The Fantasia Film Festival dives deep into the underbelly of modern America with the new film Lowlife. The world premiere on the 21st was spectacular.
At first glance, the trailer makes it seem like an average superhero wannabe trying – yet often failing – to save the people of a small American town from what appears to be a gang of criminals that should be able to get away with everything. Yet, a closer look would change that.
Instead of a wannabe superhero, the main character (Ricardo Adam Zarate) would lead the double life in a different way. His everyday work would be to help the person who would be his supervillain if this were anything like a normal superhero flick, while also trying to undermine the job he was being paid to do.
Seen through the eyes of those who live in the modern American underbelly, it gives a more original take on the unchanging darkness that hides within.
The plot synopsis for the film is written below by Mitch Davis.
“Meet El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate), a beloved luchador widely seen as a hero for the oppressed. Unfortunately, El Monstruo secretly lives in disgrace, employed by a brutal cartel organ smuggler (Quentin Dupieux regular Mark Bunrham) who regularly victimizes the very people that look towards our masked fighter for help. His young wife Kaylee (Santana Dempsey) is his sole beacon of hope, eight-months pregnant (there will be a Son of El Monstruo!) – and dealing with a serious heroin addiction. Next, meet Crystal (Nicki Micheaux), a middle-aged recovering addict desperately trying to help her husband attain a kidney transplant by any means necessary. Their paths – along with those of a pair of ex-cons (Jon Oswald, Shaye Ogbonna) – will intersect in extraordinary ways as their lives go from dire to… something far more extreme.”
The director of the film was Ryan Prows, who had set out to make the film about the truth of modern America’s lower classes. Lowlife would contain a lot of blood and be much more eccentric in quality. It has emerged from behind the everyday American’s shadow and is fresh yet thrilling at the same time. With surprises at every turn and plenty more action than ever, Lowlife speaks about the violence and exploitation that immigrants suffering poverty can find themselves in before they know it, either by the hands of ICE officers or mercenary criminals – although the film makes them virtually indistinguishable.
Lowlife is a film that has been well constructed as well as good performances from the actors, it is stated by Mr Davis to be “easily one of the most gobsmacking crime film discoveries that we’ve come across in years.”
He also goes on to say that the film is “also just unbelievably entertaining, outlandishly (and oh so uncomfortably) funny and sincerely touching, full of unconventional characters you will adore while shocking with genuine edginess and moments that pivot into outright Grand Guignol. We can’t possibly rave enough about this film. See it at all costs and witness the birth of a major instant classic.”
Lowlife would be a must-see.
You can see Mitch Davis’ full review as well as book tickets here.