Next month’s LA Film Festival is just the place for local cinephiles to be to Ben Bray’s directorial debut, El Chicano. Set forth on the streets of East Los Angeles, actor Raul Castillo takes center stage of the narrative with the promise of a haunting crime saga driven by vigilante fervor from a script by Bray and longtime cohort Joe Carnahan whose WarParty banner produced the new film.
Questions will certainly follow in the weeks ahead as El Chicano hits up the fest’s La Muse section at Arclight Cinemas in Culver City on September 22 at 9:15pm PST. The proof-of-concept released in the last few weeks was a solid, prospective look into just a tip of the iceberg of developmental work and with ticket availability now in tow, we also get an in-depth look at the film’s sprawling premise, programmed accordingly by Drea Clark:
A cop is drawn into his ex-con brother’s death while investigating the crime-fighting exploits of a mysterious vigilante known as “El Chicano.”
Growing up in East LA, twin brothers Diego and Pedro always knew they had each other, from goofing off on bikes to spying in on parties. As adults, Diego became a police officer looking out for the streets he used to play on, while Pedro turned to a life of crime. When clues start connecting Pedro’s death to a case Diego is working on, the mysterious vigilante figure of their youth—“El Chicano”—returns, drawing Diego in deeper than he ever expected.
Director Ben Hernandez Bray puts his skills with action and authenticity to good use, balancing adrenaline-filled beats with moments of emotional connection. Writers Bray and Joe Carnahan offer up a socio-political allegory within the framework of the superhero genre, taking advantage of audience’s familiarity with what they see in the movies and what they see in the news.
After a decades-long overture in stuntwork, recent years have seen Bray take to the director’s chair with his latest work now being done for CW series, Arrow. With El Chicano etching its way into history, it looks like a solid milestone for Bray in a terrific era for stunt professionals amping up their craft with feature films.
Get your tickets here and stay tuned for further updates on its release and much more!
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.