I love Luchadors. In fact many years ago when I first started writing film reviews and appearing, and even hosting various podcasts my profile pic always featured me in a lunch mask. It's an eye catching gimmick I sometimes use as a laugh all these years later. Needless to say if it's a lucha film, or a film with simply a Luchador in it I have to watch it. And when I first saw the poster for Lowlife I knew it was a must see.
Filmed in non-linear style ala Pulp Fiction Lowlife revolves around the lives of 3 groups of people all tied together by their dealings with a man named Teddy "Bear" Haynes. Teddy owns a taco shack that is actually a cover for his criminal business, a human organ sex trafficking operation. He has one of his goons pose as an ICE agent and arrest illegals from a nearby motel. Once their cuffed their taken to Teddy's operation where he removes organs from some and keeps others for sale. The motel in question is ran by Crystal. She has a dying alcoholic husband who needs a new kidney. She is planning on buying said kidney from Teddy.
Teddy employees his son in law for muscle, El Monstrous. He is a failed Luchador. To small for the ring, but he posses uncontrollable rage which makes him great as a hired thug. His father and grandfather before him we're legendary for their size and the heroics they performed for the people. Sadly due to his small stature El Monstrous's only hope is to have a son who will grow bigger than he was to carry on the El Monstrous legacy. His wife is Teddy's adopted daughter. She is pregnant with his child, but she's also a junkie that El Monstrous has grown tired of.
We also meet Keith and Randy, two friends who have been tasked by Teddy to get the girl who's kidney Teddy needs to harvest. Randy, it should be pointed out has a giant swastika tattooed on his face. He got it when he was in prison. He was in so long he doesn't realize why people hate it and call him a racist.
All of these characters come together to form Lowlife. A film filled with violence, rape, disembowelings, murder, drug use, you name it. There truly is not a single likeable character in this film. Each character for better or worse is a horrible human being. There is no way possible to feel sympathy, or even general like for any of them.
Promoted as a black comedy the film is anything but funny. Sure there are a few jokes thrown in but this is a crime film in every sense of the word.
With all that said Lowlife is also a fantastic film. The characters may be scum but that does not make them less facinating. They mesh perfectly and the story moves along at a fast pace that keeps progressing until the very end. I understand why some have compared it to Pulp Fiction and believe me that's a great complement, but with the exception of the non-linear style that is the only similarity. And I don't mean that in a bad way. Lowlife is a smart well made film that should not be compared to anything as it is an original film. Not many movies have organ trafficking and a Luchador in the same plot.
Well received on the film circuts Scream Factory along with IFC is bringing this to Blu-ray this August. And I have to say the transfer is fantastic. It almost not even worth mentioning as Scream Factory has these transfers down to a science. It's also got special features.
A great film with the most unusual cast of characters I have seen in a long time. Lowlife will go down as a cult classic for sure. I highly recommend any fan of movies in general to pick this up. It's a hell of a ride.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars