20 May 2001 | Jennel2
Uneven But Worthwhile
I saw this on video in the early 90s as "On the Line." It appeared to be in undubbed English. In the version I saw the two (or maybe three) story lines are not well integrated. One is the long standing rivalry between David Carradine, as a successful smuggler of illegal Mexican immigrants, and Scott Wilson, as an overzealous Border Patrol Agent. Another plot involves the arrival of two naive young men (related to one of the other characters, maybe Wilson) from the American Midwest, and the subsequent involvement of one of them with a Mexican prostitute played by Victoria Abril, who is quite good in the role. This portion of the film also examines the lives of a few of the other prostitutes who inhabit the brothel where Abril works. And it leads to an amusing cameo by Sam Jaffe as a somewhat senile crime lord. Perhaps the US video distributor had this film cut awkwardly to make it appear more of an action flick. For instance, David Carradine is top billed, but his screen time is not substantial--he pretty much disappears in the second half of the film. The film is well directed and photographed. It's evident that the writer/director had something beyond an exploitation flick in mind here. I would like to see the uncut Spanish version.