Matador (1986, Almodovar)

Diego (Nacho Martinez) is an ex-bullfighter. Now injured, he teaches his matador skills to a class which includes Angel (Antonio Banderas), who lives across the street from Diego’s cute young girlfriend Eva (Eva Cobo). Meanwhile, elsewhere in town, Maria (Assumpta Serna, later in Sam Fuller’s Day of Reckoning and the Quays’ Piano Tuner of Earthquakes) worships Diego, and has started killing men Matador-style while having sex with them.

After lamely trying to rape Eva (demonstrating the same stalkerish, kidnapping behavior as every other Almodovar film he’s in), religion-oppressed Antonio turns himself in to the police inspector (Eusebio Poncela from Law of Desire, who looks a lot like Diego so I thought the Matador was also the inspector for a few confusing minutes). That leads nowhere, but to get his mother (Julieta Serrano, the crazy Lucia from Women on the Verge) and her mother (Chus Lampreave, Leo’s mother in Flower of My Secret) all upset.

Two murders are discovered and two more are suspected, and Antonio is blamed… but it’s the work of the star-crossed Matadors, with whom Antonio has some sort of psychic link. Eventually they get to kill each other like they’ve always dreamed of doing. A happy ending!

More suicide and bullfights and movies (the gore films Diego watches while masturbating at the beginning) and the usual cast. A lot more zany than Law of Desire, and to its benefit… more fun to watch. Law of Desire’s murder + police themes seemed tacked on, but Matador is all about the murder and the investigation… seems more sure of itself (until the psychic bit at the end, I guess).