Laguna Ave

Things are not going well for Russell; he’s lost his job with his former employer owing him $3,000, his girlfriend Rita is heading out of town for a couple of weeks “up north” and is refusing to tell him where, the new downstairs neighbour keeps odd hours and can’t keep the noise down and his upstairs neighbour Dan’s insistence on sharing recreational pharmaceuticals is impinging on his already shaky focus on finding work.

The previous downstairs tenants having disappeared giving no notice, leaving their belongings, the residents of the block are understandably curious about the sudden new arrival, Gary who claims to have worked with Rita, though she denies any awareness of his identity, with his intense but erratic personality, a stream of nocturnal visitors and apparent psychokinetic powers.

A monochrome excavation into the basement of the corner building on Laguna Ave prompted by growing paranoia but with the hope of not only finding answers but possibly the key to the technological singularity, have hapless slacker Russell (Russell Steinberg) and sharp-suited experimental cyberneticist Gary (James Markham Hall Jr) been brought together by happenstance or design?

Directed by David Buchanan from a script by Paul Papadeas, a bad trip down Laguna Ave unravels like the nightmares of Philip K Dick off his medication, strangers and coincidences aligning to give the apparent appearance of sinister stalkers collaborating in a conspiracy with Russell at its epicentre.

The cyberpunk revolution of The Matrix as reinterpreted by a garage cover band, the bionic hand and microchip implanted in Russell come with mediocre power over home appliances and the commensurate responsibility of a man who struggles with basic housekeeping chores, having earlier been outwitted by a wheelie bin, but soon his dreams take on dark shapes of prowess and emancipation.

Gary’s ambition to build a cyborg army and “turn this digital prison into a playground for myself and my disciples” beyond the resources available on budget which likely wouldn’t fund catering for a major studio feature, the opportunities for mad science are largely makeshift and Laguna Ave is no masterpiece, but its grungy lo-fi charm will find it an audience among those who find solace in the misfortune of quirky oddballs.

Laguna Ave will be streaming on Arrow from Tuesday 1st February



Show Buttons
Hide Buttons