This is it, this is the last regularly scheduled movie review. I’ve done this for almost two years, every week — even if I forgot until almost midnight, I ended up with at least a report card. So I decided to go out with a bang, as it were, by looking at a different sort of outbreak: some sort of alien parasite that feasts on a small town.
This movie has a great cast over-all, but most of the movie centers around Nathan Fillion as Sheriff Bill Pardy, Michael Rooker as Grant Grant, and Elizabeth Banks as Starla Grant, with Gregg Henry turning in a remarkable performance as Mayor Jack McCreedy. There’s a couple cameos (including the voice of Rob Zombie!), with a hilarious but creepy concept — this is a fun movie, and Fillion and the cast riff well with their lines and reactions.
The basic premise of the movie: an alien parasite lands on Earth, infests one person — the host — who then uses the new alien DNA to become gross as hell and begin infecting the entire town with his mannerisms and a staggered zombie walk. Now, these aren’t zombies, but they share some similarities (and differences). There’s a bit of a hive mind thing going on, which makes them a little more dangerous than your run of the mill zombies.
From there, it just keeps getting worse for our heroes. The thing craves an endless supply of meat (something we have in common, especially the scene where he buys a truckload of steak). This would also make a fun video game because there are different types of drones serving the boss, and I could see some serious expansion to it.
The movie, again, is fun and nearly non-stop fun. Fillion has a ton of good lines, Gregg Henry is spot-on perfect in his role, and the two of them have a great chemistry. (Henry and Fillion appeared together once on Firefly, in the Train Job, where Henry played the Sheriff of a small, downtrodden mining community.) As a horror comedy, it gets it right: it doesn’t take itself seriously, but it never forgets the horror part. The characters are all kind of goofy together, but there’s still a monster out there.
This is my favorite movie of this set, but that was unfair: I wanted to go out with a bang. Don’t miss the after-credits scene.
The final rankings:
2. 28 Days Later
3. The Last Man On Earth
6. 12 Monkeys
7. Black Death
8. 28 Weeks Later
8. I Am Legend
8. The Omega Man
11. Pandemic (2016)
12. Toxic Skies.
13. Pandemic (2009)
Runtime: An hour thirty-six
Acting: Pretty great across the board.
Effects: They did a lot of practical effects.. which is fantastic.
Dead Townsfolk: Almost an entire town.
Revenge Kills: Technically just one.
Gun Use: Out there, but I didn’t count shots.
Gore: A decent bit, especially toward the end.
Monster Type? An alien parasite.
Monster Ick Factor: “Now that is some fucked up shit.”
Funny? It is the second funniest horror movie I know of.
Nudity: Very brief topless female nudity. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Pet Death: Yes, but off-screen.