Rage-Filled Luchador, Organ Harvesting, Swastika Tattoos and Fish Tacos. Welcome to Ryan Prows’
FANTASIA FESTIVAL 2017 REVIEW
In the opening scenes of Ryan Prows’ LOWLIFE, motel worker, Crystal tries to stop what looks like an abduction of illegal immigrants. It only takes minutes to set the tone for the whole movie. Next thing we know we’re slap-bang in the middle of an organ harvesting/prostitution ring. Even before the opening credits roll, we see executions, sex trafficking and an elderly lady thrown onto a table, cut open and her organs removed.
THEN THE CREDITS STARTS TO ROLL AND THE FILM BEGINS. MY MOUTH DROPPED OPEN AND I THINK I SAID: “WTF DID I JUST WATCH?!, THE FILM HASN’T EVEN STARTED YET”. As a fan of the weird and obscure, my expectations were met even before the opening credits.
LOWLIFE has 4 separate interconnecting stories which play-out in a similar style to Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction.
El Monstruo: The Champion Of The Downtrodden. (Ricardo Adam Zarate)
Banned from the sport for ripping the limbs off his opponents, El Monstruo is a disgraced ex-Mexican wrestler. He carries the tradition from his ancestors and dons the mask of El Monstruo. He works as muscle for the local crime boss, and when pushed to limit, we hear a deafening scream. Whoever is in front of him will be destroyed. That deafening scream indicates that his rage-metre is at full capacity.
Crystal (Nicki Micheaux)
Backed into a corner, motel worker, Crystal is left with no choice but to go to the black market to buy a kidney for her undeserving alcoholic husband. Crystal is an ex-addict and has been riddled with guilt by decisions that she made when she was a junkie teenager.
Randy and Keith (Jon Oswald & Shaye Ogbonna)
Just after his release from prison, Randy (not in pic) and his accountant friend Keith find themselves tied up in a kidnapping scenario. The local crime boss has threatened Keith’s wife and children and Keith feels he is left with no choice
When in prison, Randy made a stupid, idiotic decision and got a swastika tattoo that covers his entire face. When trying to kidnap someone it ain’t a good idea if one of the kidnappers has a giant swastika tattoo on their face and the other kidnapper is black.
Teddy (Mark Burnham)
The mastermind of filth and depravity. A horrid and vile human being with no regard for human life, and dodgy a taste in shirts. Prostitution and organ harvesting is his speciality. If you need a human organ, then he’s your man.
He uses his fish taco restaurant as his cover up. Underneath this building, unimaginable horror is happening to Mexican immigrants or anyone who gets in his way.
I could go into all of these stories but I think the less you know about LOWIFE, the better
Prows’ and his team of writers (Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson, Shaye Ogbonna, Maxwell Michael Towson) do a superb job at humanising the characters. Each character in Lowlife and each segment of the story packs enough punch to have stories adapted into feature-length movies of their own.
Shot in only 18-days, LOWLIFE is a film that shines in complete confidence. It feels like the madness of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino all rolled into one. I know a lot of people that are going to REALLY love this one.
Looking forward to seeing what this talented team bring us next….any chance of El Monstruo The Movie?
Lowlife premiered at Fantasia Film Festival 2017