously through his conquests. The doc fixes him up with Estela, giving him his white coat so Ernesto can bag her.

Ernesto tries to convince Estela that she is far too fuckable to kill herself. Her family, consisting of her father, uncle and grandfather invite home for the dinner the valiant doctor trying to save her life.

Estela is a horny virgin trapped under the roof of her strict father, who is determined to defend her chastity. Her uncle is a priest, eager to uphold the Church’s values. And her grandpa… well her grandpa is a creepy, randy perv, who seems only to have not went after Estela himself due to confinement to a wheelchair. He spends the film constantly asking to see Estela in the scud. (Bonkers!)

Her dodgy old grampa reads Playboy while lying in bed between his two adult sons, and is the first to alert Estela’s father to the sound of hanky-panky in the next room, where Estela seems to be sleeping in a giant pink crib. (What the fuck?) He demands to be carried to see what’s going on.

While Ernesto manages to charm Estela’s family at first, he tells a bawdy joke, earning the disfavour of her father, and when he is caught trying to deflower his virginal daughter later, they are both cast out the house.

Estela clocks Ernesto’s deception pretty promptly, picking up on clues like him suggesting that next time she needs to cut up her vein rather than across, which is not advice normally dispensed by mental health care professionals. However, because she’s wired to a Mars Bar herself, she finds his entirely scoundrel behaviour charming. Thus begins the first half of this film where they try to find a room to shag in.

A sort of sex farce, it has them being chased out of various places by interfering busybodies and chances of fate, each more ludicrous than the next.

An insane movie, and that’s all without mentioning the conjoined twins, the full-length nude softcore porn scenes, and the escaped lion.

Bonkers, bonkers, chocolate conkers.