Activist-comedian Dick Gregory’s most outlandish conspiracy theory — that a notorious Atlanta child mass-murder case was part of a government-sponsored genetic experiment — gets full dramatization in “Red Ink,” latest in a bevy of ultra-low-budget African-American pics from an active Texas film community.
Alas, Stephen Allen’s script doesn’t transcend the far-fetched paranoia embedded in its premise because it falls back on cliched, B-crime-pic plotting. Burdened by the usual staging, tech and casting problems facing productions made for under $100,000, hackneyed thriller will have no more than brief exposure in small fests.
Ex-Houston Post investigative reporter Donnie (Davi Jay), now hitting the streets for H Town’s black-owned Daily Sun, begins to look under the surface of a suspicious-looking killing by undercover cops of a respected black female
doctor. Pic’s first of many mistakes is to show the murder as an act of rogue cops, putting aud far ahead of snooping Donnie. Many talky, on-the-nose dialogue scenes later, Donnie has convinced editor Carl (Clarence Whitmore) of
need for deeper coverage, leading to the linking of disappeared kids and agenetic experiment by baddies. Final action is awkward, bloody and predictable.