Produced by the Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica, Mexico’s state film school, “Pachito Rex” is an experimental blending of digital video and computer art. Originally conceived as an interactive DVD for didactic purposes, pic reps a three-episode conjecture about the title character, a pop singer turned demagogue politician who may or may not have been murdered in an undetermined Latin American country. In spite of uneven visual and narrative quality, “Pachito Rex’s” novelty value and critical stance against totalitarian regimes will generate interest in specialized circles such as film fests and arthouses.
First-time helmer Fabian Hofman uses computer technology to create virtual scenery, which surrounds live actors with a flat graphic style reminiscent of a comic strip (or, more specifically, the so-called fotonovela). Technique is eye-catching in its straightforward artifice.
As usual in omnibus films, however, the episodes don’t gel into a tight unit. First story dealing with the release from jail of Sobrino (Gomez Cruz), the alleged murderer of Pachito (Jorge Zarate), leads to a morose anticlimax.
Things pick up with the investigation handled by portly detective Estrada (Pedro Altamirano), who gets into deep water trying to unravel the mystery of Pachito’s vanishing corpse.
Third episode is the cleverest, as it follows the rise and fall of architect Abel (Damian Alcazar), who’s commissioned to build a monumental mausoleum for Pachito.
Expert thesps like Zarate, Alcazar and Arturo Rios make the most of the comic premise, particularly when the architect delivers a scale model made of dog poop. Music by Pablo Flores and Rodrigo Alton Miranda has at times a properly synthetic sound that underlines “Pachito Rex’s” standing as a curiosity piece.