Lowlife El Monstruo

Rarely does a film live up to its title as well as Lowlife. Equal parts absurd comedy and surrealist bloodbath, it’s a shocking and often-hilarious story of a bunch of derelicts told over a few days in Los Angeles.

You know you’re in for a rough time when the film starts with an apparent ICE agent bursting into a motel room in the dead of night and grabbing all the undocumented immigrants inside. The owner, Crystal (Nicki Micheaux) tries to stop them and almost gets shot for her efforts. The ICE agent takes them to the basement of one Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Mark Burnham having a lot of fun with the role), the owner of a taco shop who has a far more nefarious business going on downstairs. A good-looking woman is separated from the men and you immediately know that something worse than deportation is about to happen. It does, although a survivor is happy when Teddy mentions El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate), and believes that he’s someone who will save them.

But it turns out El Monstruo works for Teddy.

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