LIVE AND DIE IN EAST LA
(director/writer: Attila Korosi; cinematographer: Gareth Taylor; animation by Mio Yamanaka; editor: Itai Levin; music: Cece Wen; cast: Anita Korosi (Anita), Attila Korosi (Attila), Daniel Hovey (Daniel), Angel Hovey (Angel), Michael Flores (Carlos), Joey Abril (Money), Christian Alberto (Christian), Jenny Aguilar (Jenny), Steven Bray (Lawyer), Richard Cabral (Sado), Eric Arizmendi (Ric), Lisa Bertoldo (Sally), Ishaan Bahri (Ishaan), Mackenzie Augustin (Award Presenter #2), Robert Lasardo (Tony, crime kingpin with body tattoos), Corina Calderon (Bianca), Cesar Garcia (Sanchez); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Attila Korosi; VOD/VUDU/Prime Video; 2023)
“A gritty, low-budget, indie crime thriller.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A gritty, low-budget, indie crime thriller directed, written and starring Attila Korosi, in his debut as a director of feature films. The LA based director hails from the former Yugoslavia. He sets the film in the ghetto of East LA. His film should not be confused with William Friedkin’s more pungent big budget 1985 crime thriller “To Live And Die In LA.”
After run over by a car, the youngster Daniel (Daniel Hovey) is treated by the ER doctor (Attila Korosi) at an LA hospital. It later becomes known Daniel is the son of the Mexican-American crime kingpin Carlos (Michael Flores), and this was no accident but a revenge hit from another gang.
Meanwhile Danny’s sister Anita (Anita Korosi) works for the family’s drug business.
The ER doctor teams with his best friend Ishaan (Ishaan Bahri) to work as drug couriers for crime kingpin Tony (Robert Lasardo), as they scheme to rescue Anita from Carlos’ gang. But that futile effort only leaves Danny’s brother Angel (Angel Hovey) dead and spurs on a bigger gang war.
There’s a caterpillar animation by Mio Yamanaka that pops up in the film’s opening as a fable on the consequences of taking the wrong path in life.
It’s a familiar bloody gang-banger pic with some odd subplots and vivid street scenes. It’s touched up with some high-concept thoughts about doing the right thing for those who are trapped by their circumstances into living out a bad situation.
Considering the budget constraints and the outlandish plot, it does well to turn out as passable entertainment. This is because of its fast pace, the solid execution of its story, and some decent acting from a diverse cast of mostly unknowns that mixes in a few recognizable veteran thespians (Richard Cabral, Robert Lasardo & Cesar Garcia).
REVIEWED ON 8/25/2023 GRADE: B