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Lazarus Papers, The (DVD Review)

20 Mar, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 3/27/12
Green Apple
$24.98 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for violence, sexual content, drug use and language.
Stars Gary Daniels, Danny Trejo, Krystal Vee, John Edward Lee, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Bai Ling.

There’s a reason character actor Danny Trejo doesn’t talk much in movies. With a weathered mug, tattooed body and criminal past, his appearance speaks volumes.

That’s why the star of Machete (and numerous other Robert Rodriguez movies) is featured prominently along with seductive Bai Ling (Three … Extremes) and handsome ex-kickboxer Gary Daniels (The Expendables) on the box art of middling action-drama The Lazarus Papers (previously released as The Mercenary).

With a trio like that peering from the retail shelf, who needs a plot, right? Alas, an 89-minute movie can’t exist on beauty alone.

Thus, we find a young man named Lonnie (John Edward Lee) who is mysteriously dying and wants to find love before he passes. With a suitcase full of money from a cashed-out life insurance policy, Lonnie is willing to pay for it, which finds him in a hotel in Thailand waiting for an escort to knock on the door.

That would be Nana (Krystal Vee) — abducted at gunpoint in her village by mercenary badass Sebastian (Gary Daniels) — who has HIV due to intravenous drug use and prostitution. Her pimp, Kyo (wonderfully played by Ling) just wants the suitcase of money. She sends Sebastian to make sure Nana delivers it.

Making sure that doesn’t happen is Dock (Damon Whitaker, brother of Forest), a local police officer looking for Lonnie and whoever is trying to get him and Nana.

And what about Trejo? He plays Aroon, a mystical healer from Nana’s village who can bring people back from the dead by taking his own life — a unique skill that comes in handy (but makes little sense) when the bullets start flying.

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