Monday, November 23, 2009

Bloody Nightmares #16: Hip Hop Locos (2001)


Hip Hop Locos is one of the worst films I've ever had the displeasure to see.

I know bad. Christ, I wouldn't have made it this far into the Bloody Nightmares collection if I didn't at least have a high tolerance for low (or no) production values, amateurish acting, and non-existent special effects. I take that sort of thing in stride because I love genre films, and I get excited watching young filmmakers try to pull something together with little more than a few friends and a can-do attitude (and a DV camera). However there's always the possibility that I could run into something that even my sympathetic nature can't tolerate, that can't even be properly laughed at because it crosses the line from badness to being just plain irritating. I'm wracking my brain for even one redeemable thing about the film, and the only thing that comes to mind is that at 70 minutes, at least it's mercifully short. Cold comfort for anyone who even considers watching this abomination.


Unodoz and K10 (played by Unodoz and J10) are a couple of young Latino gangbangers who come up with a plan to set their hip hop careers in motion: kill a bunch of drug dealers + sell the stolen drugs + ? = PROFIT! They jump to action by talking at the camera, then driving around, smoking pot, talking to the camera, calling someone on a pay-phone, talking at the camera and then occasionally stabbing someone. They follow the stabbing with more talking at the camera, usually about how great it was to stab that person, and how they want to drive around, call someone, and then stab someone else. Rinse and repeat, and throw in some awful video and vocal effects for good (bad) measure. There is literally five minutes of plot stretched with endless, seemingly improvised dialogue (Homes.. Homes... Homes homes homes homes homes homes) interspersed with grainy black and white footage that is headache inducing.

I can't even imagine how this film even managed to scrounge up this level of distribution as it looks like something put together over a weekend to entertain (??) some friends of the cast. Oddly, despite the title and central plot, there isn't even any Hip Hop music on the soundtrack; just the occasional synthesizer beat behind awful, repetitive dialogue notably featuring the words “homes!”, “la raza!” and “eh?” in various combinations. At a couple of points Unodoz attempts to freestyle a portion of the plot, which only convinced me that he must have some sort of learning disability to come up with such weak rhymes. At a certain point I actually thought I might be going mad, as scenes began to blend together and repeat in a weird haze of cheap video effects and murky driving footage.


Photography is strictly a point and shoot affair, with minimal editing. Barely visible color footage of our two intrepid heroes gives way to black and white footage of them wandering around in the dark, usually repeating the dialogue that was said in the previous color footage. Often scenes stretch far beyond their breaking point, most notably in a strangulation scene which lasts for an eternity as one of interchangeable “locos” tells the other to “choke him!”. Sound is generally clear, but i'm not sure that's a benefit.

Mill Creek/Pendulum Pictures didn't even include chapter stops for this one. Even by their low standards, this is by far the worst thing i've seen in this collection.


I don't usually like to warn people away from films, as I realize when it comes to badness that quality becomes a very subjective thing. However, I feel confident in saying that there is no way that any reasonable person would get even the smallest bit of entertainment value out of Hip Hop Locos. The credits feature director Lorenzo Munoz Jr.'s name over and over in likely the most misplaced show of ego the film world has ever seen. Fucking awful.

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