Directed by Jules Stewart
Written by Jules Stewart and Jared Kurt
Starring Portia Doubleday, Jason Mewes, Tommy "Tiny" Lister,
Goran Visnjic, Kate del Castillo and D.B. Sweeney
Running time 88 minutes
K-11 is the section of the Los Angeles Jail that is used to hold Gay and Transsexual inmates, with the belief that it will be a safer environment for them than the general population of the jail. This is an important fact to know going into this one, because although we have come far in our preconceived notions, some out will chose not to watch this solely based on the information just given, and that is their right, but they will be missing out...
I admit going into this one I thought I was going to be watching something over the top with some dark humor and possibly some intense violence, something more in the line with a psychological thriller, or possibly revenge genre. I rarely pay much attention these days to classifications, they don't seem to mean as much now as they did year ago, things have become more melded, and less definable in all genres so if something looks interesting I just go with that and try not to read too much info on until after I am done. It wasnt until I was about 30 minutes into the movie that I realized this one wasn't at all what I thought, its a very dark drama, I wouldn't normally include a drama in here but this film is just too damn good and powerful not to talk about, and it most definitely is dark.
Raymond Saxx (Goran Visnjiic) is a powerful music executive who went on a bender, and finds himself in jail, accused of murdering one of his top acts after finding him with his wife. Problem is Raymond is so messed up he cant answer any questions during processing, and a certain guard (DB Sweeney) has taken an unhealthy interest in him. He bribes another guard to allow him to "qualify" the new inmate and Raymond ends up in K-11. As Raymond begins to sober up enough to realize what is happening its too late, hes caught in a world that both disgusts and frightens him. Making matters worse Mousey (Kate del Castillo) is back and shes one pissed diva! Mousey runs K-11 with an iron fist and with the help of her man Ben (Jason Mewes), and DB Sweeney, she keeps the block in drugs and order, but there are some things even Mousey can't change... Detroit (Tiny) being one of them, and hes taken a wife, Butterfly (a young gentle soul with a dark secret of her own), who is not exactly a willing bride. Will Raymond survive to see the outside? Has Butterfly lost her wings forever? Will Mousey continue her reign of terror? Well I could tell ya but where'd the fun be in that?!
K-11 is a film that catches you by surprise. I went in expecting expecting to watch "John Waters & Divine" type antics, over the top, shocking and possibly even a little sexually unsettling instead I was caught up in a film that delivered me to a place of sorrow and empathy. The film is very dark, there are some pretty unsettling rape scenes and some shower scenes that may bother some but if you give it a chance and let go of what ever if any prejudices you may have you find this very solemn tale that may open you in ways you never expected. In the start of the film your focus is primarily on the characters and what makes them different than the accepted norm, but something really kind of beautiful happens as you watch, you along with Raymond start to see past that which is different and instead start to really empathize and root for them.
Don't misunderstand me though the film isnt all flowers, love and drama, its a very dark film that deals with some very real taboo issues, and injustices. There's some well done violence, some rape (both implied and not so implied), there's drug use, drug mules, etc., but all of this is well balanced with a heart that you just don't expect. I HIGHLY recommend you make time in your schedule for this one, its just a truly great film that will take you places you don't expect. Kudos to the great performances by literally everyone in this one, its a great ensemble cast that wouldn't be near as successful if each character weren't so well delivered. I will definitely watch this one again in the near future!