K-11 (NR)

Suspense/Thriller 82 March 15th, 2013
By Aaron Hillis
When The Hollywood Reporter likened former script supervisor (and mother of K-Stew) Jules Stewart's high-trash directorial debut to "a deranged John Waters remake of The Shawshank Redemption," a pull quote that splashes across the film's poster and website, it wasn't really meant as an endorsement. That's the frustrating thing about the artifice of camp and a deliberate use of its shock-comic exaggerations (paging Susan Sontag!) is that critiquing it can accidentally give it more artistic weight. More like an on-the-nose parody of Lee Daniels directing an episode of Oz, K-11 is a pulpy, tone-deaf mess of confused directorial intent-- exploitation laughs one minute, somber tragedy the next-- set in a cheapjack, single-room cellblock. Unlike every other coked-out cartoon of a performance, star Goran Visnjic is sincere as a Hollywood record producer arrested during a heroin bender, who is then incomprehensibly thrown into block K-11 by a perverse, corrupt, closeted guard (D.B. Sweeney, in a Hitler hairdo). Lorded over by Mexican transsexual tuck-job Mousey (Kate del Castillo), this queer-only hell behind bars (minus two lone heterosexuals Visnjic and Tommy "Tiny" Lister, playing a child rapist) offers grindhouse punchlines like "I want a jailhouse fuck, and I want it now," but too few kitsch pleasures to reach cult status.
Jules Stewart Goran Visnjic, Kate del Castillo, D.B. Sweeney, Portia Doubleday, Jason Mewes, Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jared Kurt Tom Wright Breaking Glass Pictures