Plotline: A plane that happens to be carrying some sort of biological contaminant (weapon) goes down in the hills near a small town. The contaminant leaks into the water supply, so the town must be placed under quarantine as the effect of those who come into contact with the "virus" is complete and utter madness.
Scariness factor: This movie is not so much scary as it is disturbing. Consequently, it is relatively slow-paced, relying more on realism than on scares.
Gross-Out Factor: Lots of shooting and Heinz-ketchup colored blood.
Complaints: This movie is just really really slow-moving. I like that it relies on a certain amount of realism to propel it along, but there are huge long chunks where it's just military men rattling off orders, and NOTHING REALLY IS HAPPENING. Don't expect it to fly by. And while I enjoyed the scathing condemnation of the government and the military in this movie, the events weren't quite so terrifying as they could've been, so I didn't feel shell-shocked at the end like I wish I would've...
High Points: This movie is clearly a socio-political commentary (as are many of Romero's films) and, while I think it could've been made all the more horrifying and shell-shocking than it was, it was definitely interesting to watch. And as much as the title of this movie has always made me laugh (and is part of the reason I rented it), it's probably one of the more perfect titles of a horror movie around today--it asks us what it is referring to: the actual epidemic of madness that is sweeping through the town, the people who are infected by this madness, or the military/government as they deal with it completely ineptly. At one point in the movie, a military man says something to the effect of, "We don't know exactly what we're doing or why we're here, but we just keep on doing it." And this fits the theme of the movie perfectly--this is loosely the definition of "crazy," and not only are the townsfolk infected with it, but those who unleashed it and those who are shooting up innocent civilians in order to deal with it are even MORE disturbingly suffering from this epidemic *without even being infected*. It is an interesting movie in this regard--perhaps not the most fast-paced or scary, but definitely interesting. With all the time they spend remaking old horror flicks, I only wish that they'd invest their energy in remaking something like THIS, especially in our time of social/political unrest, where we could USE a scathing horror commentary about that which is our government and our president.
Overall: Definitely nothing that will force you to sleep with your lights on, but realistic and gritty and interesting, as most of Romero's stuff usually is. Don't go in expecting your usual jump-in-your-seat horror--this is a lot more subtle.
Labels: B movies