Blu-ray Review: LOWLIFE

LOWLIFE was directed by Ryan Prows from a screenplay by Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson and Shaye Ogbonna and stars Ricardo Adam Zarate, Nicki Micheaux, Jon Oswald, Santana Dempsey and Mark Burnham.

What happens when you throw together one fallen Mexican wrestler with serious rage issues, one just-out-of-prison ex-con with a regrettable face tattoo, and one recovering junkie motel owner in search of a kidney? That’s the premise of Lowlife, the berserk, blood-spattered, and wickedly entertaining feature debut from Ryan Prows. Set amidst the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, Lowlife zigzags back and forth in time as it charts how fate — and a ruthless crime boss — connects three down-and-out reprobates mixed up in an organ harvesting scheme that goes from bad to worse to off-the-rails insane. Careening from savagely funny to just plain savage to unexpectedly heartfelt, this audacious thriller serves up nonstop adrenalin alongside hard-hitting commentary about the state of contemporary America.

Lowlife follows El Monstruo, this masked lucha libre who isn’t living up to his family’s legacy but it’s not because he hasn’t been trying hard. The crazy thing is, he gets into these awkward confrontations that always leaves his opponents on the receiving end of his blacked out fits of rage that go unmatched. The guy just doesn’t realize how special he really is. He’s also dealing with his pregnant wife who gets trapped in the middle of this organ harvesting situation with this sleazy crime boss and the drama between these people takes the insanity to the next level.

There’s also a motel owner who’s been looking for a kidney but when she realizes who the unwilling doner is she has second thoughts and ends up becoming a champion to free this pregnant woman from this terrible situation she’s in. There’s also an ex-con with a really bad face tattoo who gets a chance to become a hero and ends up lending a helping hand to help the young woman. It takes all three of these people who come together to put a stop to the ugly things that this bad man is behind and at the end of the day they not only save the pregnant woman but each of them sort accomplish the things they’ve been trying so hard to achieve.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Lowlife ended up being an extremely wild romp that’s a mixture of dark humor and graphic violence with a small fantasy element that takes it just a little bit over-the-top. The story handles the two main characters nicely because one is having a hard time living up to his family’s legacy and the other one needs a little push to escape from her miserable life. There’s also a couple of supporting characters that get in on the action too because one becomes sort of a surprise hero when she lends a helping hand and the other one gets redemption when he turns from villain to hero. So, needless to say there’s a lot going on in the movie that also hops back and forth and gives a couple of characters’ points of view to show different sides of the story. The cast did a great job with their characters that were a lot of fun to follow and the first time director captured everything just right to make this movie an entertaning and unique slice of cinematic pop. Lowlife will be available on Blu-ray on August 7th.

Distributor: Scream Factory and IFC Midnight

Run Time: 96 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include two audio commentaries, a making of featurette and some short films.

  • Audio Commentary with director Ryan Prows and cinematographer Benjamin Kitchens
  • Audio Commentary with director Ryan Prows and writers Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson and Shaye Ogbonna
  • Making-of Featurette
  • Short Films
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