Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Plague

Director - Emir Skolanja (The Butcher, Fester)
Starring - Joshua McDonald (The Butcher), Devon Metzger (The Butcher), and Rich Ruiz (Fester, The Undead)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "From toxic past, the undead will come to life"
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I've been playing a butt load of 7 Days to Die.  For those of you that don't know what that is let me take a second to explain.  7 Days to Die is a video game that mixes elements of State of Decay with Minecraft.  Though I have never played Minecraft I can easily say that State of Decay is my favorite zombie game to date but I am currently addicted to 7 Days to Die and after playing it for days I was feeling up for a zombie movie.  Sometime back director Emir Skolanja reached out to me to review his newest film The Plague, not to be confused with the 2006 horror film starring James Van Der Beek.    The film was online and my internet sucked so I told him I would as soon as possible.  After fighting with my local internet provider for several months I was able to get decent speeds.  I still had to let the film buffer but it wasn't that bad of an experience.  Once again I want to thank Emir for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to check out his film!
     The film follows a brother and sister who are out for a jog when the stumble upon a mercenary bleeding near the road.  They stop to help him and learn that the area they are in is the site of a chemical dump and now it is bringing the dead back to life.  He forces them to shoot him before they are forced to rush off when the undead arrive.  They flee and eventually run into a young couple also fighting for their lives but when they learn they moonlight as hit men they must determine who is more dangerous - the undead or the survivors.
     I have a lot of respect for Emir and his films.  Sure, one of them did not set well with me but the others were fun no budget films that was able to capture what so many try and can not.  His films tend to be dark, bleak, and gruesome which is why I'm shocked by how character driven The Plague is how it seems like a departure from the gruesome films we are accustomed to.  The acting in this one is big improvement over Emir's last film, Flesh of My Flesh.  I respect Emir but Flesh of My Flesh was not for me.  George A. Romero has Bruiser, Dario Argento has The Card Player, and Emir has Flesh of My Flesh.  My biggest complaint with the film is the acting and dialogue.  The Plague is a vast improvement over FoMF.  The cast, though inexperienced, was able to deliver some natural conversations that does not come off as awkward and forced.  These conversations feel authentic and you really think the two are a couple and the other two are in a relationship.  The delivery is off at times but that is minor in comparison to other films with similar budgets.  The story for this one is nothing new.  We have seen countless zombie flicks following a government chemical spill, drop zone, disposal site, and so on that turned the locals into the living dead.  Nothing knew in that aspect but what it lacks in originality it more than makes up for with character development.  The film offers up enjoyable characters that quickly takes me back to Night of the Living Dead.  The characters are not there to be liked but to help move the story along.  Finally, the film has some blood and a little gore.  I'm not one of those weird horror fans that wants gore with no story.  I love gore if it fits the film.  The Plague would have been the perfect film to shower the viewer in gore but it does not.  We get some blood here and there with one quick scene of gore but that is it.  The effects we do get are great but we don't get enough to truly enjoy.  Overall, The Plague is another fantastic horror film from Emir Skolanja.  The film is very character centered with the zombies taking the back seat.  The film may not be that gory but it still delivers so check it out!

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