Mighty Movie Podcast: Amat Escalante on Los Bastardos

08/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

You might think that for the inaugural entry here on HuffPost, Mighty Movie Podcast might feature something that would serve as a friendly little hello -- a charming family film, say, or maybe something suitably patriotic to kick off the July 4th weekend.

But nooooo. Instead, we've got Los Bastardos, a spare and brutal survey of the suburban wasteland that finds two illegal immigrants (non-pros Jesus Moises Rodriguez and Ruben Sosa) staging a home invasion and finding that their hostage (Nina Zavarin) is too benumbed to care.


Director Amat Escalante doesn't try for hyperbolic horror here -- the nightmare purrs along in low key, which makes the scenario almost as unbearable, and the atrocities and violence, when they do happen, all the more indelible. It may not necessarily be the thing to sit down to following the family barbecue, but, trust me, what you'll experience is as incendiary as any backyard fireworks.

I reached Escalante by phone in Mexico, and we were able to talk a bit about baiting Lou Dobbs, growing up Mexican in Southern California, and casting migrant workers as your lead actors. Here's the interview: