La Negra Tomasa (1993)

A Mexican comedy inspired by the song “La Negra Tomasa,” (1937) by the Cuban composer Guillermo Rodríguez Fiffe, featuring Alfonso Zayas and Yirah Aparicio as the titular negrita.

RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 7/10

REVIEW: Highly energetic, sleazy, and good time all around. Genuinely funny one minute and horrifyingly disturbing the next. It might be nice to pair with another Mexican film which is also based on an old song - Pedro Navaja (1984). What I love about these Mexican comedies is perhaps what may be the biggest turn-off for most. It's the juxtaposition of silly comedy in tandem with disturbing horrors. The way these films pivot back and forth between slapstick comedy and intense violence might be jarring to American viewers who aren't used to this.  One minute, Zayas is making goofy faces and the next Aparicio is being chained up and tortured. One minute you're witnessing joyous dancing and physical comedy - the next Aparicio is being raped while unconscious. Pretty much all of the Mexican comedies from this era had this WTF quality, and I love it.


Michelle Mayer plays Zayas' love interest who gets tricked into taking off her clothes, then into thinking she's unwell - allowing Tun-Tun and Zayas to manhandle her. She later marries Zayas.

Mayer was in a bunch of these Mexican comedies around this time, and she remained fairly active in the industry for the coming decades. She was part of the editorial department for a series called "Independent Lens" in 2008-10. Getting older, Mayer was relegated to playing the role of "mother" on a couple telenovelas in 2018 and 2022.

Note that a woman by the name of Michelle Mayer appeared on the cover of Mexican Playboy for the September 2007 issue. However, I believe this is Miss Cohauila, from the Miss Mexico pageant.

The best scene has to be when Michelle Mayer is tricked into thinking she's got a severe medical condition and must be carried to her apartment. First, I always am down for a Zayas Tun-Tun combo. Second, Mayer is wearing a wonderfully short mini. Third, it is just so utterly ridiculous and borderline problematic.


At VZ1 we want to identify all the actresses in these films. It will be hard to ID this particular actress but is worthy of note. The unidentified actress plays the married woman who has sex with Zayas at the start of the film.

Alfonso Zayas plays Roberto, the neighborhood ladies' man. He is having sex with a married woman. The woman's husband is at the door, so they frantically skedaddle. Yirah Aparicio plays the titular Tomasa. César Bono plays her perpetually jealous husband, a cop. He must pull his gun out at even the slightest suspicion of infidelity. Tun-Tun (José René Ruiz) is the local doctor. Roberto Ballesteros plays a violent loan shark with a bad punk wig. Roberto attracts the attention of Tomasa.

Roberto is desperate to get with Michelle Mayer. So, he provides dancing lessons. The loan shark fires a shot at a car and it explodes. The next day, they are at it again. Michelle Mayer is back for another round of dance lessons. Roberto somehow manages to convince her to get out of her clothes. Tun-Tun, overheated looking at Michelle from afar, finagles his way in. He acts as though he detects a serious medical condition. Roberto, in on to the ruse, carries Michelle all the way to her home. Michelle is told she should not walk; Tun-Tun assists in carrying her.

The loan shark is still up to no good causing violence and mayhem. Roberto has sex with Tomasa. Bono suspects he's been banging his wife. Gun blazing, he suspects the grocer of the same.The loan shark strikes again - this time with a crossbow. He punches Tomasa, knocking her out cold. With Tomasa knocked out, he strips her clothes off. Then he rapes her, still unconscious. When Tomasa awakens, she's chained up. She's carried to the bathroom and chained up again. Roberto and Bono arrive in the nick of time.The bad guy is killed. Tun-Tun and Michelle witness the incident. Roberto and Michelle get married.