Stars: Patrick Davis, Lisa Vidal, Jose Zoniga, Haley Ramm, Mason Davis, Nick Eversman and Josh Pence
Director: Brandon Dickerson
Scriptwriters: Brandon Dickerson and Thomas Ward
Composer: BC Smith
Cinematographer: Bryon Shah
Ocean Avenue Entertainment
Running Length: 110 minutes
Rating: PG 13 for thematic material, drug abuse and violence
DVD Special Feature: Documentary on the real Victor Torres
Victor Torres is of Puerto Rican descent and came with his family to America in the 1960’s with hope for a new life. Unfortunately, Victor wasn't satisfied with working a 9-5 job and as a teenager, got mixed up with a gang, selling drugs, getting hooked on drugs and getting clean with the help of religion. Now, Victor Torres is the pastor of the New Life For Youth ministry (Richmond, Virginia) where he and his wife, Carmen, help young people beat drug addiction, gang life and start anew. Torres has also written his autobiography titled “Son of Evil Street.”
The movie, “Victor,” shows how Victor Torres became disillusioned with living in near-poverty, and saw that dealing drugs could bring in extra cash. This is the beginning of the film, which is well acted and a soundtrack by composer BC Smith, which uses music of the era as background to the action, (referencing “Sherry” and “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.”) Victor is played by an intense Patrick Davis, who has two scenes in the film that stand out. One is where he has a meltdown in front of a rehab house, finally asking God to help him. The other is when he confronts a murderous drug dealer to try to get a girl away from drugs and gang life. Victor says to the man with a gun, “I know what real power is now and you don't have it.” The other man looks at the intensity in Victor’s eyes and backs off.
The downward spiral from home life to drug dealing to taking drugs to trying to get clean by yourself and then letting go to God, is well shown. It is the path many take, but Victor had determination to succeed and the backing of a family including father Manuel (Jose Zoniga), mother Lila (Lisa Vidal) and younger brother Ricky (Mason Davis.) The major factor in Victor’s success is the ministry of Pastor Jimmy (of the Wilkerson family from “The Cross and the Switchblade” fame and Teen Challenge Ministry). Jimmy (played here by Josh Pence) begins a ministry in Victor’s neighborhood, and the ministry grows to a rehab house and then to other cities, one of which is Boston where Victor goes for his first religious assignment.
Kicking an addiction is a tough road, and Victor tried it cold turkey but that didn't work. When he tries to kick the habit with the aid of religious guidance, one-day-at-a-time and helping others, it works and he becomes a free man, Years, later, Victor is a man of respect with his own church. The impossible is sometimes just within a hand’s grasp.
Copyright 2017 Marie Asner