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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Prows’

Nicki Micheaux, Ricardo Adam Zarate

“LOWLIFE”  My rating: B- 

96 minutes | No MPAA rating

Less interesting on a scene-by-scene basis than for its novel narrative arc, the aptly-titled “Lowlife” finds a surprisingly interesting way of telling a sleazy story.

The real star of director Ryan Prows’ feature debut is the screenplay by a small army of scribes (Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson, Shaye Ogbonna, Maxwell Michael Towson and Prows) who seem to have taken as their template the time-twisting format of Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”

Basically we have three interlocking stories, told one after another, and all taking place on the same day and featuring the same characters.

It’s sort of like an Alan Ayckbourn play…say, “The Norman Conquests” trilogy, which offered three plays unfolding at the same time in different rooms of the same house.

In the first segment, “Monsters,” we are introduced to Los Angeles lowlife Teddy “Bear” Haynes (Mark Burnham), who beneath his tacky taco restaurant maintains a subterranean chamber of horrors where illegal aliens are dissected for their organs or impressed into sexual slavery.

Teddys’ enforcer is El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate), who never removes the red luchador mask once worn by his late father, a wrestler who still has superhero status in the Hispanic community.  The current El Monstruo is a bit like the Hulk…he’s light on brain and big on brawn, and when angered goes into a murderous rage, blacking out and awakening amidst corpses and destruction.

But he has a soft spot for his unborn son, the next El Monstruo, who is currently in the belly of Kaylee (Santana Dempsey), his wife and Teddy’s adopted daughter.

The second episode, “Fiends,” is told mostly from the perspective of Crystal (Nicki Micheaux), the operator of a beat-up motel where much of the action takes place. Crystal’s husband Dan (King Orba) is dying of kidney disease; Teddy has convinced her that he can provide a fresh organ donated by the daughter she and Dan gave up for adoption years before, when they were dope fiends. (more…)

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