The film LOWLIFE is something that has been missing. There has been a lack of edge in cinema for a while. The world is a violent place and there has been an absence of that mentality lately. A raw story telling energy that sometimes makes you uncomfortable. If Rob Zombie and Quentin Tarantino had a baby, this would be it.
Teddy (Mark Burnham) is a business man who owns a restaurant and has a couple of side hustles, namely prostitution and black market organ dealing. His number one muscle is a luchador called El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate) who is also married to his daughter Kaylee (Santana Dempsey). Crazy right?! Well it only gets crazier from here! Teddy has a woman who was captured in a recent ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raid and delivered to him by a dirty agent that he allows to be used as a sex doll. Our luchador hero never takes his mask off. Partly having to do with his legacy, it is believable (though absurd). We have a female motel owner named Crystal (Nicki Micheaux) who has a shotgun and a tie to Kaylee in an intimate way. All these people are desperate and going though some inner journey. This isn’t to say that they are all good inside, the world of LOWLIFE is a decidedly ugly place. I’m simply saying that they all want something and are trying desperately to get it.
Ryan Prows makes a great debut with this film. It’s not afraid to be ugly and rude. For the Tarantino comparisons, I would say that it is not a wholly accurate comparison. Structure is definitely akin to Pulp Fiction but Tarantino did not create that structure. Also what makes a Tarantino film is his dialogue so I believe LOWLIFE has it’s own identity. As for the cast, they are all good, especially Burnham, Micheaux, and Zarate, who hold it together in a way that most of these films don’t.
LOWLIFE is a star maker debut film and I have no doubt that you will look forward to more from director Prows in the future. In the mean time. Let’s hope that LOWLIFE gets out to the masses soon. It’s proof of the goodness that indie thrillers can bring when they go low instead of high!