While it seems Hollywood has just recently rediscovered the international drug trade with a series of heady, violent narco thrillers, audiences down in Mexico have opted to laugh through the pain of social pathology over the last few years with commercial hits like Saving Private Perez and El Infierno. After all, the crude reality of narcotráfico is difficult enough as it is, and comedy can often be a therapeutic tool to work through social trauma. Plus, it’s fun to point out how ridiculous and laughable the whole narcoculture can sometimes be.
Now it seems content creators on this side of Trump’s imaginary fence are starting to see the comedic value of an otherwise horrible phenomenon. Written and directed by Geo Santini, Borderline follows the serial escapades of Jerry Diaz, a cartel boss with borderline personality disorder who is intent on bringing his criminal empire into the 21st century. Featuring a cast of local LA comedy fixtures like Wilmer Calderón and Erick Chavarría, Borderline’s first season was independently produced by Santini’s Wize Guys Comedy before being picked up for distribution on Amazon Prime.
The result is a very low-budget but well-intentioned send-up of narcocultura that seems to be commenting more on contemporary society than the actual ins and outs of international drug trafficking. The trailer gives us a sense of Santini’s throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks comedy barrage, with a couple of hilarious hits and more than a few misses. The style is also more than a little rough around the edges, but overall, it’s refreshing to see an alternative take on Hollywood’s narco-fever coming out of the belly of the beast.
Borderline premieres September 22 on Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Prime.