Pantaleon y las Visitadoras (2000)

 “I hope you like the jungle.”

In the Peruvian comedy Pantaleon y las Visitadoras, strait-laced Captain Pantaleon Pantoja (Salvador del Solar) is given the daunting mission of setting up a ‘visitor’s centre’ in the heart of the Peruvian jungle. According to Pantoja’s superiors, there are more than 8,000 lonely soldiers stationed in various camps throughout the jungle, and these men are molesting local women. When the public outcry becomes overwhelming, Peruvian military officials decide to establish the ‘visitor’s centre’ loaded with energetic, young prostitutes. The plan is that these women will visit the camps, and provide the lonely, desperate soldiers with a little R&R. As a result, it’s hoped that the soldiers’ attention will be distracted away from the unwelcoming local women, and back to the imported professional women who want a chance to earn some big money.

Captain Pantaleon Pantoja seems the perfect man for the job. He has no vices and is happily married. Pantaleon approaches the job as he would any military campaign–with maps, logistics, organization, pre-operation pep talks, and a complete strategy. He even subverts the carnal truth behind this delicate mission by renaming the essential components. This really has to be the funniest part of the film, but it soon lapses into predictable, silly and titillating comedy interspersed with occasional stripping and a few cheap laughs. Olga Arellano (Angie Cepeda) or “La Colombiano” provides the majority of film’s erotic tension. The film is based on a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, and is in Spanish with English subtitles.

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