by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
As I started to write these comments, having watched the movie scant
hours ago, I could not remember the title. Not Forgotten was indeed
forgotten after all. If I wanted to extend the wordplay a bit, I
might say that it is eminently forgettable. But let's not go into Gene
It is, more or less, a by-the-numbers thriller that takes place along
the border between the USA and Mexico, with the action centered around Del
Rio, Texas. A young girl is kidnapped in broad daylight. Her father, a
local sheriff, two FBI guys and some Mexican police get involved in the
search. It turns out that many of the central characters are hiding dark
This slow, low-key film has several flaws, the worst of which is a
totally stereotyped look at the two cultures which sit side-by-side across
the Rio Grande river, the Del Rio portion of which is pictured here as
more of a creek than a river. On the American side there are stately homes
on tree-lined streets, dignified parks with old-fashioned cart vendors
manned by avuncular and good-hearted citizens, vintage mom-'n'-pop retail
outlets, and kids playing soccer with quiet determination. A few hundred
yards farther south, the streets are teeming with hookers, and any woman
who is not a hooker is a stripper. Toothless men are holding cockfights in
the streets, shouting angrily, drinking tequila until they can no longer
stand, and firing guns in the air - all accompanied by non-stop mariachi music.
Kinda makes you wonder why they want to be on our side of the border.
At any rate, the film does have some interesting elements:
- One of the FBI agents is played by Long Duc Dong!
- There is a forbidding tone created by an ongoing backdrop of "Santa
Muerte," an actual Christian death cult which is disavowed by mainstream
Christianity. Its rituals and symbols provide a frightening, ominous
- The film pulls off an interesting red herring with some trick
casting. The missing girl's father talks about his deceased wife. Before
the kidnapping, the girl looks at a picture of her late mom, and the
image she holds is obviously the beautiful actress Claire Forlani, who
has an unmistakable and unique look. Therefore, when the girl is
kidnapped, we automatically think (1) the mother is not really dead
since Ms. Forlani must play a character in this film; (2) the undead
mother is probably responsible for the kidnapping. When an hour passes and
the search has not yet turned up any key leads, we are mystified that we
have not yet seen Forlani. Given this film's obsession with obscure
death cults, we imagine that she is this film's version of Colonel
Kurtz, a powerful, shadowy character pulling everyone's strings.
Wrong. That was all a ruse. Forlani does appear - for about a minute.
Her character is still alive, as we deduced, but it turns out that her
ex-husband knew that all along. He was hiding it from everyone else.
Essentially, that had little to do with the main plot. Years earlier,
Forlani's character had been messed up on drugs and involved with criminals, so
the father simply abandoned her and took his daughter out of harm's way.
That combination of the script and the casting created a nice little
bit of misdirection. What's even better, all of that misdirection did tie
in with the main plot in an indirect way which I can't describe without
spoiling what the kidnapping is really all about. Since Not Forgotten is
actually an adequate (if cheesy) thriller, I need to leave those matters for your own
THE BOX OFFICE
Box Office Mojo.
It appeared in only four theaters, grossing a measly $50,000.
I suspect that no film will ever break the box office records
set by Zyzzyx Road, the domestic gross of which reached just
thirty dollars, but had that film never existed, this one may
have set some records. For example, on Monday, June 1st of 2009,
this film was in three theaters and grossed $27 - nine bucks per
theater. I suppose that is only a single ticket in each venue.
Given multiple screenings, it must have played to several empty
theaters, with nobody to confirm its existence, like the
proverbial tree falling in the deserted forest. As it turns out,
27 bucks was nowhere near its worst day. On Thursday, June 18th,
its final day in theaters, it grossed six bucks. That was the
third consecutive day in single figures!
Details here. Amazingly, this film managed to hang out in at
least one theater for 49 consecutive days! God only knows why.
There are numerous topless and bottomless hookers and strippers, and they
come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Those were anonymous (and often
unattractive) body parts.
Paz Vega was topless, but the camera was behind her. You can, however, see
almost her entire butt, thanks to some scanty panties.