The Sentimental Engine Slayer
North American Premiere

The Sentimental Engine Slayer

| USA, Mexico | 97 MINUTES | English, Spanish
Drama, Music

Barlam is a timid, twentysomething grocery bagger lurching clumsily toward manhood in the dusty US-Mexico border town of El Paso, Texas. He's been feeling anxious recently… something about the humdrum of everyday life doesn't fit quite right. His addict sister Nati—equal parts charm and damage—clicks in too well with their borderline incestuous dynamic and gets caught up in Barlam's obsession with a Puerto Rican boy who looks just like him. Thing is, this boy might be the missing piece to their broken family history. Soon Barlam is descending into a seedy underworld where reality and fantasy entangle, masculinity and belonging are thrown into crisis, and flippant humor reveals disillusionment, desire, and rage. And there are some pretty imaginative narcotics, too….

Dripping with sexuality and exuberance in tongues that bounce between Spanish and English, The Sentimental Engine Slayer flickers hot and sweaty with the fluorescent colors of a distinctly Southwest American landscape. This extraterrestrial, semi-autobiographical tale told with boomerang fragmentation and psychedelic sound design gives the director/writer/star Omar Rodriguez Lopez away as the sonic force behind the Grammy-winning fusion rockers The Mars Volta. It also makes Rodriguez's directorial debut a piercingly clear pronouncement that a rare and riveting voice has emerged for independent American cinema.

Cast & Credits
Directed by
Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Omar Rodriguez Lopez was born in Puerto Rico. His genre-defying career as a recording artist has resulted in some 35 albums, including with Grammy winners The Mars Volta. His second and third films, El divino influjo de los secretos and Boiling Death Request, are currently in post-production.
Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Adam Thomson
Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Director of Photography
Michael Rizzi
Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Executive Producer
John Frusciante
Primary Cast
Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Tatiana Velazquez, Nomar Rizo, Kim Stodel, Rikardo Rodriguez Lopez, Angel Marcelo Rodriguez Chevrez

Technical Contact
Adam Thomson
Long Beach, CA Phone: 631 495 9126
Cathy Pellow
Rodriguez Lopez Productions
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone: 213 250 7700
Press Contact
Dave Clifford
US Them Group
Phone: 213 268 6644


Subscribe for festival news, exclusive offers, programming updates, and more!
Get Festival Updates