The Sentimental Engine Slayer (2010)

 |  Drama  |  22 April 2010 (USA)
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The Sentimental Engine Slayer tells the compelling, confounding tale of the overdue coming of age of a twenty-something misfit named Barlam. Barlam's awkward transition from boy to man is ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez ...
Tatiana Velazquez ...
Nomar Rizo ...
Kim Stodel ...
Rikardo Rodriguez Lopez ...
Angel Marcelo Rodriguez Chevrez ...
Marcel Rodriguez Lopez ...
Tap Prostitute 1
Becky Vigil ...
Mesa Inn Prostitute
Astrid Magallon ...
Daniel De La Mar ...
Card Player 1
Chris Salcedo ...
Card Player 2
Valentin Merz ...
Tap Prostitute 2
Sonny Kay ...
Police Officer 1
Bud William Allen ...
Ramon Villa ...


The Sentimental Engine Slayer tells the compelling, confounding tale of the overdue coming of age of a twenty-something misfit named Barlam. Barlam's awkward transition from boy to man is as much the story of struggling to find one's essence in a world of stereotypes as it is an indictment of the distorted reality of family life in the disengaged 21st century. A bottom-rung grocery bagger whose neo-incestuous relationship with his addict sister, Natalia, causes him no small amount of grief and disillusionment, Barlam seeks solace in the convoluted wisdom of what few male peers are available, namely his androgynous, alcoholic boss, Oscar, and the sister's simple-minded boyfriend, Zack. Seeking an explanation as to the strange circumstances of his apparent lack of family structure, as well as the respect from others fundamentally absent in his mundane model-building existence, Barlam is soon led astray amid a seedy underworld of prostitutes, hustlers and addicts. The labyrinthine plot ... Written by Sonny Kay

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis








Release Date:

22 April 2010 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Genre-crossing with rich music infusion
27 April 2010 | by (New York, United States) – See all my reviews

Just caught this film earlier today at the Tribeca Film Festival.

This film tells the story of an adolescent (who's age is never mentioned, or so I believe) and his growing pains.

The director chose to tell the story in fragments and never going in chronological order (think Pulp Fiction or Memento), yet revealing just the perfect bits of information at the perfect moments. We are shown certain characters, such as the kid's psychiatrist, and then revealed more in-depth secrets to their relationship later on. These moments of revelation make you think differently of the entire story, but in a positive way. Also, we are shown scenes were we think this is true to the story, only to later find out they were figments of the protagonist's imagination. Sometimes these imaginary scenes leave you confused as to what is true and what is not, and that is where the story becomes blurry.

As to film technique, there is a great deal of different genres in music to go accordingly with the different aspects of film making techniques used. There are surreal moments a-la "Easy Riders" that are accompanied by a hard-rock track. And then there solemn car scenes with slow Mexican ballads. The choice of soundtrack perfectly fit the movie. The director does have a history of good music videos! The story is somewhat jangled, but it is a good one. The movie is a bit like a roller coaster with its exciting and nail-biting buildups and loops, to the calmer straightaways.

This is a definitely worth the watch, and I'm yearning to see where the director goes from here.

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