Saturday, January 14, 2012
The Lazarus Papers Movie Review
Above Pic: Movie Poster
The Lazarus papers is one of those films that flew far under the radar. I actually watched it a couple of years back, but never took the time to give it a chance. Good or bad, I am surprised that there is only one external critic review of this linked to IMDB for this film so here is my 2.5 cents.
The film opens with a mystical beginning. A foreshadowing Shaman type character named Aroon (Danny Trejo) is seen curing blindness in an older woman. He heals her and makes her touch a white lotus. In this realm the white lotus is an omen of impending death.
Above Pic: Danny Trejo as the all healing wise man. Note to self, um, stay away haha!
It turns out the woman's daughter Nana (Krystal Vee) witnesses her mothers eventual demise. Nana turns to a life of drugs and salacious prostitution with ring leader Kyo fleshed out by a gloriously slutty, and playful Bai Ling.
Above Pic: Bai Ling as the dangerous swindling prostitute! No man is lucky with her haha
Action star Gary Daniels plays Sebastian Riker a con, always wanting to swindle money out of someone. He is a smarmy and very rough individual, ruthless who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He approaches Kyo to make a business arrangent in which Nana will marry unsuspecting Lonny Smith (John Edward Lee) from the US and steal his suitcase full of cash. Things go awry and a chase ensues, Riker is hot on the trail of Nana and Lonny. Lonny is just looking for love in all the wrong places haha.
If after this set up the audience is not confused, the Lazarus papers is not that bad of a film, not great either. Yes the plot is muddled, but there are enough interesting elements, including some colorful dialogue, and over the top audacious performances by the actors. This is crazy B movie madness all the way. Be warned, if B movies are not your thing stay far away, far, far away.
All of the characters eventually come together in an odd way, there is death, mayhem, and some really bizarre flashbacks. The Lazarus papers is at times over ambitious for it's scope, but never boring. The scenes flow freely, and the action is plentiful, although the plot is obscured at times.
Above Pic: Krystal Vee as the innocent one transformed to a life of treachery
For the acting, I thought everyone does a decent job, I particularly enjoyed Krystal Vee as the innocent girl thrust into a life a debauchery and pulchritude. She has a soft face, smooth features, and an innocent calming voice. Bai Ling is over the top maniacal, comical, yet playful. Gary Daniels is his typical action oriented self. Watch for cameos from Tiny Lister and Damon Whitaker. Mr Lister meets a surprise fate in The Lazarus Papers.
The movie's setting of Thailand is appropriate. The scenic background, allowed the characters to relish the settings. The camerawork was soft and flowing, making the use of slow motion at times fuzzy flashbacks. Once again the audience is reminded however, that this is a B movie, as some elements, like the lighting and ancillary props are not given proper depth.
On to the rating, I struggled with this one, I will give it a cautionary passing grade of 5 out of 10, a rent. The muddled plot, brings it down, but the performances lift it up.
Currently it is available as a region 2 import from Amazon, and rather hard to find. The title is listed as The Mercenary, although typing in Lazarus Papers will come up as the correct search.