ALT | Altered States
Cranking the volume and amping the carnage, Ryan Prows’ crime drama hits like an adrenaline shot to the heart, reminding us just how exhilarating rampant badassery can be when conducted with a ringleader’s flair. A disgraced luchador, recovering addict and unfortunately inked ex-con are just three of the reprobates who are part of thug life’s rich pageant in the intersecting vignettes depicting an illicit world of organ harvesting, human trafficking and, as one might expect, vengeance.
With the unflinching gruesomeness of its opening sequence (in which Mark Burnham demonstrates his reprehensible credentials) counter-pointed by the equally heartbreaking and hilarious introduction of hero-turned-henchman El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate), Prows’ film boldly states its intention to keep viewers as off-balance as a punch drunk bare-knuckled brawler. One moment he’s mining a rich vein of jet black humour, the next he’s going for the jugular. You may’ve been warned, but there’s no way you’re prepared for what awaits!
"A seriously nasty treat that owes much to early Tarantino… The bloody, bizarro highlight of this year’s Fantasia Film Festival, [Lowlife] lives up to its name and then some, spilling eccentric mayhem across several blocks of working-class Los Angeles and, among other unlikely things, eliciting sympathy for a man with a swastika tattoo covering his entire face."—John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter