Director : Nick Gomez
With : Lili Taylor, Michael Rapaport, Kevin Corrigan, Adam Trese
“Illtown” is a surreal trip through the oddly cool Miami drug scene. The film is captured through the lenses of indie impresario Nick Gomez, whose attention to a drug-slowed opiate energy creates a stylistic haze that becomes a unique reality. Gomez, whose prior films include the gritty low-budget street film “Laws of Gravity,” and the studio backed Newark car-theft film “New Jersey Drive,” has created a dream world where is becomes difficult to discern what is and isn’t real. The film glides effortlessly through the deliberately ambiguous and colorfully stylized landscapes where everything looks like it might through a heroin glaze. In the film, Cisco (Kevin Corrigan), Dante (Michael Rapaport) and Micki (Lili Taylor) run a lucrative small time heroin ring selling drugs through teenaged boys to the yuppies at the sheeshy Miami nightclubs.
Told in a series of non-linear flashbacks and flash-forwards, the story begins when Gabriel (Adam Trese) is released from prison after allegedly being framed by the others. Looking prison buffed and screaming for vengeance, Gabriel sets out to destroy his former partners. He begins by trying to convince the Miami’s heroin kingpin, a bizarrely erudite character played by a very effeminate Tony Danza dressed in a smoking and jacket playing croquet, to cut off Cisco and Dante. He then sets out to turn the dealers and couriers against them, recruiting a brutal gang of delinquent kids to helping see to the demise of the empire.
In the end we are left with a few dead bodies, lifeless under the multi-colored Miami skies, and an outpouring of pain and greed. This is a 90’s gangster film for GenX art film lovers- and that’s a very good thing.