LOAN SHARK

4 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 81 minutes
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Loan Shark is a fast-paced drive through the greasy underworld of organized crime. Set in present day Los Angeles, the film follows an out of control, street level mobster struggling with the demands of both his job and personal life.
Teddy Greene (Charlie Santore) is a viscous loan collector for the Mafia. Teddy has a tendency of getting a little too excessive when people don’t have all of his money, sometimes beating them up in broad daylight or simply putting their hand in a garbage disposal. In contrast to his job, Teddy has very little control in his personal life. In one scene, Teddy’s frustrated ex-wife (Cherie Renee Gossin) shakes him down for the $1,200 he owes her. With his ex-wife hounding him and an out of luck father (Pauli Macy) asking for handouts, Teddy vents his frustrations on his frightened clients. Teddy’s mob boss disapproves of his actions, resulting in a warning to tone things down, or else. His old friend Charlie Burke (Neil Dooley), a retired hit man, sets Teddy up with plane tickets to Miami to get out of town to cool off for a while. Unable to change and unwilling to leave, Teddy’s takes the tickets but tells his friend only that he’ll think about it.
As expected, things only get worse. After punching out a cop and being robbed of his collection money by a hooker, Teddy begins an out of control, violent rampage, desperately trying to make up for the loss of the money. With no options in sight, Teddy decides to take Charlie’s advice and leave town. When he finds that the old timer’s been murdered by Mr. Stone’s men, Teddy fueled by vengeance, bursts into a party at Mr. Stone’s home and holds him at gun-point. When it’s discovered that his gun isn’t loaded, Stone’s henchmen drown Teddy by hanging him upside down in the swimming pool while the mob family guests cheer on.
Shot on location in Hollywood and completed in just 21 days, the hurried, on the move filmmaking in Loan Shark perfectly compliments the desperation of the lead character. Loan Shark avoids the cliche story lines of big budget Mafia films about bosses like Gotti or Capone. Instead writer/director Jay Robert Jennings provides a portrait of the life and death of one of the mob’s working class.



Posted on September 6, 1999 in Reviews by
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