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'Latin Boys' Tries to Blend Life, Fantasy


"Latin Boys Go to Hell"--and so does this rambling, diffuse picture set in Brooklyn. In the foreground is a potentially tender tale of a shy young man (Irwin Ossa), heretofore into denial in regard to his sexual orientation, who finds himself attracted to his straight cousin (John Bryant Davila), a likable, easy-going young man visiting from Chicago.

Ossa's Justin is deep into telenovelas (soap operas), as is his friend Braulio (Alexis Artiles), who's having an affair with the handsome, unfaithful Carlos (Mike Ruiz). First-time director Ela Troyano clearly means to be saying something about the blurring of melodramatic telenovela fantasy with everyday reality, but it's beyond her present ability to make her point in a coherent fashion.

Troyano would have been better off sticking with working out a credible story set in a macho Latino culture between Justin and his cousin, since Ossa and especially Davila are promising actors. It should be noted that this technically mediocre movie, clocking in at 70 minutes, apparently once had an 86-minute running time.

At the recent Outfest, "Latin Boys Go to Hell" caused quite a stir on account of one-sheets and stills featuring the smoldering, nearly naked Ruiz, who looks as if he just stepped out of a Calvin Klein ad. Buyer beware: Don't judge the picture by the poster.

* Unrated. Times guidelines: It includes strong language, some violence, some sex.

'Latin Boys Go to Hell'

Irwin Ossa: Justin

John Bryant Davila: Angel

Alexis Artiles: Braulio

Mike Ruiz: Carlos

A Strand Releasing presentation of a Jurgen Bruning/Fernando Colomo P.C. production in association with Strand Releasing/Stance Co./GM Films. Director Ela Troyano. Producer Jurgen Bruning. Executive producer Steve Gallagher. Screenplay by Andres Salas and Troyano; based on Salas' unpublished novel. Cinematographer James Carman. Editor Brian A. Kates. Music John Zorn. Production and costume designer Uzi Parnes. Running time: 1 hour, 10 minutes.


* Exclusively at the Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (213) 848-3500.

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