Shadow Zombie

The most surprising thing about this semidocumentary portrait of a 30-ish, drug-dealing speed freak who likes to go out in clown make-up is that he seems to be generally accepted by his suburban Louisiana community; some of his friends hold respectable jobs, and parents don’t seem to mind when he hangs out at playgrounds or the local roller rink. Like Harmony Korine, writer-director Jorge Torres-Torres punctuates the verite-style freak show with expressionistic sequences that suggest drugged-out reverie (many of these transpire in slow-motion and to ambient music, effectively bringing us inside the hero’s headspace). Yet this feels less sensationalistic than Korine’s work; Torres-Torres doesn’t just present his subject but explains how he got to be this way.