By Mark Saldana


            I was completely baffled and frustrated with this film about a family inMexicothat operates a run-down shack of a tire shop.  A wealthy American tourist named Kim (Kim Strodel) arrives to the Gonzales Family’s Los Chidos Llantera, but gets much more than a patched tire.  The family welcomes Kim to stay with them, enjoy tacos, and tequila and bond with them over a few days.  Kim enjoys the hospitality of the Gonzales clan and falls for their neighbor (Maimuna Achleitner Jimenez).  During his “vacation” with the family, Kim gets to know them quite well and discovers that there is much more to this family than what meets the eye.

            First of all, the acting, writing, and directing in this film is horrible.  The entire cast plays their characters annoyingly over-the-top. The dialogue track is badly overdubbed.  The story serves no real purpose other than to shock and abhor.  I can see what writer/director Omar Rodriguez-Lopez tries to do with his ridiculously shocking story, but he fails to accomplish this mission in using the hyper-exaggerated presentation and the disgustingly shocking content.  Rodriguez-Lopez attempts to make a satire on Mexican traditions and the hypocrisy often associated with religion and homophobia.  Throwing in cannibalism, deviant sexual behavior, rape, incest, and domestic abuse and using the material as comedic devices left a terrible taste in my mouth. I consider this reprehensible picture the worst of SXSW Film 2012.

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