Almodóvar's first feature shows how many of his obsessions and themes sprang fully formed from the start. Some scabs he feels compelled to pick at: drugs, adverts, musical numbers, sexual violence, and that dodgy topic, female masochism. Pepi (Maura), after inviting a neighbouring cop to fondle rather than bust her, is raped in her trashy flat and vows revenge, introducing the policeman's wife to the pleasures of golden showers and lesbian SM. Set during Madrid's punk era, the film shows in embryo Almodóvar's technique of alternating pleasurable humour with wanton offensiveness. Some scenes are hard to stomach, plotting is chaotic, and the budget and film quality are so low that the king of kitsch can make only a brave stab at his favourite acid colours and tacky interiors. The costumes are fab.
Cast and crew
Olvido 'Alaska' Gara