5.9/10
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Zero in the System (2013)

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A vigilante ex-con is determined to clean up his crime-infested community. As he avenges the death of his sister, he begins a series of actions that may lead to his own destruction.

Director:

Tim McCann

Writer:

Tim McCann
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Simmons Mike Simmons ... Earl Coleman
Tabitha Holbert Tabitha Holbert ... Keisha
Chris Kerson ... Detective Carver
Darrell Crawford Darrell Crawford ... Detective Boldt
Frank Olivier Frank Olivier ... Derek Young
Lawrence Olivier Lawrence Olivier ... Lawrence (as Sir Lawrence Olivier)
Jerome Gales Jerome Gales ... Ulysses
Aaron Parker Aaron Parker ... Z
Delrawn Fubu Small Delrawn Fubu Small ... Wescott
Duane Wallace ... Auto Mechanic
Eric Greg Drucker Eric Greg Drucker ... Garage Owner
Dominic Olivier Dominic Olivier ... Mylo
Ethel Remy Ethel Remy ... Grandmother
Danny Garrett Danny Garrett ... Rex
Bernard Minor Bernard Minor ... Car Thug #1
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Storyline

ZERO IN THE SYSTEM focuses on an ex-con whose sister died of a drug overdose while he was in prison. He has developed a Messiah complex, and within his crime infested community he begins a series of actions that may lead to his own destruction. The film was shot in Spring Valley, New York, cast with mainly non-actors, most of them ex-convicts from the area. The story was heavily developed through improvisation. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Blog | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Raw and low-budget character study of a vigilante
7 August 2014 | by krachtmSee all my reviews

The plot: After he turns his life around, an ex-con turns vigilante to protect his neighborhood from drug dealers.

I walked into this film not really knowing anything about it, so I expected that it would probably be an urban-themed update of Death Wish. When I saw the Phase 4 Films logo, I lowered my expectations significantly, as Phase 4 has become infamous in some quarters for distributing backyard productions. The production values are actually a bit more raw and low-budget than their usual fare, but it sort of works for the gritty story. The film itself is more of a character study than an outright thriller. It's not exactly Taxi Driver, but it's got significantly more depth than I initially expected, especially once I saw the Phase 4 logo.

The camera work is a bit frenetic during the action scenes, and I think people who were expected bloody carnage may be a bit disappointed. There's more atmosphere -- a strong sense of approaching dread -- than there are scenes of vigilante justice. You can tell that Earl, the protagonist, is conflicted about his path, and the scenes of quiet, angry contemplation were fairly well done for a low budget film. Earl's girlfriend begins to tell him about her day, and he sits there in his car, stewing over a minor incident in which a teenager casually disrespects him. Eventually, Earl gets out of the car while his girlfriend is in mid-sentence, confronts the teenagers, and then tries to smooth things over with his girlfriend. It's obvious that he's going to have to make a decision about his lifestyle soon. Earl is an angry man, and you're never quite sure where his anger is going to lead him.

Earl is an interesting guy, and I was never bored. I'm not quite sure to whom I would recommend this film, however. What it lacks in exploitative violence, it makes up for in depth. I suppose, to some extent, you might compare it to John Sayles' work in low budget exploitation films, elevating them to higher levels. It's also got some elements of early Spike Lee or John Singleton urban dramas, and if you miss those, maybe you'll enjoy this.


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