LOAN SHARK
1999 - 81 minutes/fullscreen/
Digital Video/Black and White
Directed by Jay Robert Jennings
Available from:
Centrix Media Corp And Indie-Underground.com

Article written by Mark Engle




Charlie
Santore plays Loan Shark, Teddy Greene. This guy revels in his own world with a tough guy fašade who happens to hold more insanity than anything else. This guy definitely beats to a different drummer! His enthusiasm far outweighs his business sense. He's a one-man ride on a roller coaster to Hell.

For
the next 80 minutes we follow the last few days of his life as he travels around in his old Cadillac, screaming at traffic, beating up clients and forcing prostitutes, who owe him cash, to perform oral favors. All the while receiving warnings from his own boss, part of the "family," that Teddy's tactics are out of control. Promising never to do it again and to be more discreet, he heads out the door, beats up the first client he comes to and refuses to leave the local pimps and prostitutes alone. Sounds like it could be dull? Nope! Director Jay Robert Jennings' vehicle can only be described as a loaded gun and a two-ton truck running towards a brick wall at 120 M.P.H.! This film is a stark look at somebody who has gone wrong. Not done wrong, but gone wrong. The warnings are all there, from family, from friends, his girlfriend, his maniacal ex-wife, customers and his enemies. Sure that makes the ending pretty much predictable, but up until that final 3 minutes it's a race of pure insanity and disbelief for the viewer. None seems too farfetched yet inevitable.

It
really builds up very well and that is why I hate to say that when we reach the finale, I was a little on the disappointed side. Not because it was predictable or because there wasn't a stupid surprise twist at the end. No, the film doesn't cop out, it just fizzles a little. The build up was so intense that the end just sort of happens rather than snaps. The film, director and actors make the best of their miniscule budget and all of this helps the proceedings giving it a fresh outlook, a set of balls and incredible realism. Other critics and viewers have compared it to Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant and I would have to tend to agree for the most part. It doesn't come across as offensive, but it does have as much intensity.



More scenes from the film




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