Other Worlds Austin is at it again and they are premiering Prisoner X* next Thursday, June 23, 9:00 p.m., at Flix Brewhouse in Austin, Texas. Directed by Gaurav Seth and based on the Hugo-nominated novella “Truth” by Robert Reed, this gritty sci-fi is somewhat reminiscent of 12 Monkeys and The Jacket. It features actors Julian Richings (CUBE, The VVitch), Romano Orzari (Turbo Kid, Assassin’s Creed– voice of Giovanni Auditore da Firenze), and Michelle Nolden (RED, Haunter).
Prisoner X takes place in a alternate future where the War on Terror takes a significantly different turn. The film starts with a car crash where Ramiro, a mysterious man with synthetic genes and nano devices in his bloodstream, is found near the Montana border smuggling a large amount of weapons-grade uranium. He is detained at a secret military bunker prison called “The Sandbox” where U.S. operatives strap him to a chair and commence torturing him for information. Guess we can scrap the Geneva Convention in this universe?
Agent Fischer has been questioning Ramiro for the past 15 years (2002-2017) and was gaining traction with his subject. At the beginning of his incarceration Ramiro gave Fischer a list of astronomical events with corresponding dates projecting as far into the future as 140 years, all of which up until this point have come true. They jump to the conclusion that he is a time traveler which is the only way they can seem to explain everything.
Agent Carmen Reese, a CIA operative with a tragic past is brought in to check out the case by former partner, Fischer. They will attempt to unravel the motivation behind the uranium smuggling and whether Ramiro is telling the truth or if they are just pawns in an elaborate war game. Agent Reese’s interrogation of the prisoner gets a little Lecter-esque with him picking up on all of her subtle facial tics and nuanced gestures. However, he doesn’t discuss fava beans with her, instead they drink tea while discussing the fate of the world.
Romano Orzari’s performance is excellent portraying the pragmatic, cold, calculated, and yet charming time traveling terrorist. One of my favorite lines from the film is when Carmen comments on Ramiro’s lack of reaction to an unfortunate event and he responds with “This world is like a dream Carmen, are you ever surprised in a dream?” That and, “Paranoia is the greatest weapon there is.” So true. How many films have things gone to shit due to people assuming something incorrectly from being overly paranoid? Answer: A BUNCH.
This is a truly terrifying concept; a time traveling terrorist. I can’t think of much that is scarier than that, well, maybe an invisible giant spider? Sentient flying knives? Okay, so maybe I can think of a few things. Regardless, if you’re in the Austin area, come out to Flix Brewhouse and see Prisoner X June 23rd!
*Prisoner X, not to be confused with the placeholder name used by reporters for some prisoners in Israel.