A cheaply made and mildly exploitative film with little to recommend beyond the performance of Maribel Fernandez, who delivers her lines with crackle and spark and has enough charisma to fill the screen and carry the film on her own, luckily, as the supporting cast do little to help her.
Fernandez plays the titular "doorwoman", more or less charged with watching over the entrance to the large yard around which her neighbours small houses are arrayed. This makes up a traditional Mexican "vecindad", where everyone knows everyone else's business, and the habitants seemingly spend most of their time hopping into the beds of their neighbours. Thus the film is filled with plenty of low-grade farce, cheap double- entendres (or albures as they are known here) and a shot of one of the women cast members showering naked included (gratuitously) approximately every 20 minutes or so.
What tiny amount of plot that does exist is awkward and hardly worth mentioning, but involves the Porteras resolve to save herself for her absent husband's return being tested. The title, which translates loosely as "The Horny Gatekeeper" is quite spectacularly misleading, as the Portera is by far the most virtuous character in the film, while all those around her throw their clothes off at a moment's provocation.
I must confess I enjoyed this film. Apart from Fernandez's performance, these films are almost social documents, and while the dialogue and depictions are exaggerations, they are none the less grounded in a reality that is fast being lost. The vecindad was the bedrock of community organization for generations, yet they are becoming scarcer and scarcer with time. As a relative newcomer to Mexican society, I find I can learn a lot from these films without having to take them at face value.
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