Guillermo del Toro came to mind when I first saw the cover for “Lo.” I love me some Pan’s Labyrinth, but I’ve had my heart broken by independent film covers before. Trepidatiously, I fired up the ol’ netflix and gave Lo a shot. Good thing I did, too, because it straight rocked my shit!
Lo begins with Justin, sitting alone in the middle of a pentagram he’s painted on his apartment floor. Now I’m no big shot wiccan, but I’ve watched enough movies to know you should never practice witchcraft alone. But it turns out that Justin needs to summon a demon to go fetch his girlfriend, April, from the depths of hell, and love makes people do stupid things. After slicing his hand open with a kitchen knife and stabbing the floor, the demon Lo appears. Lo is one part Oderus Urungus, one part Beetlejuice, and 100% fucking hilarious. And the movie goes on; Justin and Lo in a dark room for nearly an hour and a half. There are “flashback” scenes, all of which take place on a shoddily crafted stage and are acted out in the manner of a high school play. And there are song and dance numbers, and other demons and zombies too, but really, the meat and potatoes of this movie takes place in a dark room.
If this all seems a bit cheesy, that’s because it totally is, but in all the right ways! Writer/director Travis Betz crafts a pretty epic story, and makes it work on a pretty limited budget. The fact he manages to never take himself too seriously works in his favor. Some of the acting is never spot on, and there are a couple of scenes that seem to drag, but in the end Lo is just plain fun to watch. There are open knife wounds that talk, zombies that play in a band, demons that swear, sing and sling one-liners. And though Lo draws plenty of inspiration from Raimi, del Toro and Gwar, when it all boils down, it’s a love story. A pretty original love story with some good twist that should keep you interested during it’s short, 80 minute run time.
A while back I watched a movie called “Ink” and man, did that movie suck. Some people might whine, “but Rik, Ink was an independent film, created on a razor-thin budget.” To those people I say shut the fuck up and see Lo. This, my friends is how low budget movies are made. And when you consider that Transformers 2: Rise of the Machines cost 200 million fucking dollars to make, Lo is a goddamn triumph of modern cinema.
I give Lo: 4 out of 5 pentagrams.