Splinter Michael D. Olmos

Splinter Michael D. Olmos
Not to be confused with the recently released, and far superior, Splinter — a genuinely creepy horror film about killer mould — this Splinter came out on DVD back in 2007 and is about Latino gang violence in East L.A., featuring a fully-clothed Tom Sizemore, without hookers. It's all about dirty cops, conflicted gang members, brutal murders, low budget graphic novel aesthetics and the ever-exhausting process of melding black and white to make grey. Leaning on the crutch of fractured memory as a forced mode of narrative progression, the film follows Dreamer (Enrique Almeida), a conflicted gang member with a bullet in his head that affects his recollections, as he and his brother (Noel Gugliemi) enact vengeance on a rival gang. Meanwhile, sociopathic police officer Cunningham (Tom Sizemore) is partnered with rookie rat Gramm (Resmine Atis), who struggles with moral ambiguity, as the captain (Edward James Olmos) will not give her clear direction on how to approach Cunningham and his alarming methods. Quite simply, the film is a gruelling and unpleasant burden to get through, spewing out some convoluted nonsense about unlikely heroes and mirrored cultural signifiers, all the while taking a perverse pleasure in the many mutilated bodies that turn up. This one is strictly for viewers that don't roll their eyes when they think of watching a movie about Latino gang violence. On the plus side, the DVD contains two separate audio commentaries, which are both hilarious and uncomfortable, in that "bad talk show" sort of way. The track with director Olmos and writer/producer Adrian A. Cruz is less amusing, featuring anecdotes about low budget production and incomplete coverage, but some comparison is made to Shakespeare, making the listen amusing. The commentary track with Tom Sizemore, along with the interview featurette on the notorious actor, make the entire ordeal worthwhile, as he talks about having seven character layers in each scene, how he's read Proust and finding the "inner darkness." It's so embarrassing and pretentious that it makes for a fantastic guilty pleasure. Also included is a perfunctory "Making Of" and brief supplements on making the score and title sequence. (Image)