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Carlos Prime [Celluloid 10.01.15] action thriller

The jungle- no law. No liberty. No witnesses. Photojournalist Avery (Zoe Bell) is on location in the unforgiving beauty of the South American jungle. Her assignment hitches her along with Guillermo (Nacho Vigalondo), the eccentric self-proclaimed militant missionary and his small cadre distributing goods throughout villages in need. As she documents the team, she witnesses something she wasn’t supposed to, and now everything she thought about them has been turned on its head.

In wild pursuit of her (and the photographic evidence of Guillermo’s true nature) are a devout band of savage idealists who obey their leader’s every whim. A harrowing chase ensues through the lush landscape and time after time Avery’s comparatively lacking skills are put to the test.

Will she adapt to the punishing nature of the jungle in time to keep her pursuers at bay? Or perhaps there is a new apex predator this landscape has never seen before.

Camino is a rocket-fueled fever dream. The only time its action and suspense are interrupted is when Vigalondo goes on a lengthy diatribe to creep the audience out even further. This is one of those films like Brotherhood of the Wolf where you can’t quite put your finger on one genre. In the best way possible- this film is all over the place.

Part anti-action movie, part suspense, part acid trip, there are few films that put their fingers in so many pies and still put a remarkable product together. Zoe Bell (in her sophomore collaboration with director Josh C. Waller and writer Daniel Noah) clings to shreds of viable hope as she drags herself through the brutal (and breathtaking) rainforest. Her pain is upsettingly real. Her anguish permeates the screen.

Vigalondo has never been this fanatical in a role. Oddly calm at times, then exploding with a megaton of fury, the taut control over his character’s persona is simply outstanding.

In an interview with the director (keep posted for that one closer to the wide-release date!), Waller stated “people like to think we’re civilized because we’re human. We’re not. We’re animals.” His vision to make the jungle an active part of decaying the characters’ decaying social skills is precisely unnerving. The look, the feel, the sounds (and MY GODS, the SCORE!) all fill sensational gaps where so many films tend to stumble upon themselves or even forget to use.

An elemental change in scenery and pace from Waller’s previous film Raze, there is really only one more thing to say about Camino: SEE IT.

If Paris Hilton switched bodies with Fidel Castro in Apocalypse Now.

Camino opens in select theaters in the U.S. today, March 4 then will get a VOD & home video release from XLrator Media.

Recommended Release: Raze

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