Red Hook Black


Reprinting its entire script would be the only way to properly convey the unintentionally hilarious awfulness of Red Hook Black, which complements its stilted and goofy writing with equally inept performances. Factor in Luis Landivar’s third-rate visual framing, and amateurishness proves the defining characteristic of this no-budget indie about a moronic Red Hook, Brooklyn, longshoreman named Marco (Kyle Fields) who crazily berates his whiny multiple sclerosis–suffering wife, Liz (Victoria Negri), when he’s not sleeping with her needy, vengeful niece, Olivia (Danielle Lozeau). A superfluous secondary plot involves Marco’s front-office best friend Damian (James Jackson), who has embarked on a new relationship with a Spanish beauty (Cristina Rodlo) while coping with his drug-dealing brother (Keith Walker), a narrative thread that, like Marco’s tale, concerns dim-witted characters struggling to choose between stasis and change amid economic hardship. Overflowing with ultra-close-ups and set on random NYC streets and in barren apartments, it’s a veritable festival of tone-deaf hysterics in which every word sounds either directly read off a page or simply bizarre, as when robotic knucklehead Marco responds to Liz’s hectoring with “You’re a pirate, and you’re pushing me off the plank!” or charms a perfume-wearing Olivia with “You smell like the mall. Or, um, Easter bunnies.”