An e-zine for happenings of local culture in Milwaukee and elsewhere

Frankie Latina, Modus Operandi

Not many Milwaukee-based film efforts have maneuvered to that corner seat at the bar ready to be dubbed instant cult-classic, the way Frankie Latina slid his production Modus Operandi on to the screen in 2009. Although for many different reasons, pretty much the only other film (documentary) of like birthplace I can think of doing this was American Movie (1999 according to IMBD, but I’m certain it was out before that locally). Just so happened that Frankie actually cast Riverwest’s Emperor Mark Borchardt in Modus Operandi and landed perpetual film villain Danny Trejo as well.

This past weekend, Frankie Latina hosted a one night only gallery showing of Modus Operandi inspired art including the master painting of the movie poster and portions of his photo journal from travels in South America. Intentionally a crude mock up of the simplistic grind-house action genre invented by Russ Meyers in the 1960’s perfected in the 1970’s, until Motus Operandi the genre in it’s purest form had been mostly lost to the world.

Dare I say some self-indulgently nibbled on it, namely and most infamously a winy movie-store clerk turned cult-puba named Quentin Tarantino with Pulp Fiction and more explicitly in Jackie Brown. On the other side of the hive-five, when Frankie went back in time to revive his version, he skipped the nylon era of the 1980’s, and dressed his piece in torn fishnets, trashy and hot, unapologetically and exceedingly melodramatic.

Rumor had it that Frankie nearly scored Pam Grier to co-star another flick called Skinny Dip that was in the works this past summer. Hopefully, Frankie will muster another effort on par with Modus Operandi in the future, even if not, if nothing else it was surely a wonder.

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