DVD Review - K-11

Kate Del Castillo (left) and
Goran Visnjic in "K-11"
This is like an extended episode of HBO's Oz, except it's more cartoonish and crazy, which by Oz's last season was hard to top. I wonder if writer-director Jules Stewart ever watched the HBO series. She's incorporated all of the shock value of the original show, but none of its heart or character development. It's perhaps unfair to compare a TV show, which had five years or so to tell its story whereas Stewart has about ninety minutes. Yet, one episode of Oz, which was under 60 minutes, accomplished more than K-11 does.

Goran Visnjic (ER and Red Widow) stars as Raymond Saxx who is in prison, charged with murder. He's placed in a special unit in the prison that's populated with a cast of colorful characters that's mostly distinguished by their sexual preferences or sexual identities. Raymond first meets Butterfly, a crazy inmate who looks like a girl but who is actually a boy named Bobby.

Raymond then meets Mousey, played by Kate Del Castillo, a transgendered woman too. She's essentially the gang leader who rules over the other inmates in the prison as if she's queen. There is an underground drug trafficking operation, which Mousey also controls. She's able to do so with the help of a prison guard named Lt. Gerald Johnson, played by D.B. Sweeney, who is a drug addict himself and apparently gay or just lecherous and perpetually horny.

Stewart makes Lt. Johnson such a cartoon. He's so ridiculous. His blatant behavior with regard to sex and drugs would and should be obvious to any and everyone, and other prison guards seem completely oblivious. The space where this special unit is seems very small and there's glass where the guards have a plain view. Yet, things like brutal murders and even rapes can occur and the guards are dumbfounded.

At least in the show Oz, the writers made somewhat of an effort for the inmates to get away with murders and rapes within the prison. Here, Stewart barely crosses that hurdle. I'm not exactly sure what Stewart was trying to do. Tom Fontana, the creator of Oz, had multiple purposes, but those purposes were always clear. Stewart's purposes here aren't clear.

One Star out of Five.
Not Rated but for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 28 mins.


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