Expectations were pretty low when I started this film, but after a short introduction it quickly became clear that director Estrada was building up a pretty amusing narrative. The middle part of the film was by far the best, the quality does slip a little in the final third, but overall this was a nice find.
Somewhat out of the blue, Juan Vargas is promoted to major of a little desert town. He thinks life is finally looking up, until he arrives in the village and finds nothing but poverty. Meager attempts to engage the townspeople all fail. There's nothing left for Vargas to try out more rigorous tactics.
It's pretty amusing to see Vargas evolve from well-meaning major to villainous crook. There's a dash of dark comedy that keeps things entertaining, performances are solid and Estrada makes excellent use of the barren setting. Things maybe get a little too serious near the end and the film's a tad long, but I had some solid fun with this one.