Lords of the Barrio (2002 Video)
Passages Of Brutality Are More Than Enough To Overcome Any Potential Narrative Strength.
29 December 2013
This work, completed in 1995 but not distributed for seven years, was still too soon for some viewers. The storyline is set, and filmed, in the Cuban-American Miami/Hialeah region, and focuses upon the fortunes of freshly wed Rudy Canosa (Morris Perez) and his bride. Rudy foolishly decides to assume the identity of a severely wounded mobster who has subsequently died while hiding in Canosa's vehicle. In spite of the disapproval of his wife, Canosa takes possession of a half-million dollars of gun runner money left in the car by the expiring thug. Rudy's impersonation does not please one Dago (Robert Arevalo), although the script fails to provide a clear reason for the latter's involvement in the matter. Nonetheless, monies to the amount of $500,000 shall obviously prove to be an adequate amount to arouse Dago's concern. Canosa's tepid personality comes across as being far too feeble for him to serve as a viable challenger against the gangster, and he will have to toughen, or the lives of both Canosas may be in jeopardy. Characterization in the film is lacking, with Arevalo being granted free rein for some vicious treatment of his various foes. Joe Melendez, writer as well as director of the piece, is apparently multi-skilled, and it is reported that he has improved upon this, his first feature film. It is so to be hoped, as this affair, along with its generally poor quality, utilises the tired method of voice-over narration that fails to create much-needed suspense. Logic and continuity go begging while the acting and production values are below that level required to be either an artistic or financial success.
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