Friday, October 16, 2015

Extinction: The G.M.O. Chronicles

2011  **1/2

I wasn't going to include the subtitle for this movie, because it doesn't play as anything other than exactly what it looks like: an easy shot at being "topical."  But I included it after trying to look it up -- there are a confusing number of movies titled "Extinction" out there.  This one can be found as you're randomly picking things from Netflix's streaming choices and it's basically an extremely watered-down version of 28 Days Later, featuring one of the most underachieving apocalypses I've ever seen. That crowd there at the fence is about as big as your zombie "horde" is going to get, and don't be drawn in by the inclusion of the word "mutants" in the descriptive blurb.  Aside from one girl zombie with no eyes, there isn't anything to report.

Our hero Tom is by himself for a while, then he finds some more people.  He accidentally shoots one of them, but hey, zombie apocalypse.  One guy bickers about it for a while, saying "But he shot Bill!" and "Yes, we've seen how good YOU are with guns!"    But everyone else, including Bill, is all "Hey man, zombie apocalypse."  And then Bill lives and the other guy gets taken out by a zombie, so.... yeah.  

We do find out that it's all happening because of some gene-splicing virus that was supposed to just make hybrid crops on the vine which would be nice for farmers.  But it mutated to live outside of its controlled parameters and well here we are (topical!).  It's an evocative idea,  a plague causing organisms to merge just because they're near each other, but besides Eyeless who I mentioned already the only mutant-ish powers that emerge are variations in blood color (red or white) and average zombie speed.  Things get slightly more worrisome when the parkour zombies show up and laugh at the little chain link fence.   They said mutants and they delivered guys in hoodies who can jump good.   

So then it's a road trip!  Some people are lost, others are found, there's a lot of interpersonal goings on, but none of it is terribly dramatic. Towards the end it's pointed out that about two weeks after the breakdown of society the emergency power will go off in all the nuclear reactors in the world, and without cooling systems they will all explode in their own time, irradiating everything around them.    And that's an interesting take on the idea of the human apocalypse, except it isn't.  It's procedural and boring.

Bitching as I am it's hard to say how this movie held my interest, but it did.  I suppose it means well, and it boasts some basic competence in its making (not counting the couple of important scenes that were shot in the dark).  In the end it's harmless, and what good is that in a horror movie?


Catfreeek said...

"They said mutants and they delivered guys in hoodies who can jump good." ~ I'm dying here! I feel like on average your reviews are way better than the movies you watch. Freaking hilarious!

DKC said...

Damn those GMO's! Great review, Octo!

AC said...

Agree about quality and enjoyability of Octopunk's reviews often far exceeding that of the movies themselves. This particular movie sounds meh.