By Admin | December 20, 2008

I’m the kind of guy who will watch a movie purely because of its’ title. This method can sometimes lead to awesome cinematic discoveries. When I saw the title “Grunting Mammals” I thought to myself, “There’s no way this won’t be rad.” I forgot, however, that with the inception of digital film making, anyone can make a movie. That includes people who shouldn’t.

Salvador Mondragon is a hit man. He’s also, apparently, depressed, jealous, and paranoid about his wife Ophelia’s loyalty. This is conveyed through tiresome and overly long discussions where he waxes mythological in a vein attempt to seem like some cool Tarantino character, but instead comes off as a jackass who reads books some times. He and his partner slowly and and clumsily kill their way around town searching for all those who may be connected to his failed marriage. Meanwhile another team of hit men try to pick up the pieces of their own mess.

Director Rodrego Cipriano was clearly way over his head the moment he conceived this film, mainly because it seems he has no talent in the medium. Scenes drag on far longer than necessary, the camera work is nauseating (don’t hound, me, I sat through Cloverfield and Irreversible a number of times, it’s THAT bad), and some of the most amateur acting this side of a high school production. At times it seems he may be tapping into the world of Joe Carnahan’s Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, but misses the mark every time.

Motives and actions are never really made clear, characters appear and disappear without proper introduction, and the action set pieces are anything but exciting. On occasion the actors would quite visibly stumble over their lines, which didn’t seem complicated to remember in the first place. It’s hard for me to give such a bad review to a film made on zero budget, and it seems they did try their best, but just not hard enough.

All in all, this was a failed attempt at a comedic gangster pic made on a budget, and it’s 2 hour run time really doesn’t help. I didn’t hate every aspect, there were some jokes I chuckled at, and every so often there would be a clever line, but in the end Grunting Mammals is all just one big mixed bag of nothing special.

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