Star Maps ★★ 1997 (R)
Ambitious and ambiguous effort from first-time director Arteta has boyish Carlos (Spain) chase his dreams of movie stardom on the streets of Hollywood. Pimped by his manipulative and brutal father Pepe (Figueroa), Carlos sells “maps of the stars' homes” as a cover for his real job, male prostitute. Dad's hooker mistress (Murphy) mentors him in the family business. Add in a mother (Velez) “recovering” from a nervous breakdown by talking to long-dead Mexican comedy star Cantinflas, and a brother (Chandler) who acts out scenes from Mexican wrestling movies, and it's a wonder he doesn't make his screen debut on Jerry Springer. Despite fine performances and a solid debut effort from Arteta, the tragic elements don't fit well with the attempted comic tone of the rest of the movie. 80m/C VHS . Douglas Spain, Efrain Figueroa, Lysa Flores, Kandeyce Jensen, Martha Velez, Annette Murphy, Vincent Chandler, Al Vincente, Herbert Siguenza, Robin Thomas, Jeff Michalski; D: Miguel Arteta; W: Miguel Arteta; C: Chuy Chavez; M: Lysa Flores.