Camilo Vila's cool-soundin 186 Dollars To Freedom (2012), previously known as the less marketable The City Of Gardens, is a U.S.-Peru effort by Four Fish Films that superficially explores the sociopolitical horrors of Third World South America. Based on the true story of the film's writer-producer, Monty Fisher, we're clued in on a young blonde surfer livin happily with his beautiful girlfriend in 80s Lima, Peru, who naively lets his visa expire and finds himself behind bars in the notorious El Sexto prison. When ruthless Peruvian pigs discover the gringo in prison, they plant coke in his backpack to extort money from him and his Beverly Hills family. Wayne refuses to grease the wheels and quickly becomes a non-person, even to his own Embassy. The movie purports to depict the grim system of corruption, torture, prison violence and wholesale murder. Title is in reference to the precise amount he didn't wanna pay.
At a glance:
|Alex Meraz as vicious inmate Nicaragua, the most watchable character. |
I think he's one of the Twilight wolves.
|Peruvian beauty Anahi de Cardenas.|
Bad news on the doorstep:
|John Robinson is the lead while Johnny Lewis plays a Hare Krishna follower.|
There always seems to be one in every prison movie, huh.
Village Voice writer Nick Pinkerton observes: "If one were to base one's knowledge of South America solely on the movies set there that make their way into theaters in these United States, one could be forgiven for taking away the impression that the continent's entire population is evenly divided between unwashed prisoners and aviator-shade-wearing secret police, and that its only industries are dilapidation and torture."
Reminds me of:Mel Gibson's Get The Gringo (2012), an infinitely more enjoyable movie.
Watch out for :Anahi de Cardenas who plays the female lead is easy on the eyes but she doesn't get too much to do. There's also a run-out here for one-time sex siren Deborah Kara Unger. Sure looks like it's been ages since the time she got fresh with Michael Douglas in The Game (1997).
|"Take him, he's got a tighter arsehole!"|
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?We definitely feel on location but the experience is not very emotionally rewardin. Oh well, at least it's not as pretentious as Oliver Stone's Savages (2012). For more information, check out its official website or its Facebook pages new and old. Me, I'd rather rewatch somethin like Prison On Fire (1987) any day. ★★1/2
Here's Monty Fisher's statement about his first-hand experience and how the movie came about.
|Alex Meraz and John Robinson in a brawl.|
The next twenty eight years were a series of blunders, false starts and deviations from the path. I became an actor (not so good), a playwright (a little better) and a theater director (terrible) along with my day job as a school teacher. I wrote 13 drafts of the story and changed the title four times. I returned to Peru eight times to look for a director to take on my screenplay. I even went to film school. It wasn't until I hooked up with Camilo Vila in 2008 that I saw any real progress. He saw the raw potential in my story and worked with me to craft a magnificent screenplay. I sensed that when we put this script with our casting director, Pixie Monroe, that a lot of young guys would die for this role of a young surfer who has to turn into a man in a Peruvian prison. We received over 3,000 submissions, from which we chose John Robinson. We had seen him in Elephant and Lords of Dogtown. He had sweetness and vulnerability, and we liked that he insisted on doing his own surfing stunts.