Director: Ryan Prows
Writer: Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson, Shaye Ogbonna, Ryan Prows and Maxwell Michael Towson
Starring: Nicki Micheaux, Ricardo Adam Zarate and Jon Oswald
This is an interesting anthology type film. There are three different stories that all collide into one final outcome. This is a comedy, crime, drama, horror, thriller film from the United States. The official synopsis for this film is the sordid lives of an addict, an ex-con and a luchador collide when an organ harvesting caper goes very, very wrong.
To start this film off, we get an ICE agent named Agent Fowler (Jose Rosete). He goes to a motel ran by Crystal (Nicki Micheaux). He busts a bunch of Mexicans who are staying in one of the rooms. Agent Fowler takes them into custody and pulls his gun on Crystal when she tries to stop him.
From here we start the three tales. The first is Monster and it follows a man wearing a luchador mask. He goes by the name of El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate) and he is sent to collect money from someone who owes it to Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Mark Burnham). We see that he has a problem with going into a rage, blacking out and not knowing what he did during this spells. He is having a baby with Kaylee (Santana Dempsey), who is a former prostitute and drug addict. Plus she is the daughter of Teddy.
The next story is Fiends which stars Crystal. She is trying to find a kidney donor for her boyfriend, who is an alcoholic. Teddy comes to her, claiming he found someone, but when she learns who it is, she has to make a decision on what to do. Everything comes to a head when some patrons come into her motel office.
Then there is Thugs. Keith (Shaye Ogbonna) goes to pick up Randy (Jon Oswald) from prison after an 11 year stint. The problem is though Randy has a swastika tattooed on his face. He doesn’t think it is a big deal, but soon learns the hard way. Randy wants to go legit, but learns there is one last job he has to do in order to make this happen.
I do have to admit that after the first story, I was kind of bored and didn’t really see the point of the film. It wasn’t until the second story where there was some overlap that these three are taking place at the same time. When they started to intersect, I got excited to try to piece them together. All of the characters have flaws, so it is hard to completely side with them. I love the duality of the heroes being a thug, criminal and recovering addict. I thought how the film plays out in the end was good as well.
Now I was questioning while watching this where the horror was and I figured it out in the end. This film harkens back to the exploitation films of the past with the graphic violence and gore. There are quite a few points where you get blood and it all looks real. They appear to be done with practical effects and I was a big fan of this. It looked great. The climax was well done and goes completely crazy, which was fun to see play out.
The acting in this film was good as well. I thought all of the stars did an excellent job. I will say that I never really got that Micheaux’s character was an addict, but I thought her struggling with not holding on to things and needing to let go was good enough for her character. Zarate was amazing as El Monstruo. It is funny is his father and this character are supposed to be a luchador savior to the Mexican people, but Zarate’s version is a criminal who thinks he is doing good. Oswald’s character was funny. Burnham was quite interesting in his role. The more it gets fleshed out, the better for him as we see the true depths of him. The rest of the cast also round out the film well.
The last thing to touch on was the score of the film. I thought it fit well for what they were going for. It definitely helped to set the tone for the scenes.
Now with that said, I will admit at first I was bored with this film, but as the story built it got me more and more intrigued. The story is actually quite complex in how it is told. I love how that part of the film plays out as they come together. The acting in the film was solid across the board. The only drawback is that there is a little too much comedy in this film for my liking. I mean part of this comes from Zarate and Oswald’s characters even though they did a good job in the role. The effects in the film were great and looked so real. I thought the score of the film fit what they needed it to do. I feel that this is a good film and definitely worth a viewing, for horror and non-horror fans alike.